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How can we build a more inclusive and diverse energy industry? Enel has been nominated by Fortune as the company that will change the world by transforming the energy industry making it more innovative and sustainable. We are committed to develop the best solutions to make innovative and clean energy available to everyone. We also want to close the gender gap in energy technologies by bringing out the best women entrepreneurs and providing them with a unique opportunity to develop and scale their solutions at global level.


The challenges we selected are focused on:

  • Optimizing energy storage systems
  • Improving technologies for renewable generation
  • Sustainability and recycling of renewable assets
  • E-Mobility, new services for new charging stations
  • Circular Economy
  • Creating value from data
  • New Offers and Services based on the Second Generation Smart Meters (open meters)
  • Projects SDG driven


This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 5 - Gender equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry innovation and infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate action


This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge that aims at recognising and showcasing the best start-ups and SMEs founded and/or managed by women that are successfully addressing these crucial challenges for the energy industry; the Solver winning Solvers will be eligible to an Award that includes: 20,000 during a gala event, featured article in specialized media, consideration to collaborate with Enel.




For questions about the challenge and your proposal you can contact EnelOpenInnovabilityChallenges@innocentive.com



With this Challenge, we want to recognise and showcase the best startups and SMEs founded and/or managed by women. We are asking for their help to solve the following Enel’s challenges:

  • Optimizing energy storage systems: storage is one of the pillars of the future of energy and we are looking for new storage technologies, architectures and control strategies to minimize its costs and to improve the way our Energy Storage assets are built, operated and maintained, in order to maximize their profitability. We are targeting all the energy storage uses and all technologies suitable for the electricity sector: integration with fossil and renewable power plants, use as stand-alone asset for grid support, integration with commercial, industrial and residential customers behind their meter, integration in minigrid for remote areas, vehicle to grid applications. Please see attachment to learn the innovation areas we are more interested in.

Thematic Area: Storage


  • Improving technologies for renewable generation: as we are one of the world’s leaders in renewable, we are interested in solutions able to:
    • increasing power plants energy availability, also by mixing two or more generational technologies (in hybrid plants) and combining them with electrochemical energy storage systems
    • integrating renewable energy in anthropized environments through the adoption of small scale, low visual impact machinery, such as advanced wind generators, small-scale thermodynamic solar power systems and specific architectural integration solutions
    • experimenting with renewable energy sources currently not included in Enel’s generation fleet, such as marine energy.

Thematic Area: Renewable


  • Sustainability and recycling of renewable assets: we are committed to increase our investments in the energy production from renewable sources and we know how thinking circular is important in this field: we want to make all our renewable assets sustainable also when we have to dismiss them. New uses, technologies to extract and recycle assets components or even solutions for a sustainable production is what we are looking for.

Thematic Area: Sustainability


  • E-Mobility, new services for new charging stations: we are looking for innovative ideas that can improve the business in the area of the electric vehicle chargers in one or both of the following areas:
    • maximizing value from Enel X chargers in public places. Enel X is deploying thousands of charging stations, that their primary purpose is to allow people to charge electric vehicles. However, we believe there are many other options to extract more value from public chargers, for both Enel X and our customers. We seek ideas and products for multi-purposing of these assets, so as to use chargers to provide other services, by taking into account their presence in public places (e.g. publicity, sensors, repeaters, data analytics, etc.)
    • innovative ways for invoicing and paying recharging services: Enel seeks innovative, smart and flexible methods more and more based on digital tools to liaise with customers and account for the service provided (i.e. not based on kWh or minutes).

Thematic Area: E-mobility


  • Circular Economy: Innovative, sustainable and circular solution for domestic solar panels and inverter: solutions are considered along the entire life cycle of the product more than just manufacturing process. It means that also solutions for installations, end of life treatment, second life, upcycling, digital platform, communities, innovative commercial channels within the two above businesses are considered.

Thematic Area: Sustainability


  • Creating value from data: Data are today a driver of growth and evolution. Flows of data have created new infrastructures, new services, new businesses, and new economies. Digital information is unlike any previous resource; it is extracted, refined, valued, bought and sold in different ways. It changes the rules for markets and it demands new approaches from regulators. In whatever industry, data are always getting more significant. Many companies will generate a tremendous volume of raw data that could be useful (manageable and sellable) by another company for another industry. Nowadays data are a certainty and they have a huge value both strategic and economic. How can the open innovation approach help a company that wants to become a data driven organization generate new value from the huge amount of data it continuously collects?

Thematic Area: Digital Solutions


  • New Offers and Services based on the Second Generation Smart Meters (open meters): we are looking for new innovative offers and/or services to be offered to our residential customers, leveraging on the features of our second generation of smart meters (open meters).in particular we are interested into proposals:
    • providing superior services creating real value to our customers and driving loyalty by means of stability/transparency of costs over time, flexibility, interaction, involvement;
    • introducing new products in particular new energy product/pricing structures offering superior value to customers;
    • experimenting with new business models checking for space in the market for completely different business models.

Thematic Area: Market and Customer Services


  • Projects SDG driven: In order to define and to implement a competitive strategy that guarantees the long-term value creation, companies should meet social needs by expanding at the same time business opportunities, boosting a virtuous circle in which innovation is the engine to increase social impact (therefore also environmental) over time. Most specifically, we pay attention in harmonizing three fields (water, energy and food - WEF) through the implementation of projects referred to access to electricity (SDG 7) and to socio-economic development (SDG 8). The WEF nexus refers to three main sectors: water security, energy security and food security, inextricably linked among each other. We are asking for innovative solutions capable to overcome complexities in the given sectors. These ideas have to be referred to the possibility to involve local women or female entrepreneurs.

Thematic Area: Sustainability




Challenge rules

We want to bring out and promote the best startups and SMEs founded and/or managed by women. We are asking for their help to solve Enel’s challenges.

To take part to this specific challenges, you have to comply with all the requirements mentioned below:

  • Female entrepreneur/founder and/or CEO and/or C Level manager;
  • Incorporated company, startup or SME:
    • Incorporation life of max. 10 years
    • Max. 100 employees
  • Having technology or solution at commercial stage, ready to be tested and, possibly, applied to Enel’s businesses;
  • Legally owner of the proposed solution;
  • Non-exclusive right of use limited to the challenge (read carefully the regulations), sub-licensable to third parties;


Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (CET) on 15/02/2019. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

All proposers are invited to read carefully the challenge and the regulation of this contest (attached at the bottom of this page) before to submit a solution. By submitting a solution they automatically accept the Regulations other than the Terms of Usage of this platform.

What happens next?

The Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.


  1. ELIGIBILITY: all the received proposals will be screened to check their compliance with Challenge Rules;
  2. SCREENING: the eligible proposals will be screened by the Innovation department of Enel, that will select a shortlist of the best ones in terms of technological innovation, maturity and applicability to Enel’s businesses;
  3. SELECTION: a jury composed by senior executives of Enel will select the best proposal;
  4. ANNOUNCING: the winner will be awarded during a dedicated event


The evaluation of innovativeness of the solution and/or novelty of the business model is determined by Enel




InnoCentive collaborates with Enel to manage this challenge.

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.


About the seeker Enel

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CSA eRFP - Enel Women in tech

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Optimizing Energy Storage Systems

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