“The programme is the perfect breeding ground for creativity, collaboration and future project possibilities.”

PhD candidate Dhruv Singhal finds the programme the perfect complement to his research work, which he hopes to turn into a business venture. The various insights into new product/service creation, the knowledge of working within regulations, and the different viewpoints towards a successful product integration will be beneficial for his future entrepreneurial efforts.

 Why did you choose the InnoEnergy PhD School?

The InnoEnergy PhD school aims to develop skills that are beyond the technical knowledge – and in most cases, students have little experience with these entrepreneurship skills. I was no different and was looking to enhance/learn more about entrepreneurship and all the things that come along with it.

What have been the highlights so far?

Apart from the diversity of views we see at every event, the skills attained are astounding. Courses are continuall evolving with significant contributions coming from high expertise organisations, giving them even more profound values. From the courses undertaken, I have gained a great deal of skill regarding innovation, business creation and networking. I’ve also obtained a lot of information regarding the ever-evolving energy markets and related new technologies and their potential for creating a sustainable future. Most importantly, the programme has changed my outlook towards research projects.

How do you find the integration of business and entrepreneurship in the programme? And the connection to industry?

The integration is well served with ESADE course and various other events covering aspects regarding business creation. Several visits during the ESTI course in Paris brings us closer to the big actors of production, viz. EDF…

Have you worked on any projects? If so, what have you gained from it?

I had the fortunate opportunity to work on the Chamrousse 2030 project under the course of Eco-districts, and it gave me knowledge about the inner-workings of a project; the things that hinder the applicability, the social barrier preventing change, and the steps to acknowledge feasibility.

How well do the courses fit into your regular PhD studies?

The MIE course (ESADE, Barcelona) provided me with insights into the different aspects (financial, market strategy, value chain, product…) regarding new product creation. This fits very well with my current research as we are developing a prototype of a thermoelectric generator (converting waste heat to useful power), which could result in a potential new venture. Alongside this, the course also highlighted the viewpoint of successful integration of a new product which would prove worthy in this particular case for me. Also, the Energy Economics course (GEM, Grenoble) gave me details about the energy markets working with regulations and trading – which is really useful in understanding the market of the product.

Why are you interested in sustainable energy and how would you like to contribute in the future?

Sustainable energy holds the key to the future. I feel that the demand for energy would ever increase and it would become the most indispensable resource. If the path of sustainability is not followed then apart from the climate, economies would also be in a state of emergency. So currently, I wish to develop the product in the field of energy harvesting that I have been working on during my PhD studies. In the long term, I would like to help develop more technologies that could aid sustainability.

Anything you’d like to share about the programme or your fellow students?

InnoEnergy PhD school is an opportunity to learn about the diversity in the versatile energy market by enhancing your skills to drive constant innovation either individually or through an organisation. You will come to understand the routes to bridge the gap between the research and its socio-economic outlook. The cross-cultural environment with all the different expertise in the field of energy exposes you to a variety of concepts and ideas – and is the perfect breeding ground for creativity, collaboration, and future project possibilities.

Become part of the InnoEnergy ecosystem, gain access to a network of like-minded individuals, startups, scaleups, innovation projects, universities and industrial partners across Europe by applying to InnoEnergy PHD School before 12 May deadline.