NanoSUN and EcoG named winners of New Energy Challenge 2019

October 03, 2019

NanoSUN and EcoG have been named the winners of the fourth edition of the New Energy Challenge. The two were chosen by an expert jury from a field of more than 200 start-ups and scale-ups from across Europe and Israel who are developing advanced technologies and disruptive solutions that could be vital to meeting future energy needs.

NanoSUN was named ‘best start-up’ for the low-cost hydrogen refueler it has developed. Their technology has the potential to eliminate 60% to 80% of the cost of conventional hydrogen refuelling, enabling rapid expansion of hydrogen refuelling stations. The company will receive at least €100,000 towards a proof of concept within the Shell GameChanger programme, offering a quick and cost-effective way to further test the technical and commercial viability of their solution.

EcoG was named ‘best scale-up’ for the operating system it has developed for EV charging stations. Their operating system offers a greatly improved user experience and promises to be for charging stations, what Android is for smartphones. It makes it possible for retailers to introduce hardware-independent applications and services for better e-mobility experiences. This makes it more attractive for retail stations, and also a variety of other businesses, to increase or introduce the offer of EV charging, further developing the demand for electric driving. The company will further develop its winning pilot together with Shell’s Retail business, ultimately launching at a Shell retail site.

“Not only the winning companies, but all finalists really impressed the members of the jury. The innovations they are working on are truly inspiring. At Shell we are very ambitious about adopting new technologies, so we welcome their creativity and entrepreneurship. I look forward to working together with EcoG,” said Hilmar van den Dool, General Manager Shell Retail Benelux & France.

“Electric mobility is one of the solutions that will help meet the growing demand for transport in a lower-carbon world. Therefore, I’m especially excited to see how EcoG’s pilot takes shape. I am convinced their technology could play an important role in shaping the ‘retail station of the future’.”

Graham Hodgson, Managing Director at NanoSUN, said: “We are thrilled we won the New Energy Challenge. It has been an intense week and all finalists were so good. This is so exciting for us.”

Joerg Heuer, founder and CEO of EcoG, added: “Getting the opportunity to develop a pilot together with Shell will do a lot to help us accelerate our business. We can’t wait to get started!”

Increasing impact

This year the organisers of the New Energy Challenge – Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring – sought to increase the competition’s impact by differentiating between start-ups and scale-ups and offering separate tracks scaled to their different levels of maturity.

From over 200 applications, 27 companies were initially short-listed for the competition, based on their proposals. After a round of deep dive interviews and assessments, that number was reduced to 12 finalists who were invited to the Netherlands for a week of intensive coaching to help shape and strengthen their commercial propositions before a final pitch to the jury of experts.

The New Energy Challenge is organized by Shell in partnership with Rockstart and Yes!Delft, the two leading accelerator programs in the Netherlands. Its goal is to bring together the best and the brightest minds working on the energy transition and accelerate the transition to a lower carbon future.

The Jury

Two expert juries were asked to select the winning companies. They consisted out of the following members:

Start-up jury:

  • Deborah Nas (Professor of Strategic design for technology-based innovation at TU Delft)
  • Adrie Huesman (Principal Partnership Advisor at Shell GameChanger)
  • Evert Jaap Lugt (Managing Director at YES!Delft)
  • Hendrik Halbe (Partner & CEO Unknown Group/Founder Get in the Ring)
  • Rolf Brink (Founder/Owner Asperitas & winner NEC 2018)

Scale-up jury:

  • Neelie Kroes (Former Special Envoy for start-ups in the Netherlands, Former Vice-President of the European Commission)
  • Hilmar van den Dool (General Manager Shell Retail Benelux and France)
  • Geert van de Wouw (Vice President Shell Ventures)
  • Hugo Buis (General Manager Customer Integration at Shell)
  • Freerk Bisschop (Director Energy at Rockstart)