Energy revolution, now.

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Imagine opportunities for saving and generating energy to achieve energy independence in the EU.

Much of Europe is massively dependent on Russia in terms of energy needs, and in the current state of affairs, the situation is far from ideal. Finland, in particular, used to import 100% of all and cutting these imports would be a deadly blow to our current energy infrastructure. Being self-sufficient in the energy sector feels impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. With creativity, quick thinking, and the will to act, we could be free from imported energy — if not from everywhere, at least from Russia.

Germany relies on Russia for almost half of its gas supply and has recently had to limit gas use in electricity production. The government has had to appeal to citizens to conserve energy after Moscow cut some supplies, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times report. The supply disruption is also forcing Germany to use more coal-fired power plants. In Finland, the electricity supply might not be enough to cover demand, especially for the coming winter.

This is our challenge to you: re-imagine how Finland or any country in Europe produces and/or uses energy to bring us one step closer to energy independence. To reduce our dependency, it seems we must either use less energy, use it more efficiently, or produce more of it ourselves.
How could we produce energy ourselves? Could we store energy smartly? Are there sources of energy we're not using to the fullest? Are there processes that waste energy that could be utilized somehow?

Your solution could be, for example:
• A digital solution for optimizing energy production, consumption, and integration side of energy.
• An automation and control system for buildings to integrate and optimize demand response, consumption prediction, energy storage, and management of distributed energy.
• A new way of city planning, such as how to centralize energy generated by solar panels, how to manage demand and supply, or how to manage electric vehicle charging stations
• A smarter system to optimize the heating and cooling system in buildings to utilize energy in a smarter way — think about university buildings, for example!
• A system to change people's behavior, such as incentivizing the use of public transportation during rush hour or when energy prices differ

We’re especially looking for solutions individuals or organizations could implement rather quickly — if your solution is to build a new nuclear power plant, you’d better have an innovative plan to set it up in less than 12 months.


The winning team will receive

• 1000€ prize divided among the team members as stipends

NB. In order to pay the prize, Aalto University will need you to provide your contact and bank details.
The prize may be taxable income depending on your other income. Scholarships and grants from private entities for academic, artistic, or non-profit activities are exempt from tax if their total amount, when combined with the total amount of the scholarships, other grants, study grants, and awards disbursed by public entities and the Nordic Council, is at most equal to the amount of the annual artist grant, awarded by the State of Finland, after the deduction of the expenses for the production of income. If the net amount of grants etc. during the tax year was more than the maximum amount of the annual artist grant, the portion exceeding the maximum limit is taxable earned income (§ 82, subsection 2). The annual maximum limit is 24.475,56€. Furthermore, for Aalto employees, the prize will be paid as taxable remuneration.

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• Is the idea/concept/prototype/technology new or different compared to existing ones?
• Does the idea/concept/prototype or some parts of it distinguish it somehow from existing

• Does the idea/concept/prototype have a significant impact on society through solving the problem(s) it addresses?
• Does the idea/concept/prototype have a significant impact on the majority of the people facing the problem it solves? How large is the ratio between the number of people whose problem got solved compared to the total number of people affected by the problem?
• How scalable is the solution? Is it solving problems at the city level, country level, or global level?

• Is the idea/concept/prototype eventually realistic, viable, and feasible to be implemented from all perspectives, such as:
o Business aspects
o Social acceptability
o Recyclability of energy
• How quickly the solution can be implemented?

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. We build a sustainable future by creating novel solutions to major global challenges. We value responsibility, courage and collaboration.
Aalto is the first Finnish university to sign universities’ global Sustainability Development Goals Accord committing to advance the SDGs as part of teaching, research, innovation activities, and campus development.
Aalto Ventures Program is an entrepreneurship education program at Aalto University. For us, entrepreneurship isn’t just about founding startups. It's a mindset and a tool that helps daring individuals make the world better by solving meaningful problems either by starting their own company or from inside an existing organization.

All Challenges