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Features Zurich, Switzerland 19-06-2024

2 min read

Hitachi Energy Startup Challenge 2024 awards Pond Biomaterials and Composite Recycling for sustainability innovations

The challenge addressed entrepreneurs from around the world for innovative ideas to drive sustainable solutions into the energy industry in collaboration with Hitachi Energy. The winners impressed the jury with their vision and innovative proposals.

The Hitachi Energy Startup Challenge, in collaboration with Sweden-based innovation growth hub SynerLeap, concluded last week. Two winners among six finalist startup companies were selected after a final workshop at the company´s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

The competition, launched in March this year, received submissions from around 30 countries all over the world. It challenged startups and scale-ups to develop a sustainable solution idea for the Grid Integration and Transformers’ businesses. After a thorough evaluation, a select group of entrepreneurs participated in pre-coaching webinars with Hitachi Energy experts for over 10 days and presented a solution pitch. Six finalists went forward to the final event in Zurich to pitch their solutions to a jury that included the company’s most prominent experts in technology and sustainability.

The winners will receive a collaboration project prize of up to $30,000 and the chance to become Hitachi Energy’s strategic partners by developing their solutions for a joint approach to its customer database worldwide.

The winners

Pond Biomaterials, a biotech company specializing in transforming products into fully biobased and biodegradable solutions, won the challenge for the Grid Integration Business Unit’s track, “Sustainability innovation for high voltage systems,” by proposing an innovative bio-substitute to replace perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) components.

The Hitachi Energy Startup Challenge has provided a great platform to team up with these promising and talented new companies. We are excited about the collaboration with Pond Biomaterials and to further develop their idea, which will increase our ability to make a real impact to accelerate the energy transition with the highest sustainability standards.

Niklas Persson
Managing Director
Grid Integration Business Unit
Hitachi Energy

Composite Recycling, the startup dedicated to recycling glass fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP) into reclaimed glass fibers and pyrolysis oil, won the challenge for the Transformers Business Unit proposal, “Circular solutions for an aging installed base of transformers at end-of-life,” by presenting a solution that can help Hitachi Energy on its journey to reduce the waste to landfill, facilitating recycling and supporting circularity while being energy efficient.

The spirit of the Startup Challenge is about collaboration, co-creation, and innovation, the key pillars to address the urgency of the energy transition major challenge. We are now very proud to welcome Composite Recycling as our partner. Together we expect to develop this innovative technology presented in our challenge as a way of making even more sustainable solutions for Transformers’ technology in the future.

Bruno Melles
Managing Director
Transformers Business Unit
Hitachi Energy