A global consortium launches initiative to accelerate the scaling of 100% renewable energy solutions
A group of companies are announcing the launch of the global Bright Minds Challenge to identify and help accelerate the scaling of solutions for 100% renewable energy – focusing on solar and energy storage. The challenge is initiated by DSM, together with Accenture; Greentown Labs; Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford; Solarcentury; SolarAid and Sungevity. The consortium will provide the most promising emerging solutions with a tailored package of commercial, technical and mentoring support to help scientists scale up their solution as quickly as possible.
Helping bright solutions to scale
The companies and organisations behind the #BrightMindsChallenge are committed to 100% renewable energy, and helping to lead the transition to a low carbon economy. The Challenge is designed to help scientists around the world with bright solutions to overcome barriers they face in scaling up their ideas and solutions. Anyone with a solution relevant to renewable energy – focusing on solar and/or renewable energy storage – can submit an entry. The solution needs to be prototyped, and ready to scale up.
A movement open to all
Members of the public are encouraged to get involved by spreading the message to help find the scientists with solutions, and then to share their submissions and vote for the most promising ones. After a public vote to determine the top 10, a panel of experts will then shortlist the top three and select the winner.The top three solutions will all receive commercial, technical and mentoring support, with the winner getting 500 hours of tailored help to fast-forward their solution. All entrants will receive valuable exposure for their projects.
The hunt for the solutions starts now, with voting taking place in January and February 2017, and the winners being announced in June 2017. “The Bright Minds Challenge aims to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and fits perfectly with DSM’s strategic drive to develop sustainable solutions that help combat climate change. We are proud that the member companies are jointly embracing the challenge to capture the power of renewable energy,” says DSM Chief Innovation Officer Rob van Leen. ”This collaboration drives radical innovation and attempts to unlock the potential of bright minds around the world. Together we will offer these scientists the opportunity to take their solutions to the next step for the benefit of society as a whole.
“The development and acceleration of clean energy is key for our planet and crucial to keep our world livable. Accenture’s purpose is to improve the way the world works and lives. Innovating is at the core of what we are. We’re honored to partner in the Bright Minds Challenge which gives us an excellent opportunity to spot and work with some promising innovators. We want to uncover breakthrough innovations that will change the world,” said Rachael Bartels, Accenture Managing Director and Chemicals and Natural Resources lead.
“Greentown Labs joined the Bright Minds Challenge because of how strongly it aligns with our community’s mission: to support cleantech entrepreneurs and innovators with the resources they need to grow their businesses,” said Greentown Labs’ CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. “Thanks to DSM’s support of our community, our cleantech entrepreneurs have access to the breadth of resources, knowledge and expertise DSM has to offer and we believe more startups from around the world should have an opportunity to utilize those amazing resources as well. We’re passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship and technology that will help mitigate climate change, and we know the Bright Minds Challenge will encompass all three of these areas and help turn many scientists’ ideas into reality. We’re excited to hear from inventors from every corner of the globe and we’re proud to be part of such an important movement!”
Jeremy Leggett, Chairman Solar Aid, commented, “The Bright Minds Challenge is an excellent idea which aims to scale up solar power and energy storage across the world. We have seen some great innovations in the last 10 years of SolarAid and helped drive down the cost of solar light in Africa from $25 to $5, but there are still more gains to be made. To overcome the combined threats of climate change and energy security and make clean, affordable, renewable energy available to everyone we need to innovate like never before. If you’ve got an idea please join the challenge and help make solar energy ubiquitous.”
Susannah Wood, CMO at Solarcentury comments, “Supporting this fantastic initiative aligns perfectly with our company mission to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change by promoting the widespread adoption of solar power. Solar energy is proving itself to be a fundamental part of the global energy mix. We welcome the opportunity to support entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators in their quest to devise solar and storage solutions that accelerate the transition to a low carbon world even faster.”
Danny Kennedy, co-founder of Sungevity explains, “Sungevity’s passion is bringing solar power to the masses. This means solar electricity with storage in combination with software and other renewable technologies to make the break to clean energy. That is a purpose worth all of us engaging in. So Sungevity is proudly supporting the Bright Minds Challenge because it is about spreading solar and energy storage and energy breakthroughs to make clean energy happen, faster, sooner and better and engaging the best minds in that exercise.”