International Clean Energy Challenge

An event for young professionals

22 – 26 July 2019, Upper Austria

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


How to make the clean energy transition happen is one of the key challenges the world is facing. To find fresh solutions and new ideas for sustainable energy in buildings, industry and transport, we were inviting young professionals and researchers under 33 (born after 1985) to tackle this challenge in an event of collaborative thinking across disciplines.


An event for young professionals!

  • Tackle real-life challenges presented by our corporate and institutional partners and develop concrete solutions in diversified and interdisciplinary teams.
  • Network with innovative companies and benefit from professional mentoring and training from their management staff.
  • Meet other young innovators from all over the world. Build-up your peer network!
  • Be inspired for new ways of thinking about the energy transition!
  • Win an award for the best project!
  • Spend an unforgettable week with like-minded people in the beautiful Austrian Alps! Experience Austrian hospitality and enjoy an exciting mixture of workshops and leisure activities.


Bright young thinkers from all disciplines (business, engineering, economics, social sciences, law etc.) and from all over the world!

Eligibility criteria:

  • minimum work experience of 3 years or undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor)
  • strong interest in the clean energy transition
  • good knowledge of English
  • born after 1985


22 – 26 July 2019
Arrival: Monday, 22 July during the day, kick-off of the event in the afternoon
End: Friday, 26 July


In Spital am Pyhrn, Upper Austria

Upper Austria - one of the nine Austrian regions - is a European leader in the energy transition. Greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector were reduced by 43 % in the last 10 years. Renewable energy supplies 32 % of all primary energy and 58 % of all space heating. This has also resulted in a strong innovation ecosystem and the growth of a vibrant industry that successfully exports worldwide.

The meeting was held in the landmark building of a former monastry, surrounded by the panorama of the Austrian Alps. The "Pyhrn-Priel Holiday Region" is characterised by a picturesque scenery of alpine pastures and lovely villages. The event was organised by the regional energy agency of Upper Austria in collaboration with businesses and research organisations.