InnoEnergy students inspire the energy industry at the Game Changing Impact Challenges

Hundred students, twenty teams and four challenges. These are the Game Changing Impact Challenges, held at the European Utility Week (EUW) in the RAI of Amsterdam.

Divided into teams, InnoEnergy students from all over Europe utilise their skills, expertise and creativity to come up with innovative, high end sustainable solutions for challenges the energy industry faces today. Pure randomised the twenty teams received one of the following four sector and business challenges:

1. Can we design sustainable and affordable mobility solutions for universities in the digital era? (introduced by E.ON).
2. Design a XTN strategic approach that facilitates real time trading between producers/ consumers and utilities in Germany (introduced by XTN Group).
3. Design a concept for use of local resources and demands in international markets (introduced by Energinet).
4. Design the Human Machine Interface app that would simplify the implementation of a “vehicle to grid” service for the end-user. (Introduced by ENGIE).

Stakes are high. Besides being part of an elite group of energy professionals, the recognition and future (job) recommendations, the overall winning team of the ‘Game Changing Impact Challenges’ may present their sustainable solution in the Closing Keynote at the Energy Revolution Stage.

This year it is the team of David Duque Lozano who’s given the platform to present their sustainable solution. Their proposed solution covered the mobility of academic students between campus and commute between conferences, visiting friends and exchanges.

If you don’t have a problem you don’t need a solution

‘Why did the winning team win?’, we ask Dr. Stephan Ramesohl, Vice President Innovation Strategy & Portfolio Management of E.ON. ‘They won because they went through the learning cycle. They followed a hypothese and than understood they took the completely wrong way. Their basic assumption was proven to be incorrect. They were seeking to identify a problem and within time noticed this was not the root cause of the issue. At this time they had to admit it wasn’t a problem after all. In product development’, Ramesohl continious: ‘that’s the worst situation. If you don’t have a problem you don’t need a solution.’

At the peek of the group’s frustration, according to David Duque Lozano himself, they were able to re-group and accidentely became aware of another underlying problem. Due to this they could build a nice, concise proposition on that newly defined problem. That is really compelling for us. The solution is set straight and because of that the learning curve led to a better journey.

The Game Changing Impact Challenges means a lot of matchmaking opportunities for our students’, says Marloes Wichink Kraut, Human Capital Manager of InnoEnergy. ‘The companies embraced the innovative ideas and high end sustainable solutions the different teams came up with.’.

Stephan Ramesohl totally agrees with Marloes. ‘It’s such an inspiring experience to watch the student teams who have literally no time, no resources, no background and have to work on very difficult and therefore challenging topics. The teams did a tremendous job’, Stephan concludes.

The Game Changing Impact Challenges at the EUW 2017 was a major success. Its an unique opportunity to extend the network of the InnoEnergy students as they connect with people from the industry, internships were offered to some of the students whilst others have given the opportunity to work for projects at the XTN Group.