In Europe, cleantech accelerator INCENSe has awarded a first round of grants to 14 smart energy start-up companies in a bid to encourage innovation and high-tech employment in the European Union.
The INCENSe programme, co-ordinated by Italian energy giant Enel, is the only cleantech and energy accelerator under the European Commission's FIWARE Accelerate programme, the third phase of the open EU-funded Future Internet Public Private Partnership Programme.
The winners, which each received a grant of €150,000, included software and device developers from Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and Israel.
Developing smart energy applications
In addition to the seed-funding, the 14 winners selected from 26 finalists, will each receive a six-month acceleration programme, additional coaching, tailored workshops on European funding programmes and access to smart energy test-beds in Spain, Denmark, and Italy.
Winners will also be invited to partake in brokerage events that will allow them to present their projects to potential investors, attracting venture capital funds.
The first open call for startups and researchers to submit their proposals to advance the use of green technology and specialised services was launched in October 2014.
Commenting on the criteria upon which the winners were selected, Ernesto Ciorra, head of Innovation and Sustainability at Enel's Group, said: "The selection was based on industrial criteria.
"We have worked hard alongside our INCENSe partners in identifying the most promising startups, which are able to develop solutions that address real problems.
"The Enel Group is active in supporting the development of startups; we have created a team that is tasked with accounting for and supporting the best ventures around the world, who we then offer the benefits of our resources and skills."
Through Enel’s INCENSe project, a total of 42 European SMEs and entrepreneurs will be awarded a share of €6 million to help them materialise their ideas relating to energy efficiency, automation, renewable energy, smart grids, storage, automation, e-mobility, security and digitisation of energy through ICT.
The 14 winners were Exploded View, Vatia Energia, Nozomi Networks, ReMoni, ZENUP, Hevo Power, Densewaves, GreenApes, Geratriz, Lda, nJoin, CloudGrid, Applied Research to Technologies, Snapback and TERA.
The second call for project submissions is scheduled for June 15, 2015.