Negavatt’s project manager Anni Raie opens up the background of the ideas, explaining that both resource-saving products and services, as well as initiatives increasing environmental awareness are included among them. “Several ideas are related to the overconsumption of food and textiles. Also, many projects are related to the environmentally friendly production of energy; for example, they recommend doing this by installing a dynamo on bicycles or capturing wave energy,” said Raie. “Several ideas for smart device apps and fascinating sustainable product developments were also submitted in the competition.”
The entrants include students from universities, vocational schools and upper secondary schools, as well as working adults, such as designers, IT-specialists, teachers, bloggers, environmental specialists, scientists and engineers.
On Wednesday, 4 March, a panel of experts will select up to 12 of the best ideas from among the submissions to go on to the second round of the competition. The panel includes EIC’s Communication Specialist Kati Raudsaar, Financial Expert Kadri Loide, and the Head of the Chamber of Development and Partnership Helen Sulg. It also includes advisers to the Ministry of the Environment Liisa Puusepp, Made Saadve and Janika Laht, and Senior Officer Hendrik Hundt. Furthermore, two projects will advance as the people’s choice – votes can be given via the Negavatt website between 6 and 9 March. One team has already guaranteed their spot in the next round: it is the student company Kemihaka that produces bags from recycled leather and wood. Negavatt selected Kemihaka in the student company trade fair that was held in the beginning of February.
A seminar, taking place on 14–15 March, awaits the fifteen ideas that have been selected, in which the ideas will begin to take actual shape under the guidance of trainer Mart Kikas and experts. After that, on 2–3 April, the competition jury will select up to ten of the cleverest and best thought-out ideas among the presentations and project designs of the teams, who will gain entry to a content-rich training programme, and will receive 1000 euros for testing their idea, and an opportunity to compete for the grand prize. The best ideas will be announced on 2 July in the Negavatt Super Final, where first place will receive 10,000 euros, second place 5000 euros, and third place will receive 3000 euros, to help bring their ideas to life.
Negavatt is a competition borne out of cooperation between the EIC and the Ministry of the Environment, the goal being to increase resource-related awareness and to encourage the offering of solutions that help to conserve the environment. In the course of seven seasons, 366 ideas have been submitted to the competition. Negavatt’s partners are Rimi Eesti Food, Eesti Pandipakend, Uuskasutuskeskus, Graanul Invest, Ülemiste City, Lindström Eesti, Tehnopol Startup Inkubaator, and the competitions Prototron and Ajujaht.