Enagás today launched a new edition of the Ingenia Energy Challenge, an open call seeking disruptive solutions that contribute to the energy transition.
This initiative, which is promoted through its Corporate Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation Programme, Enagás Emprende, was launched as part of the Enagás Innovation Day event, a day dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Arturo Gonzalo, Enagás CEO, during his speech in the event.
From left to right: Claudio Rodríguez, General Manager of Infrastructures at Enagás; Cristina Garmendia, Chair of the COTEC Foundation and former Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation; and Iker Marcaide, founder and CEO of Zubi Group, during the event.
Under the slogan “Ride the great wave of innovation in the energy transition”, Enagás has today encouraged the participation of the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in this edition, which is open to the entire public, both internal and external.
In his speech at the event, Arturo Gonzalo, CEO of Enagás, stressed that innovation, technology and digitalisation are one of the company’s strategic axes to accelerate decarbonisation. In this regard, he pointed out that “innovation is key to fostering a hydrogen technology industry in Spain” and that at Enagás “we want to contribute to scaling up technology and innovation throughout the entire value chain of this energy vector”. He also pointed out that “more than half - between 50% and 70% - of the technologies needed for the energy transition have yet to be developed over the next decade” and that “many of them are still in technology centres and universities”.
Innovation, the engine of change
The company’s event was attended by leading figures in innovation, such as Cristina Garmendia, Chair of the COTEC Foundation and former Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, and the entrepreneur Iker Marcaide, founder and CEO of Zubi Group, who discussed the growing importance and key role of innovation and technological development in achieving the objectives of decarbonisation and helping to speed up the energy transition. The dialogue was moderated by Claudio Rodríguez, General Manager of Infrastructures at Enagás.
In her speech Cristina Garmendia pointed out that “innovation is any change based on knowledge that generates value”, and stressed that this change must “not only be technological, not only scientific and not only economic”, but must also “generate social benefit in a sustainable way”. Garmendia also spoke of the commitment to innovation, which “in the case of Enagás, has an impact on its Strategic Plan and represents a real change”, and added that, in the field of renewable hydrogen, “we in Spain want to lead this space”.
For his part, Iker Marcaide commented that “in innovation we are experiencing a joint venture model, particularly in more technological projects” in which joint innovation takes place. In addition, he emphasised that “Innovation is the best instrument to transform the world and our surroundings to what we would like”.
Enagás’ General Manager of Energy Transition, Natalia Latorre; Álvaro Delicado, co-founder of Scale Gas and former Enagás intrapreneur; Fernando Impuesto, Director of Business Development and Diversification at Enagás; and Elena de Benavides, Head of Corporate Venturing & Innovation Ecosystems at Elewit, gave the key points on “What does a project need to be an Ingenia project” in a round table discussion moderated by Sergio García, Director of Innovation and Corporate Venture at Enagás.
Enagás' General Manager for Business Development and Investee Companies, Jesús Saldaña, also took part in the event, highlighting how innovation fits into the company’s Strategic Plan.
Enagás’ Director of Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation, Emilio Martínez, together with Ana Aladid, from the company's Innovation and Technology Management, explained the details of this new Ingenia Energy Challenge. In this edition, ideas and projects are sought in three main areas: renewable gases (with a focus on green hydrogen) and new transport fuels; sustainability and energy efficiency; and industry 4.0 and digitalisation.
All these categories are aligned with the different challenges and needs faced by the company. The call is open to both new business proposals - at any stage of development - and technical solutions to the challenges posed.
There are three prizes: “Best internal proposal”, “Best external proposal” and the “Enterprising woman” award - the last of these is a newly created award to promote the visibility of women entrepreneurs. The winning proposals, as well as those finalist projects that Enagás Emprende identifies as having great potential, will receive the company’s support to become real business solutions. In addition, the winners will receive a cash prize of 5,000 euros.
The deadline for registration and submission of projects is 14 January 2024 at 23:59 CET. Following a phase of analysis and pre-selection of proposals and/or technical solutions, defence of pre-selected proposals for development and pre-incubation, the winning projects will be announced in the second quarter of 2024 at the Ingenia Energy Challenge Final.
Since its creation in 2015, the Enagás Corporate Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation Programme, Enagás Emprende, has invested 90 million euros to promote a total of 18 start-ups whose proposals will speed up the energy transition. Thanks to the innovative solutions of all of them, 14,900 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been avoided, equivalent to the emissions of 7,900 vehicles per year.
More information on the Ingenia Energy Challenge website.