In a bid to move forward in India on its global philosophy of Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric, had earlier this month, announced its innovation challenge ‘Hackware 2019.’
The company, which boasts of energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability, has called for participant entries to present ideas on areas that have impacted urban, residential, buildings and industry spaces. Built around the three themes of Decarbonization, Decentralization and Digitization, the company aims to find ideas that can show the critical significance of sustainability in the country.
Premraj Krishnakutty, Vice-President, Research & Development, Schneider Electric India says that this is the first time that they have planned such an initiative with the external ecosystem. “It is the first such challenge in India. As a market, India has been a big hub and we wanted to hear more from the local community. We thought sourcing more ideas from the industry would be apt enough,” he said.
The Grand Finale from September 18-21 in Coimbatore will witness a 72-hour-hackathon, with master classes on technology, innovation, design thinking and keynote by experts. Teams will be selected during the hackathon to make presentations to the jury. The company is expecting to receive over 1000 entries by the last week of August, with 10 ideas that would eventually make the cut. “The objective is to create an innovation ecosystem and be well acquainted with it. So far, we have received a lot of ideas on how to best optimise power and energy in commercial buildings and residences,” adds Krishnakutty.
Besides this, many entries have also been received on how to have cost effective systems in place for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging.
The challenges are closely connected to the company’s sustainability business strategy and are in alignment with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Schneider Group, essentially, has five sustainability megatrends centred around Climate, Circular economy, Ethics, Health & Equity, and Development.
Incidentally, Schneider has completed projects across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam offering solutions such as portable lamps, Solar Home Systems and Micro Grids that provide a backup of 6-10 hours.
Krishnakutty feels that India’s growing economy implies that resources need to be used more wisely. “We work with communities to provide power where there isn’t power. If you manage energy better, it essentially translates to saving resources. We don’t use our power effectively. The residential spaces can also be more effective by using decentralised sources of power. The potential of the economy can be better realised by having cleaner power,” he asserts.
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