Energy 2050 Institute’s climate entrepreneurs

Energy 2050 Institute took part in Climate KIC’s “Pioneers” Programme this year, hosting a climate entrepreneur and sending one of our PhD students to Italy for 4 weeks.

Climate KIC is a public-private organisation helps to connect the best ideas in small and large universities and universities, to drive innovation to combat climate change. It’s Pioneers into Practice programme takes students and entrepreneurs and places them for 4-6 weeks in partner organisations abroad.

Helen Theaker, studying for a PhD in Anaerobic Digestion at the Energy 2050 Institute, spent 4 weeks in an Italian eco-village:

Why did you decide to apply for the Climate KIC programme? Can you describe what you did on your placement?

I applied for the programme because I was really interested in looking into climate issues in other countries and seeing how it affects their culture. I was doing a project on an Ecovillage in Italy, which was about helping them to improve their water management.

What have you learned from your visit? How will this be useful going forward?

From the visit on a personal level I think the most important thing that it’s taught me is that you really get out what you put in when you are faced with a difficult situation. On a professional level I’ve learned a lot about water management and about the different ways we can combat water scarcity. During the project I actually came up with a design for a new system that might be built by the village in the future, so I might be going back at some point to help them set it up!

Margus Kullerkupp completed a 4 week placement at Energy 2050 Institute.  Margus is CEO and Board Member of Sol Navitas, an SME based in Estonia.  Sol Navitas has developed thermal panels which soak up energy from the sun, which is then used to help ventilate and heat the houses.

Why did you apply for Climate KIC?

I was looking for a practical way of learning more about energy systems. There were other courses and training on entrepreneurship skills, but I wanted to spend more time to gain deeper knowledge on the sector.

What have you learnt?

It has been excellent to meet such a wide range of experts and get different perspectives and views – from architecture to energy system modellers to solar experts. This has allowed me to consider different markets for my product; understand the UK market and context for energy-saving products and potentially ways to improve the technology.  The placement has also been very useful to make new connections and contacts.