Collaboration between start-ups, scale-ups, (energy)companies and governments will fast-track the development of technologies which can help us tackle the challenges of climate change. Given the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, supporting young, innovative companies is now even more important than ever. That’s why the New Energy Challenge 2020 is organized again by Rockstart, YES!Delft, Get in the Ring and Shell, for European and Israeli entrepreneurs.
We called on entrepreneurs who are developing solutions that could be vital to meeting future energy needs worldwide. More than 160 teams signed up and we are proud to announce that 21 of these teams have been selected for the shortlist. Curious about who they are? You can find more information about the individual teams and their entries below.
Intensive interviews with the shortlisted teams will take place in the coming period. By the end of August latest we will announce this year’s finalists. The final winners of this year’s edition will be announced in autumn.
Ventures track: Scale-ups
HiiROC Limited (United Kingdom)
HiiROC is a step-change technology company for low-cost, zero-emission Hydrogen production. HiiROC produces hydrogen through a unique plasma process. The solution is flexible (the smallest unit has the size of two refrigerators), mobile and can be installed onsite where the hydrogen is needed. The solution is scalable as multiple units can be combined.
HiiROC was founded in 2019.
Insploration AB (Sweden)
Insplorion created a patented sensing technology platform. Thus far, Insplorion has applied this to gas sensors, battery sensors, and research instruments. They have been selling instruments for over a decade, but recently launched their nitrogen dioxide sensor, while developing a hydrogen sensor in parallel.
Insploration was founded in 2010.
ChemChain (The Netherlands)
ChemChain is a company that introduced a blockchain platform to track chemicals along the supply chain. Every time a raw material or product changes hands, presence of specific chemicals and related information are documented, creating a permanent history of a product’s chemical componentsreducing time delays, added costs and human error. The blockchain solution of ChemChain creates an immutable source of information on a product’s chemical components, allowing companies to overcome current supply chain communication constraints.
ChemChain was founded in 2015.
Simreka (The Netherlands)
Simreka has built an integrated AI driven simulation software, that helps chemical companies and brands to accelerate the development of new products and manufacturing processes that meet demands for quality, profitability, regulatory compliance and sustainability. Their technology solves the problem of high failure rate and costs of experimentation to develop chemical/material products that are both sustainable and cost-effective.
Simreka was founded in 2007.
Proton Ventures BV (The Netherlands)
Proton Ventures is an engineering company specialised in (ammonia) storage facilities and small scale ammonia production units. They are experienced in decentralized production of ammonia, facilitating customers to be independent of transport costs and fluctuations of the ammonia price, and on ammonia produced from renewable electricity sources (green ammonia) or using feedstock such as natural gas, biogas or flare gas.
Proton Ventures was founded in 2011.
Vertoro aims to speed up the green revolution by offering a bio-based alternative to fossil resources. Their platform product, GOLDILOCKS(R), originates in woody bio-mass or plant-based lignin. This platform product can then be used for different applications – to make materials, various fuels, and fuel additives.
Vertoro was founded in 2017.
H2Pro’s technology is a revolutionary method for splitting water. Similar to electrolysis, it uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. However, unlike conventional electrolysis, hydrogen and oxygen are generated separately at different phases – an Electrochemical phase and a Thermally-Activated Chemical phase. The result is a high efficiency (95%), significantly lower CAPEX (half), much higher production pressure and unparalleled safety.
H2Pro was founded in 2019.
ETB (The Netherlands)
ETB developed a unique single-stage process for production of bio-butadiene – a monomer that is essential for the manufacturing of polymer materials, considered indispensable in many industries. The high selectivity and conversion rate of ETB’s process substantially improve product yield per tonne of feedstock, while the low process temperature leads to lower energy costs. They use bio-ethanol feedstock to produce butadiene and rely on an industrially proven catalytic approach.
ETB was founded in 2013.
Coolbrook Oy is the company behind the RDR innovation: a cleaner, faster and more profitable technology to produce olefins. Olefins are key components of the petrochemical industry and a mainstay of modern everyday life, used in the production of plastics, chemical products, industrial packaging, and more. The development work of Coolbrook Oy has resulted in a design for a pilot size RDR eReactor, together with the necessary gear box, electric engine and TLE. The next step is to build a pilot plant in the Netherlands.
Coolbrook Oy was founded in 2012.
CH-Biofroce Oy (Finland)
CH-Bioforce Oy provides a technology which gently extracts all of the main components of biomass in one process. The resulting biomaterials – dissolving pulp, polymeric hemicellulose and sulphur-free lignin – are extremely pure and close to their natural form. Their technology can utilize almost any kind of biomass as feedstock: wood such as birch, pine, and spruce, and also non-wood such as straw or bagasse. CH-Bioforce Oy provides a new feedstock option to multiple industries, for example for chemical, textiles, and packaging applications.
CH-Bioforce Oy was founded in 2016.
GameChanger track: Start-ups
EH Group Energy (Switzerland)
EH Group Energy is developing an innovative process of microwave pyrolysis, to convert natural gas to hydrogen and high-value solid carbon. It offers a distributed and scalable means of hydrogen production with virtually no CO2 emissions. In addition, their approach is extremely energy efficient and generates valuable by-products, such as carbon nanotubes. Using readily available catalysts, its rapid heating and production, it offers a unique opportunity to both generate hydrogen, cheaply and efficiently as well as capture significant value in the carbon by-product. Thus, through this process, fossil fuels are transformed from carbon-rich to hydrogen-rich fuels for our future energy needs.
H2Site – Hydrogen onsite, S.L. (Spain)
H2Site provides fully-integrated systems to produce onsite, high quality and low-cost hydrogen. They offer a solution based on proprietary membrane patents and on advanced SMR reactor design know-how, for low CAPEX/ OPEX. H2Site’s on-site production avoids energy waste for compression, transportation and leaks. Their systems can be used modularly, they can be combined to achieve the desired production level.
H2Site was founded in 2019.
Lixea (United Kingdom)
Lixea is developing an innovative biomass fractionation process using low-cost ionic liquids. Their first product is the BioFlex process, that uses waste wood and agricultural by-products as well as sustainably grown biomass, to produce a greener alternative to today’s petrochemical based products. At the same time, this product provides unwanted waste materials with a new purpose. Lixea is promoting the bioeconomy, an economic concept where wood and other forms of lignocellulosic biomass are used instead of crude oil to produce heat, electricity, materials and chemicals.
Lixea was founded in 2017.
Low Sulphur Fuels (United Kingdom)
Low Sulphur Fuels has developed a Fast-Electrochemical Process to recover the substantial hydrocarbon content within ‘end of life’ hydrocarbon materials, such as used oils, rubber tyres, and most plastic materials. The technology is a low energy process, using advanced electrochemistry to alter the molecular structure of the feedstocks, so that contaminants such as sulphur, halogens, nitrogen and others are extracted. The FEP technology has resolved a number of technical challenges, the most significant being to develop a very low emission process that will remove hazardous contaminants within the waste materials during the process.
Low Sulphur Fuels was founded in 2018.
Poligy GmbH (Germany)
Poligy GmbH is developing a sustainable solution that turns low-grade waste heat into electricity, with the patented Waste Heat Recovery Biopolymer System. More than half of primary produced energy is being lost in the form of waste heat. Poligy is developing a technology, which can achieve 4% – 15% conversion efficiency of waste heat into electricity within the temperature range of 50 – 150 ºC with relatively lower costs compared to other solutions. A lab-scale prototype has been intensively tested. Multiple field pilots are in the process of installation and testing.
Pology was founded in 2018.
UniSieve offers a unique separation membrane platform technology. This technology enables separation of chemicals on a molecular level, based on a size exclusion mechanism. Their vision is to support chemical and energy companies in increasing yields, lowering CO2 emissions, and energy spending during the production of renewable or conventional feed-stocks. The UniSieve membrane add-on units can extend existing and new infrastructures, and the separation performance allows to recover currently lost resources.
UniSieve was founded in 2018.
Gradyent optimizes heat networks using AI with a cloud based software platform. Many district energy networks have old or even outdated controls systems due to legacy hard- & software with limited or no optimization. Gradyent focuses both on district heating networks, mainly serving residential and office buildings, as well as on industrial heat networks e.g. in petrochemical, chemical, food and beverages and other heat-intensive industries.
Gradyent was founded in 2018.
Delft IMP (The Netherlands)
Delft IMP (Intensified Materials Production) commercializes nanotechnology that enables the use of novel materials, which can boost the energy transition by lowering CO2 emission and lowering costs. Their technology uses nanocoatings on powders.
Delft IMP was founded in 2014.
RFC Power Ltd (United Kingdom)
RFC Power is developing the world’s lowest cost flow battery, for long duration energy storage. They use an unique, globally patented hydrogen manganese chemistry with lower levelized cost of storage. The mission of RFC Power is to enable the transition to 100% renewable energy, by developing this cheapest form of long duration energy storage.
RFC Power was founded in 2018.
FinnoExergy Oy (Finland)
FinnoExergy Oy develops a breakthrough combustion technology for gas turbines. Their PGC system allows the gas turbine to generate more power using less fuel, benefitting both the economy and the environment.
Soletair Power (Finland)
Soletair Power captures carbon dioxide from the air in buildings, to make people more productive and to improve indoor wellbeing. In other words, they turn buildings into carbon sinks. The captured CO2 is combined with hydrogen to create hydrocarbons i.e. renewable fuels. These fuels can be diesel, kerosene or methane.
Soletair Power was founded in 2016.