Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has recently launch its inaugural Energy Open Innovation Challenge (EOIC) 2020, in partnership with a multitude of energy companies such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell. This challenge seeks to engage with both SMEs and startups.

The EOIC is calling for these SMEs and startups to provide innovative and revolutionary ideas that address 19 challenge statements spanning areas such as asset management, robotics, sustainability, and workflow.

ESG has stated that shortlisted SMEs and startups will have the opportunity to cooperate and collaborate directly with the four energy companies in order to develop, refine, and test their solutions both in Singapore as well as globally.

In order to help with the development of these solutions, ESG will be offering eligible SMEs and startups with up to S$1 million in grant support so they can build their track record, scale the business and create good jobs.

The winning startup for each category of the 19 challenge statements will win S$25,000 from ESG. The call for EOIC entries closes on Nov 6.

ESG said that international energy companies have in recent years been looking to increase energy efficiency and incorporate more sustainable energy sources, such as liquefied natural gas and hydrogen fuel, amid a heightened need to reduce carbon emissions and drive sustainability.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc with the global economy, the energy sector has taken a particularly large hit. Lockdown and safety measures has resulted in a severe reduction in air travel and demand for energy. Additionally, mandatory workplace safety measures to minimise the spread of the virus have affected how energy companies manage their operations and manpower deployment.

This has accelerated the need for these companies to adopt new technologies to improve their workflow and manage assets more cost effectively, which in turn will reduce manual work and create higher-value jobs.

ESG deputy chief executive Ted Tan said the EOIC provides a platform to facilitate opportunities for SMEs and startups to test-drive their solutions and build a track record with established energy companies.

“I hope this will spur more partnerships among large and small companies,” he added.


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