EIT InnoEnergy, celebrated a record year after welcoming more than 700 visitors to the RAI in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for its annual innovation event, The Business Booster (TBB).
This year’s conference and exhibition presented a stellar line-up of VIP guests, including HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President European Commission in charge of Energy Union, and Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Initiator Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation (the sole backer behind the World Alliance).
In Šefčovič’s opening keynote he remarked: 'The Business Booster is one of those ‘transmission belts’ that makes our transition to clean energy tangible: it stimulates innovation and entrepreneurship ‘on the ground’, creates and paves the way to new business models and opportunities, and promotes cooperation across the value chain. This would not be possible without InnoEnergy.'
A major highlight of day one was the signing of a formal agreement between EIT InnoEnergy and the World Alliance, which will see the two organisations join forces to deliver sustainable solutions within Europe that can be adopted all over the world.
Piccard said of the signing: 'This is a truly exciting collaboration that has the potential to accelerate our progress.'
The overall event theme was ‘accelerating the clean energy transition’. One of the most attended sessions was a lively panel debate on the topic of ‘putting the citizen at the heart of the energy transition’, which stressed the role of the public in initiating change.
Elena Bou, Innovation Director at EIT InnoEnergy, commented: 'Our goal is to accelerate the energy transition. We have all the right ingredients to make that happen and now we need to put the citizen at the centre. The energy transition is about more than innovation and investment, it requires a behavioural change from the end user to make it a reality.'
Throughout TBB, 115 companies participated in live pitching sessions in a bid to win a €10,000 prize to invest in their innovation. Five companies were selected by the audience to progress to a final round and present to a panel of industry experts and investors. The event culminated with first prize being awarded to Turbulent for its smart, small-scale and decentralised hydropower plant. In contrast to traditional plants, Turbulent has created an easy-to-install turnkey product to deliver affordable, reliable and clean electricity to even the most remote parts of the world. Two runners up – Swedish Algae Factory and WW Wohnwagon – were awarded prizes of €3,000 each.
Held over two days, TBB is the only event that brings together clean energy innovators, established industry players, investors and public-sector institutions to accelerate Europe’s clean energy transition.
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