Since 2012, EDF’s R&D division has provided a global innovation support system (financing or partnerships for example) for energy start-ups, in addition to leveraging internal research projects and their industrialisation.
A start-up breeding ground
With 20 employees across Europe, North America and Asia, the Open Innovation team has identified more than 1,300 innovative start-ups since 2012. For the most innovative among them, the team provides support until demonstration implementation for EDF Group entities and subsidiaries or signing with commercial partners.
20 to 40
company solutions proposed a year to EDF’s entities and R&D for testing or pilot
Invest in VC funds dedicated to clean technologies
Launched in 2012, in partnership with Idinvest Partners, Electranova Capital, the EDF Clean Tech Venture Capital fund helps high-growth companies offering groundbreaking solutions become leaders in new energy and environmental technologies. The VC fund invests in early and growth stage companies in four key areas in energy transition: renewable power generation (solar, wind, biogas, marine power), energy storage and digital power (Smart Grid, intelligent power systems), energy and resource efficiency and environmental technologies.
of investments made by the VC fund are in the European market
Strategic investments in other funds
EDF also supports start-ups by investing in funds specialised in clean technology in France and internationally. The companies identified through these funds give the Group access to new applications (nanotechnology, robotics, biotechnology, connected objects, eco-technology).
Examples of successful partnerships
To inspect and follow offshore wind farm aging, the Cornis start-up created a system to take HD photos and store them online, thus replace manual inspections. The system is currently being tested at EDF Energies Nouvelles' Teesside UK offshore wind farm.
Actility offers core infrastructure components and software that enable mass scale, mission critical Machine to Machine (M2M) applications for the Smart Grid. Actility has developed Thingpark, a platform for the Internet of Things, which connects objects to make them communicative and to develop new applications and services in the field. A few antennas can cover a whole city at very low costs.
This French company is a major player in the conception, development and assembly of battery systems for electric transport markets (bikes, scooters, buses, trucks, etc.) and stationary storage.
Its partnership with EDF focuses on the development of electric mobility solutions (with Toshiba) and residential storage systems (with Panasonic).
The gravity-based foundations for offshore wind projects developed by Seatower, a Norwegian company, is adapted to new farms in deep water and is also more respectful of marine ecosystems. A test foundation has been installed at the Fécamp offshore wind farm site, in partnership with EDF Energies Nouvelles.