Open innovation is a new relationship model for companies with external agents (universities, startups, research centres, other companies in the same or another industry…) which promotes collaboration and the exchange of ideas.
Endesa has adopted this open model to find high-quality ideas that enable us to grow. We have entered this new culture with the purpose of developing innovative ideas capable of transforming the current energy model.
This is how Professor Henry Chesbrough defines this term, incorporated by Endesa in its Sustainability Plan.
How do we apply open innovation at Endesa?
Through the collaborative endesaenergychallenges.com platform, which, alongside entrepreneurs, looks to find energy efficient products and services. It aims to challenge the most brilliant minds to seek energy solutions that allow the current model to be transformed.
We launch challenges from this platform that will help us find disruptive ideas that can contribute towards finding those new energy solutions. The most recent challenge was the Blockchain lab a laboratory focused on a technology that could change the way we do business around the world. Blockchain already enabled the development of a digital currency, the bitcoin, which provides greater security for data and transactions. The idea now is to obtain new applications focused on the energy sector that can then be transferred to the Spanish market.
But Endesa Energy Challenges also includes other challenges:
The Hackathon, a meeting of innovative ideas, in which the winning ideas was an app that can detect inefficiencies and energy losses in households.
The Datathon a competition aimed at finding innovative proposals based on the analysis of customers’ estimated consumption data, was a huge success, with over 600 people from 20 countries taking part.
We also collaborated in the first European hackathon for industry 4.0: the Ennomotive Hackathon for Industry 4.0, a challenge based on the possibilities offered by the Internet of Things, the development of cobots (collaborative robots) and 3-D printers for helping maintenance and distribution networks to improve their tasks and the security of their operations.
Energy for entrepreneurs
At Endesa we have opened a communication channel with entrepreneurs and startups that want to work with us: Energy for entrepreneurs.
We also take part in initiatives and events aimed at promoting innovation and supporting entrepreneurs, such as Spain Start Up: The South Summit –the largest startup conference in southern Europe- or the European INCENSe accelerator, which seeks to promote innovation and high-tech employment.
The energy of the new generations
At Endesa we never forget the new generations. We collaborate with PANGEA, the world’s largest young talent platform and we have joined the PANGEA A Team, a programme designed to resolve problems within the energy sector with the collaboration of young innovative minds.
We also want children to get involved, which is why we held the Hackateen, a competition aimed at introducing children to the different disciplines related to robotics, programming and 3D printing.
Open Innovability, the digital door, open to sustainable innovation
With the aim of promoting a culture of innovation inside and outside of the Enel Group, the Open Innovability platform was created, where both employees and startups, independent innovators, universities and research centres, enterprises, NGOs and associations can propose innovative and sustainable ideas or projects that seek to address a number of challenges for the future of the company.
The project is divided into two parts: ‘Challenges’ and ‘I have a Project’. The former focuses on the search for ideas designed to address the business’ requirements. The latter accepts all forms of initiatives, even if these do not coincide with any of the active “challenges” at that time.