Supreme concentration. All your senses are 100% active. So completely active, that your eyes and hands even shake a little. You feel the tension, you can almost touch it.
“Why did that jury member make a note of my answer? Is that a positive or a negative sign?”
“Can the jury maybe smell that I’m nervous?”
That’s not possible, because the jury is in a studio in the Netherlands while the finalists are in countries like Finland and Israel. Even though you are thousands of kilometers away from each other geographically, the New Energy Challenge 2020 is so intense that you can really feel the tension. A competition in which you and your young promising company can make a real contribution to perhaps the world’s greatest challenge: the energy transition.
And the energy transition doesn’t wait for anything. Therefore the fifth edition of this year’s New Energy Challenge is completely online, because of covid-19 restrictions. And for the same reason, promising start-ups and scale-ups are having a tough time this year and could use the support of the New Energy Challenge.
More than 250 European and Israeli start-ups and scale-ups participated in this years’ New Energy Challenge, the Dutch initiative organized by Rockstart, YES! Delft, Get in the Ring and Shell. The participants came up with ground-breaking and sometimes surprising solutions, to further shape the energy system of the future and thus contribute to the energy transition. After an intensive process of six months, the final took place.
After an exciting final, H2Pro was chosen as the winner of the New Energy Challenge 2020. FinnoExergy Oy from Finland was voted the best start-up. A breakthrough combustion technology for gas turbines: with this innovative solution they’ve won. FinnoExergy Oy will get access to the Shell GameChanger program and will receive €100,000 to further test and improve their concept.
A revolutionary method for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen: with this technology H2Pro from Israel was named the best scale-up.
They will develop a pilot together with Shell Ventures, which may eventually be launched within Shell’s Hydrogen business.
“The fact that we now have the opportunity to develop a pilot thanks to the New Energy Challenge is really a huge step forward for H2Pro. We are really looking forward to working with the experts and rolling out our plans even further in the coming period,” says Talmon Marco of H2Pro enthusiastically.
Geert van der Wouw, President of Shell Ventures, is looking forward to working with H2Pro: “At Shell Ventures we help promising companies to take the next step. We like to learn from their technologies and developments and find out together how they can grow further. H2Pro has convinced us with their ground-breaking method for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, which they can now further develop in a pilot.
The road to the finals
You don’t easily become a finalist of the New Energy Challenge. The ten finalists of the New Energy Challenge have a challenging and intensive digital finals process behind them. “All weeks were inspiring, with a lot of personal guidance and tailor-made training,” says Tero Ijäs of FinnoExergy Oy, the winner of the start-up track. “We are constantly challenged to sharpen our technical but also commercial propositions and to look critically at our own story. We also learned a lot from the other finalists. It is a unique opportunity to meet so many like-minded people. We are sometimes thousands of kilometers apart, but we are all working on the same thing: developing solutions to meet future energy needs. All teams have interesting solutions and ideas. It’s very inspiring to experience all of this!
“The establishment of partnerships is crucial”
Geert van de Wouw is Vice President Shell Ventures. “Especially in these challenging times, working with and supporting start-ups and scale-ups is more relevant than ever. Setting up collaborations is crucial because we can’t do it alone. I look forward to working with the winners on innovative solutions for the global energy transition.”
The New Energy Challenge
The New Energy Challenge has been organized by Shell in cooperation with Rockstart, Get in the Ring, and YES! Delft for five years in a row. The aim is to bring together the best and brightest minds working on the energy transition and thus accelerate the transition to a future with lower CO2 emissions. To meet the specific needs of the entrepreneurs, the New Energy Challenge consists of two separate programmes, one for start-ups and one for scale-ups.