Digital mavericks revealed as future champions of global energy and climate challenges

ABB announces winners of 2022 ABB Electrification Startup Challenge

The champions of this year’s ABB Electrification Startup Challenge have been announced at an awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany, following an exciting finale which saw 20 finalists pitching their digital innovations to tackle a range of global energy challenges.

Against a backdrop of high energy prices, energy insecurity and record emissions, 2022 saw the highest level of entrants to the annual Startup Challenge with over 100 applications from 34 countries.

Now in its third year, the Startup Challenge in collaboration with Microsoft and SynerLeap, has become the go-to event for innovators who are developing solutions to support the world’s safe, smart and sustainable shift towards electrification.

The robust process saw 20 shortlisted startups undertake two weeks of intensive work alongside mentors from ABB, Microsoft and Synerleap to fine tune their proposals, before pitching their innovations in early May. From there, nine finalists were chosen to go through to the Grand Finale on 13 May at a live event in Berlin – three from each of the Challenge’s three categories of Smart Buildings, Smart Power and Distribution Solutions.

Introducing gamification, personalisation and edge computing, this year’s winners impressed their judges with their innovative ideas to tackle the global energy crisis.

MOOST, from Switzerland, will now work closely with the ABB Electrification Smart Building’s team to bring its Software as a Service (SaaS) platform to the market. Using hyper-personalised notifications and gamification, MOOST is all about making energy saving fun, so that anyone (regardless of experience or qualifications) can understand where the energy issues are in their building and take climate-friendly action to put them right.

Italian startup i-EM won the challenge in the Smart Power category, with its groundbreaking SaaS concept. The innovative tool, x-EM, uses Artificial Intelligence to simulate ‘behind-the-meter’ energy systems. Designed to help operators cope with fluctuations in energy costs, it will allow them to simulate different set ups for their energy assets that maximise ROI and reduce emissions, with the potential to sell extra energy back to the grid.

The Distribution Solutions’ judges were impressed with “edge innovation platform” Pratexo, which uses edge computing for intelligent grid optimisation. Pratexo’s technology enables the rapid set up of systems that can process huge amounts of data generated by IoT sensors and run advanced analytics in real time. Through the solution to be co-developed with Pratexo, ABB customers will benefit from unique tools for performing fault causal analysis for their installations, allowing better decisions for future operations.

Anton Kotov, Chief Digital and Strategy Officer at ABB Electrification said: “The talent this year was outstanding, and it was difficult to pick just three champions. Open innovation and discovery are key to tackling some of the unprecedented issues the energy sector is facing. It is only by collaborating with some of the brightest mavericks in the world that we will develop solutions to solve the world’s energy and climate challenges.”

Each of the three champions win a collaboration project with ABB worth $30,000, with the goal to launch a common solution for customers on ABB Ability Marketplace later this year, reaching audiences in over 100 countries. Winners will also receive unique mentoring support from SynerLeap – ABB ‘s startups accelerator - and from Microsoft’s startup advisors.