Enlit Europe - The Guide: Season 3 June 2021 - A Just Transition - Page 34

and the trend is towards increasing cooperation , but there is no one-size-fits-all , so how do we ensure that the industry as a whole and every player can access innovation ?
THE HAVES Does a large utility always have a bigger innovation budget ? In most cases , the answer is yes , based on the conversations I ’ ve had .
What does this mean for their cooperation with start-ups and scale-ups ? They have more experience , structured processes , scouting capabilities , stronger cooperation with accelerators and the wider investment ecosystem , and in some cases a corporate venture arm to coinvest in technologies .
This doesn ’ t mean that everything necessarily runs smoothly , the technologies still have to scale successfully through the organisation and business lines . but it does give them a head start over their smaller contemporaries .
However , if we talk about an energy transition where no-one is left behind , doesn ’ t access to innovation also need to include small to medium utilities ?
THE HAVE NOTS If you ask municipal utilities or smaller energy companies , they have similar needs albeit on a lesser scale .
Importantly , they don ’ t have the necessary capacity , resources or expertise to access innovation in the same way as a large utility does , and a comment I ’ ve routinely heard is that they believe they at least a couple of years behind larger utilities when it comes to establishing an innovation structure within their organisation .
If we all agree that fair innovation means the whole sector has to benefits shouldn ’ t we try to open up this space , for example by making innovation more accessible ? Make partnerships the default ? De-risk start-up corporate collaboration , cross border and cross sector ? Allow both small and large enterprises to engage with trust and confidence ? And ultimately allow everyone to access innovation and find the right tech solutions ?
Regardless of whether you are a multinational trying to find innovative solutions for a variety of challenges or you ’ re a local municipal utility needing to find the right tech to add value to the community you serve , I believe we ’ re taking an important step forward to ensuring innovation is more accessible , as well as creating shared value for all , with the development of our InitiateTech platform .
Developed in partnership with The Disruption House , InitiateTech scores and measures the ESG abilities and technical attributes of starts-ups and scale-ups to help match them with the right business partner . And as we all know when a partnership plays to each other ’ s strengths , then success is sure to follow .
For more information on InitiateTech and to find out when we launch the platform , please click HERE .
Sietske Jacobs is Global Director of Initiate
Fast-forwarding innovation is key to the energy transition and Initiate is the beating heart of innovation and the essence of Enlit Europe . It is an interactive co-working and networking space that offers an unrivalled platform for cutting-edge start-ups and young bright minds by providing opportunities to collaborate with established industry players and investors in the sector .
By bringing them together Initiate encourages existing industry professionals to be inspired by new ideas and new thinking , while the next-gen of energy entrepreneurs benefit from gaining invaluable market knowledge from the industry .
This webinar-based series takes a deep dive into the European energy innovation landscape , one country at a time , exploring them from a policy and regulation , tech , research , business , investment and cultural perspectives .
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