The two winners were:
- Geospin Smart Cities and Industries SCI Research Group’s big data analytics for optimising the prediction of mobility and energy demands
- Blue Motion Energy BV’s turbines that improve on the efficiency of power-generating marine current turbines by up to 70 per cent.
The two winners were presented with Erasmus Energy Business Awards by Rick Heerink, innovation and change manager for Stedin and a member of the judging panel for the Award.
Volker Beckers, chairman of the advisory board for the Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business, (ECFEB) a specialist research centre at RSM, said the judging process had been especially difficult. “Both companies’ submissions ticked all the boxes; it was impossible to decide between them. By having two winners this year, we are highlighting equally important innovations in the digital world and in new energy technology,” said Beckers.
Geospin is a data-science start-up that supports companies in understanding the spatial components of their data and processes, based at the University of Freiburg in Germany. It develops and validates geo-analytic methods for smart city issues such as mobility, energy and crime. Geospin’s research uses analyses of big data to reveal the geographical and temporal information behind data from mobile phones, connected devices and other sources. This data can be used to improve contact with customers, optimise services according to demand cycles and decrease environmental impact and costs – for all kinds of operations and activities. The company’s algorithms have been developed over more than four years, and the information they produce can be extrapolated to other urban areas. It holds potential for large savings for city administrations and councils, for example.
“It has high relevance being in the urban energy market,” said the Erasmus Energy Business Award judges. “And it is very much driven by solutions. It can strengthen energy information networks”.
Blue Motion Energy
Start-up Blue Motion Energy, based in Papendrecht in the Netherlands, has developed a new rotor technology to efficiently generate sustainable energy from ocean currents and wind together, in a tough marine environment which presents engineering challenges for energy producers. The Blue Motion Energy turbine has radially placed dams in a funnel shape that sit partially above the surface of the sea to harvest power from both current and wind.
The Erasmus Energy Business Award judges said Blue Motion Energy’s business model and technology challenges the future energy market. “To build a sustainable energy future, we will have to start relying a lot more on classical elements such as water and wind. Blue Motion Energy is focusing on long-term sustainable solutions with use of these elements,” said the jury.
Shortlist of three
The two award winners were among three concepts that made it to the shortlist for the Erasmus Energy Business Award, and were judged on their innovation, sustainability, viability and impact. In addition to winners Blue Motion Energy and Geospin, the runner-up was Norsepower, a company based in Helsinki, Finland. Its spinning cylinder uses the Magnus effect (in which a spinning object curves away from its principle flight path) to harness wind power to propel a ship. When the wind conditions are favourable, Norsepower’s rotor sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. “Norsepower’s business model can be commercially very attractive. Also, they have well-engineered a system with high environmental impact,” said the judges.