‘The large number of applications received in INCENSe’s second call highlights the attractiveness of Enel’s open innovation initiatives to the world of startups,’ stated Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s Head of Innovation and Sustainability, regarding the proposals received in the second call of INCENSe, (Internet Cleantech ENablers Spark), the business accelerator dedicated to clean-tech companies.
The programme, which was launched to foster innovation and high-tech employment in the energy sector – with the support of the European Union and coordinated by Enel and Endesa, in collaboration with the incubators Accelerace (Denmark) and FundingBox (Spain) – has closed its second call with 257 proposals from 29 European countries and Israel, with more than 50 percent of the applicants coming from Spain and Italy. The proposals were classified under the following categories: energy efficiency and home automation, renewable energy, renewable forecasting solutions, smart grids, energy storage, advanced diagnostic & automation solutions, e-mobility, cyber-security and digitalization of energy through ICT.
The first call, which ended in December 2014, had already achieved results beyond expectations: 230 start-ups from 31 countries presented their projects. Having launched a second call on June 18th that closed on September 30th, the INCENSe board (composed of managers from partner companies) will select the 28 European and Israeli startups that will join the 14 winners from the first call. The selected small and medium-sized companies will receive a non-reimbursable grant of 150 thousand Euros and will have access to a six-month acceleration programme, during which they will be supported by Enel Group companies.
‘The attractiveness of Enel’s open innovation – Ciorra explained – comes from the fact that INCENSe offers a genuine opportunity to innovate thanks to the support offered by the consortium. This can be seen in the 14 winners of the first call, who in the three months following their selection began collaborating with Enel and INCENSe’s other partners in order to improve their products and services, with many of them reaching collaborative agreements. Furthermore, the consortium partners are working with the chosen startups via an acceleration programme considered to be among the world’s best by specialist external advisors.’
The evaluation process will end in December, with a presentation day in which the finalists will present their projects and up to 28 winners will be announced.