64 bright young minds from over 30 countries tackle the energy transition
The International Clean Energy Challenge, organised from 22-26 July 2019 in Upper Austria by the OÖ Energiesparverband, brought together 64 highly-qualified young professionals from more than 30 countries and 11 partner companies for an event of collaborative innovation.
In diversified and interdisciplinary teams, they tackled real-life challenges presented by the partner organisations on topics relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy in industry, buildings, e-mobility and more. Each of the 11 teams was assigned to a specific company challenge, typically consisting of a service, concept or market that the partner organisation is keen on developing or expanding. Many of the groups worked on business models based on digitisation, value generation with big data, new integrated energy service models, diversifying demand and supply chains, new marketing approaches, energy communities and other peer-to-peer energy exchanges. The dynamic and structured innovation process consisted of a combination of brainstorming activities, autonomous group work and peer-review sessions. The company representatives were present throughout the entire event and offered valuable support and professional coaching.
In the final session, each group presented its solutions to a jury consisting of management-level representatives of the partner companies (mostly CEOs) as well as the regional energy commissioner. Awards were presented in 4 categories: "Best presentation", "Most creative ideas", "Strongest business opportunity" and "Best solution for the company challenge" as well as for the best event photo. Very positive feedback was received from all those who took part in the event. Through contributing to concrete company development processes, the participants gained practical and real-life insights on how driving the energy transition and doing business can go hand-in-hand. The companies profited from the fresh ideas and creative thinking of bright young minds.
The participants were mostly young professionals working in businesses, industry, energy agencies, associations, public bodies and research institutions. They came from a diversity of educational backgrounds including engineering, economy, architecture, business administration, chemistry, mathematics, law, political science and more.
The event was organised by the OÖ Energiesparverband, the regional energy agency and organiser of the annual international conference World Sustainable Energy Days. It was held also in the context of the NEFI project Indugrid.
Pictures of the International Clean Energy Challenge