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EDF Energy Blue Lab has launched a new Blue Lab Innovation Challenge for 2017. After the huge success of last year’s Innovation Challenge, the program is looking for more creative and disruptive products and services that can shape the future of the energy sector and enhance the lives of EDF Energy’s customers.

The Blue Lab Innovation Challenge is looking for the next big thing, so if you’re working on innovative ways to create insight and value from energy data using artificial intelligence and machine learning, or developing amazing new devices, controls or approaches to make energy better for vulnerable customers, EDF Energy would love you to be part of its journey to deliver Better Lives, Better Experience and Better Energy for all of society.

There are three main categories for the Blue Lab Innovation Challenge, which isn’t looking for energy startups exclusively but any innovative ideas that can be applied to the energy sector.

Protecting vulnerable customers: The challenge is interested in ideas that can help make EDF Energy’s services more accessible and efficient for vulnerable customers.

Creating value from energy data: EDF Energy generates a lot of data from its customers and is looking for innovative uses of artificial intelligence and machine learning to help make sense of all of this data.

Wildcard: This category is open-ended where startups can pitch ideas that don’t fit into the two above categories but can still be applied to EDF Energy’s business.

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Participants in the programme will have access to mentorship and product validation from EDF Energy’s stakeholders and experts from the energy sector. Startups will have the location and necessary tools to live test their products in preparation for going to market with potential access to customers. No equity is taken but startups will have the opportunity to gain investment from EDF Energy.

EDF has also partnered with Amazon Web Services to provide access to AWS’ Activate programme for low cost infrastructure for scaling and growing.

The programme will run from January to April. Applications for the Blue Lab Innovation Challenge 2017 are open now and will close on November 13.