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NBI wins the eleventh edition of the SACYR Foundation innovation awards

  • NBI wins the eleventh edition of the SACYR Foundation innovation awards
  • NBI presents the best proposal of the Sacyr iChallenges open innovation program, which received 245 ideas from 25 countries.
  • The Portugal-based firm proposes a solution to help Sacyr in the evaluation and assessment of natural capital and its impacts.
  • The German company Heliatek wins second price thanks to its organic photovoltaic solutions technology.

About the entity

Sacyr Agua
Sacyr Agua, a subsidiary of Sacyr manages the integral water cycle. With more than 100 treatment, purification and/or desalination plants built and designed, it is one of the leading companies in the water technology sector.

The Portuguese firm Natural Business Intelligence (NBI) has won the eleventh edition of the Sacyr Foundation Innovation Awards.

The Sacyr Foundation has awarded the solution presented by this firm, which acts on the valuation and management of the natural capital of projects. Out of the 245 submissions, NBI's proposal is the one that adapts best to one of the four challenges issued by Sacyr in the framework of its open innovation program, Sacyr iChallenges.

In addition, the Sacyr Foundation has awarded a second price to the German firm Heliatek for its organic photovoltaic solutions technology.

NBI's solution is a tool to evaluate the natural capital and the impacts of Sacyr's projects on ecosystem services. Together with NBI, Sacyr will carry out a pilot project in La Palma (Canary Islands), where, for the last three months, there has been an active volcano that is changing the physiognomy of the island.

The solution provided by NBI responds to the challenge issued through Sacyr iChallenges regarding the measurement of the ecological impact of the company's activities. The finalists for this challenge were BC3 Research Basque Centre for Climate Change (Spain) and Creando Redes (Spain). 

Manuel Manrique, Chairman of Sacyr, stressed that the company has extended innovation to the entire workforce and the different external innovation agents. “The great reception of the challenges that we issue in Sacyr iChallenges and the high regard of these Innovation Awards, which are already on their 11th edition, are proof of the success
of this strategy”, Manrique pointed out.

“Thanks to innovation, we are able to be of better assistance to out clients, and their present and future needs; every time more and more focused on sustainability”, he added.

Runner-up prize goes to Heliatek

Heliatek wins second price prize thanks to a project that responds to the challenge of creating energy-efficient facilities, such as university campuses, and reducing their carbon footprint.

The German firm works in the field of organic photovoltaics and develops solutions that adapt to different building structures. Heliatek presented its solution of ultra-thin, organic photovoltaic modules that can adhere to any surface.

The other finalists in this challenge were SEaB Energy (UK) and BDP EnviroTech (USA).

As for the other two challenges, Alpha 311 (UK) is the solution that best addressed the Genera challenge of clean energy production in linear infrastructures. Greerail (Italy) and Lusoco (Netherlands) were the other two finalists.

For the Smart Inventory challenge, DotGIS (Spain) took home the diploma, and ESRI (Spain), along with Cyclomedia and SEITECH Solutions (Spain) were finalists.

Sacyr's innovation strategy

The Sacyr Foundation annually recognizes the best initiatives presented by the innovative community in Sacyr iChallenges, Sacyr's open innovation program.

Sacyr iChallenges is one of the pillars of the company's innovation and transformation strategy, based on a commitment to teamwork and co-creation with the innovation ecosystem worldwide.

In this fourth edition of the program, the company has focused on driving sustainability, a key pillar of its Sustainable Sacyr Action Plan 2021-2025, with innovation as one of the key catalysts for achieving the objectives set by Sacyr.

With this plan, Sacyr is committed to contributing to the fight against climate change with a significant increase in investment in innovation for the protection of the environment.

In this edition of the program, Sacyr received a total of 245 submissions from 25 countries. After carefully analyzing all of them, the company selected the 12 agents (from Spain, the UK, Portugal, the USA, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany) whose solutions best addressed the challenges issued in this 4th edition of Sacyr iChallenges. 

Representatives from all over the world

With this open innovation program, Sacyr is looking for travel travelers with whom to promote sustainable solutions that help improve the quality of life of citizens through better infrastructures and services.

All the proposals received were evaluated by a committee of experts made up of managers from different Sacyr business areas.

The English firm, Emitwise, was the winner of the tenth edition of the Sacyr Foundation Innovation Awards. It uses machine learning to monitor and manage Scope 3 carbon emissions in real time through a cloud platform.

The runner-up went to the Spanish firm, Detektia, for their submission that answered to the challenge “anticipating, predicting, and warning about the geotechnical behavior of a given site”.

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