EDF Energy’s innovation challenge is offering start-ups and entrepreneurs a chance to take their ideas to market through the company’s innovation accelerator Blue Lab.

Companies whose ideas are deemed the best will be shortlisted, after which they will work closely with EDF over a 12-week period, receiving mentoring from senior leaders and gaining access to experts.

They will be given an opportunity to validate their products, and trial and test them in live environments to gain customer feedback and consumer insights.

The companies all have the chance to gain investment from EDF to develop their concepts for the mass market. As well as this, the overall winner will receive a £10,000 prize.

Blue Lab is looking out for entries that fit its key areas of focus, such as:

  • Electric vehicles – products and ideas for businesses and consumers transition to electric vehicles
  • Improving customers’ lives – innovation to make lives of consumers better
  • Electric future through artificial intelligence – solutions to accelerate the electric future and make EDF the most attractive supplier through emerging AI
  • Wildcard – fresh ideas outside of the scope of the other three areas which still fit with EDF’s operations and hold potential to energise the sector.

Jean-Benoit Ritz, director of innovation and Blue Lab at EDF Energy, said: “This challenge offers the most innovative start-ups a unique gateway into the world of energy to help us, jointly, deliver a powerful future for the benefit of society. EDF Energy has a strong history of promoting innovation and we want to ensure we continue to gain a fresh perspective by collaborating with an even wider range of young companies.”

Winners from previous years include British company Powervault, a supplier and manufacturer of smart energy storage systems. On the competition, managing director Joe Warren said: “Winning the Blue Lab competition has been amazing. The Blue Lab team has worked with us to launch Powervault to EDF Energy customers, creating a market-leading proposition.  We are very grateful for the huge opportunity Blue Lab has given us and we look forward to continuing to grow with EDF Energy in the years ahead.”

Last month, plans for EDF’s proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant were delayed after the Environmental Agency published a series of concerns they had with the project’s consultation.

This came a few days after EDF hired 21 apprentices from Horizon Nuclear Power’s suspended Wylfa Newydd project.