Terna, the Cariplo Foundation and Cariplo Factory Windcity as the winner of the third edition of Next Energy
Windcity wins Next Energy’s Call for Ideas; the prize, a voucher for €50,000 in services, was awarded by a Jury chaired by Catia Bastioli, Chairwoman of Terna; this third edition has yielded excellent results in terms of mutually beneficial opportunities for Terna and the young teams to develop and apply innovative ideas in the energy sector throughout the country
Windcity: the name of the project which won the third edition of Next Energy, the programme promoted by Terna, the Cariplo Foundation and Cariplo Factory with the aim of supporting young graduates and promoting the emergence of innovative projects and start-ups focusing on issues related to the development of the energy system. The Jury, led by Terna’s Chairwoman Catia Bastioli, granted a €50,000 voucher, to be spent on further acceleration services, as the award for the best idea among the 10 which had been selected at the end of January as part of the Call for Ideas. All were focused on specific projects with a strong link to environmental sustainability.
Windcity has developed and produced V-Stream, a variable-geometry turbine. The technology is composed of auto-adaptive mini-turbines able to generate energy from wind and water. The Windcity solution may represent a new frontier in renewables as it guarantees optimal and adaptive energy production. Furthermore, the dimensions of V-Stream allow this energy source to be used in urban settings.
The winning team, just like the other nine, had the opportunity to take part in a two-month incubation process which was customised on the basis of geographical proximity, adapted to optimise its usefulness and based on the correspondence between the needs of the team and the specialisation of the incubator; all thanks to Cariplo Factory’s network of incubators spread throughout Italy.
Among the requirements outlined in the Call for Ideas were a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of between 2 and 5 and at least one team member below the age of 35.
The third edition of Next Energy was remarkable for the growth in the numbers of replies it received to all the Calls:
• the Call for Talents received replies from 136 recent graduates under the age of 28 who obtained degrees in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Economics with full marks within the last 12 months. Of these, 10 were admitted to a 6-month internship in Terna’s Innovation centres;
• the Call for Ideas saw twice as many projects submitted as in the previous year, with the registration of 48 participants between start-ups and teams of innovators. Of these, 10 were admitted to an incubation process;
• the Call for Growth received responses from 52 start-ups which had already been formally established and were capable of offering innovative solutions to suit Terna’s specific fields of activity. Of these, 5 were selected for admittance to growITup, the open innovation platform created by Cariplo Factory with the aim of facilitating, through a process shared with Terna, the identification of potential areas of synergy with a view to a pilot project to be tested in the field.
Catia Bastioli, Terna Chairwoman
“This third edition of Next Energy has once again confirmed that the initiative, having grown over time, has carved out a distinctive space for itself in the field of open innovation, sustainability and support for organisations across the nation. In today’s landscape, where innovation and digitalisation have been confirmed as factors which enable the management of a smarter, more flexible electricity system, Next Energy has become a real strategic opportunity for Terna, granting access to innovative projects which can offer support for this phase of energy transition through solutions which result from synergy between companies, start-ups and the academic world”.
Giovanni Fosti, Chairman of the Cariplo Foundation
“Next Energy, which was created as an experimental initiative to support recent graduates and new entrepreneurs in the Energy sector, is now a consolidated community of innovators which continues to grow year after year and offers increasingly significant opportunities for innovation. The project offers concrete proof that the supply chain logic represents an asset in terms of development and, thanks to the contribution of Cariplo Factory, combines the energy and dynamism of young people with the experience and skills of a large company like Terna”.
Carlo Mango, Executive Director of Cariplo Factory
“In this third edition of Next Energy we made particular use of the model of incubation that extends throughout Italy: the start-ups in the Call for Ideas could avail of a process which had been customised in accordance with their needs, through a network of seven incubators. The €50,000 voucher represents another opportunity for Windcity to grow; and we have no doubt that it will prove capable of successfully completing the go-to-market process. Today, the true value of Next Energy is its provision of endless opportunities for development, growth and innovation for talents and start-ups in the Energy sector”.