Until 21 February, all young people aged 18 to 30 are once again able to submit their ideas to the EIC’s green idea competition Negavatt. The ten best teams will complete a substantial training programme and will receive EUR 1000 in the form of development funds to fuel their hunt for the competition’s grand prize of EUR 10,000 – intended to bring their idea to life – at the beginning of June.
‘Issues concerning the environment and climate are the focus of attention around the world, and the increase of wider involvement and new, substantial solutions are important for achieving the goals of the green revolution. At that, we certainly cannot forget about young people and their wish to contribute issues involving the environment,’ says Andrus Treier, CEO of the EIC. ‘We can see that there is no shortage of ideas when it comes to young people, and they exhibit the will to make the world a better place. This is why we are organising the Negavatt competition – to provide young people with a springboard to test and validate their ideas. The best of the best will also receive seed capital, but the experience gained in the competition – which will hopefully provide the courage and the will to engage in issues of the environment in the future – is no less important,’ Treier added.
Negavatt Project Manager Anni Raie says that they are expecting the submission to the competition of all kinds of ideas that will help conserve resources and preserve the environment. ‘An idea submitted to Negavatt does not necessarily have to be a complex engineering solution; instead, it may be something that contributes to making a community more environmentally friendly, for example. We await the submission of products, services, campaigns and initiatives to the competition, which can safely be at an early stage of development or even at the idea level, because the aim of Negavatt is to start growing the idea together with other teams, training providers and mentors,’ Raie explained.
After the deadline for idea submissions, which is 21 February, employees of the EIC and the Ministry of the Environment will select the 15 best ideas. A seminar, taking place on 20–21 March, awaits all ideas that have been advanced, in which the ideas will begin to take actual shape under the guidance of trainers and experts. After that, the competition jury will select up to 10 of the best who will receive EUR 1000 to test their idea, undergo a comprehensive training programme, and continue their path towards the super final scheduled for 8 June. The best team will receive the EUR 10,000 main prize to help realise their idea. Second place will receive EUR 5000 and third place EUR 3000. Prizes will also be awarded by competition partners.
In the course of its seven previous seasons, the competition – created in cooperation between the EIC and the Ministry of the Environment – has received 366 ideas, which the EIC has supported with a total of EUR 222,000. For example, the competition provided impetus to Poko, which manufactures reusable shopping bags that can be folded up into a keychain, and to Paranduskelder, located at the Aparaaditehas, in Tartu. A campaign for drinking tap water has been carried out at the University of Tartu, and the Circup dishwasher for reusable cups, mainly used at festivals, has also been created. Eimu, producing the first non-dairy milk in Estonia; Clevering, developing smart packaging containers; and Münt, offering environmentally friendly teeth-cleaning products, are all flourishing with their projects.
Sponsors of the competition are Eesti Pandipakend and Paulig Estonia. Partners of the competition include Rimi Eesti Foods, Ülemiste City, Tehnopol Startup Incubator, Luminor, Admiral Markets, the Centre for Defence Investment, and competitions Prototron and Ajujaht.