Andrew Klawiter & Alexandra Lam
Dr. Ball & Dr. Rubin
MKT Service Marketing 3320
10 January 2018
The Paris Climate Accords. The UN 2030 Goals for Sustainable Development. An increase in research and development on the vastly growing awareness of climate change and global warming. With the use of chemicals and toxins, our world is slowly being destroyed. Fossil Fuels, pollutants, and even everyday items like hairspray, all contribute to the deteriorating ozone and rising sea levels. In fact, just today New York City sued 5 major oil companies, claiming they had significant contribution into global warming. If we do not act fast and now, it will be very difficult to combat these issues before time is too late. In an effort to save what we have left of our planet, in recent years, companies have started go green initiatives, carbon neutral agreements, and the integration of renewable energy. While we are moving in the right direction, there are still many steps that need to be taken to ensure global sustainability in energy, and a planet where future generations can continue to inhabit.
Seeing the potential for job creation and innovation across all industries, in 2009 the European Union set up the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Through EIT, the EU would address the innovation paradox through growth in jobs to fulfill the goal of the knowledge triangle. Involved in the knowledge triangle are three key dimensions; higher education, industry and research, with an attempt to link together these key concepts through internal and external development. After promoting the triangle, EIT developed KICs, or Knowledge Innovation Communities. These communities are long term (15 years minimum), awarded by public competition, and integrate the goals of the triangle. Each year the budget for EIT changes, with the most recent having been 2.7 Billion Euro. This then goes to fund prospective KIC’s which look to sustain success in Europe over the near future.
In 2010, KIC InnoEnergy was the winner of all proposals for becoming the KIC in Sustainable Energy. With a vision to become the “leading engine in innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable energy,” KIC InnoEnergy impressed EIT with their opportunities for the growth of business all throughout Europe. Their mission statement is “To build a sustainable long – lasting operational framework amongst the three actors of the knowledge triangle in the sustainable energy sector: industry, research and higher education.” Through entrepreneurship, KIC InnoEnergy structured their company to be the one stop resource a startup or established company not reaching its full potential could turn to.
When evaluating strengths of prospective companies, KIC maintained strategic objectives to reduce the cost of energy, increase security through autonomy of supply and intrinsic operability of energy assets, and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2010, an additional 180 partners have joined activities, and have outreach in 17 EU Member States. Additionally, KIC has supported over 90 products and services, filed 77 patents, and has about 323 project partners across Europe and 3 manufacturing facilities.
For shareholders, it is important to note they are not joining the company for immediate profits or satisfaction. Instead, they wish to invest as they see the potential in startups, and have a trust under the name KIC InnoEnergy. InnoEnergy´s activities in education, innovation and entrepreneurship are designed, developed and implemented by top rank industries, research centres, universities and business schools, covering the whole energy mix. They are a commercial company, consisting of 25 shareholders, and an additional 320+ associate and project partners across Europe. These shareholders come from an array of countries and industries, with many having an active presence into providing insight into the future.
After winning the competition and developing numerous sustainable brands into the future, KIC has a name recognition synonymous with success. Therefore when overseeing the target market, it is important that the company segments what it wants, who it wants it from, and where. Currently, KIC places a strong importance on Inventors and Industry, Graduates and Employers, Researchers and Entrepreneurs, and Businesses and Markets. Through these come some well educated entrepreneurs, but also novice start-ups in need of an education and the tools to succeed. Therefore, InnoEnergy developed the Master’s School as an assistance in their personal growth. Since its start, InnoEnergy has had over 11,000 applicants to the InnoEnergy Master’s School, in which 9/10 of those who graduated from the Master’s program were able to find jobs within six months of graduating, and on average earned a €15% greater annual salary than graduates from similar programs. InnoEnergy has had about 500 graduates from their Master’s School, and offer an additional seven Master’s Programs, a PhD school and an Executive and Post-Master’s education. Applicants have been received from over 40 nations and about 12% of graduates have started their own businesses. For Businesses and Markets, InnoEnergy has supported over 190 early start-ups, more than 100 companies created, and raised about €75.4m in external investments. InnoEnergy provides support to researchers, inventors, and innovators in four areas: value, protection, support, and returns. Value, by providing the networking potential unforeseen anywhere else in the industry, at a fraction of the cost had you dedicated the time and research yourself. Protection in the sense of economic stability, but also an investment into the well being of the individual company’s needs. Support through connections and guidance along the way, and a large return on investment once the business exceeds its previous goals and expectations.
KIC InnoEnergy can be compared to “Shark Tank” in their approach to business development and funding. While InnoEnergy is funded by the EU, they are a for-profit company that focuses on investing in start-ups and projects that they believe will have high commercial potential and ultimately support their plan for sustainable energy and clean technology across Europe. InnoEnergy follows a support plan from lab to launch with the help of their vast network of industry, businesses and researchers to; shorten the journey from lab to launch, connect innovators with business partners, create a market analysis and business models, IP support, sales and first customer knowledge, and the ability to turn prototypes into commercial products within five years (InnoEnergy.com). When InnoEnergy decides that they want to fund a project or start-up they will create a deal with that innovator and become a shareholder in that idea/product which they will then provide direct funds and a very customized lab to launch plan for a percentage. Although there are many companies established that do similar work to InnoEnergy for free; such as ESADE or City Tech, none of those companies get involved as much as InnoEnergy does with the development nor has as many available resources. It is also important to note that InnoEnergy does not just freely invest in any “sustainable energy” ideas, but instead holds an acceptance rate of about 5% and has a very strong success rate And they also accept applications for their services to companies that are not based in Europe – they only have to have operations in Europe that involve renewable energies (InnoEnergy Visit).
Some of the many start-ups InnoEnergy are currently supporting include: Antecy, a chemical fuels to sustainable energy company in the Netherlands; DAK GPS, a clean coal tech company in Poland; BeOn Energy, a renewable energies start-up in Portugal and Coturnix, a smart and efficient buildings and cities start-up in France. InnoEnergy also supports many cleantech projects as in: Bio-Eco-Matic, a clean coal tech that focuses on transforming low-cost straw into high-value heating product sheets; FOGA, a lifelong interconnected smart battery system for off grid applications and HIPHONE, a high pressure tank for hydrogen storage.
KIC InnoEnergy has a vision and key goal of sustainability and pioneering different ways to change the sustainable energy game in the EU. When in comes to marketing and branding, InnoEnergy does not have to market themselves greatly in order to receive applications, instead they are a well known company with a large presence within Europe from their offices in 8 different countries and residence in 14. On top of their distinct Highway and Boostway services for start-ups and established companies, InnoEnergy also gives entrepreneurs access to a community of top European Venture Capital companies – creating their own Venture Capital Community.
In addition, KIC InnoEnergy has also developed Delphos. Delphos is a revolutionary online tool used to make it easier for innovators to bring products in the field of sustainable energy. By creating Delphos, InnoEnergy began to provide the only free tool available in the market to predict the impact that innovation will have on the cost of energy. In doing so, InnoEnergy hoped to improve the analysis of the impact of innovations on costs and to allow the research community, industry, policy makers and investors to make robust decisions about the role of innovation in the energy sector as well as to feed their strategy definition processes. Now the question is why would InnoEnergy pour so many resources into a tool that would be free for users? By establishing this reference tool, the evaluation of the impact of single and concrete innovation on the typical economical parameters of energy facilities levelizes the cost of energy, (LCOE) the key indicator. Since spurring innovation in the industry of energy is the largest component of InnoEnergy, bringing about a tool which would change the ease of use and pricing for developers establishes company loyalty towards InnoEnergy, and a stronger persistence to work with the company to develop additional plans and initiatives.
Along with the many many many pieces of InnoEnergy, another important part of KIC InnoEnergy is their PowerUp! Competition. PowerUp! Is Europe’s largest regional competition for energy start-ups in central and eastern Europe that offers the opportunity for startups to take part in their flagship Highway program, which offers €150k to the most promising sustainable energy start-ups, along with three cash prizes of up to €20k. Pictured here is this past years winners for the PowerUp! Competition hosted in Budapest. 2017’s grand finale winner was HeatVentors from hungry for their solution that offers an innovative thermal energy storage with phase change materials which can save 90% space and 20-40% energy, with .5-2 years return on investment. This technology that was presented by Rita Frank and Zoltan Andrassy encompassed a variety of thermal energy storage applications including: deep freezing technologies, comfort, cooling, and heating technologies, concentrated solar thermal power plants and renewable energy resources. The runner up was to FLASC from Malta which is an energy storage device that integrates into a floating offshore platform. And in third place was VIA ALTA from the Czech Republic, which encompassed the production of biofuel from biodegradable waste (InnoEnergy.com).
KIC InnoEnergy is a great company that encompasses so many key areas from innovation and business creation to sustainable energy; and targets almost any age from grad students and entrepreneurs to children with their Lumen program. “CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) has huge innovation potential and we’re on a mission to realise that. We want to find the biggest, best and brightest innovations that can make Europe’s sustainable energy future a reality.” states Jakub Miller, CEO of InnoEnergy Poland Plus. InnoEnergy is unlike any other sustainable energy company in the world and has the power and means to make the changes and improvements for Europe and eventually the world’s use of energy and better focus on renewable and sustainable sources.