The group of Apro’Tech from Hungary was awarded in Brussels in the final of the joint energy poverty tackling programme of the Electric Schneider Foundation and the Ashoka International Organisation.
Overall, 14 initiatives from the region were presented before the jury. Among the winners, there is a solar energy-powered bicycle and a peculiar board game, reports Start up! Magazine.
In the final of the Tackle Energy Poverty event in Brussels, five projects from five countries were awarded. The Tackle Energy Poverty is a programme of the Schneider Electric Foundation, condensing social endeavours, and was run by the Ashoka International Organisation.
The winning projects received a prize of 3,500 euros and additional mentor support.
They were searching for the most promising ideas and initiatives in developmental stages from five countries of the region: Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Romania. They were also required to offer a solution to managing problems stemming from the economic, environmentalist, and societal aspects of energy production and consumption.
Overall, 14 initiatives were presented before the jury in the final. Out of the three Hungarian finalists, Apro’Tech received an award. The company created a mass heater for low-income families with the purpose of easing energy poverty.
The purpose of the company, established in 2000, is for Hungary to become a country that uses its resources in a sustainable way as well as giving accessible services to communities in need, mainly in the areas of energy consumption and heating during winter.
Amongst Hungarian finalists in Brussels was the group of W-heat who applied with manufacturing eco-friendly insulation from locally sourced materials. The company developed a straw-based insulating method which can be an alternative to the currently available and widely used foam material.
The Igazgyöngy Foundation wants to develop its previously created pilot for bio briquette manufacturing by establishing a sustainable business so that it gives a solution for as many beneficiaries as possible.
Schneider Electric Hungary also took part in the programme as a mentor organisation. Colleagues of the company could apply as a mentor for the three Hungarian finalists and could help them with their professional knowledge in the preparatory period.
“We are proud to side with Apro’Tech mass heater, an initiative which has now proved itself on an international level. Innovation has always played a crucial part in the life of Schneider Electric, and I think it is important to support projects that are connected to our work as well. The joint work was a great experience for our colleagues as well; according to their reports, they not only helped the group but gained a lot from the enthusiastic innovators as well,” stated Zsolt Veres, the chief executive officer of Schneider Electric.
Schneider Electric Foundation, established 20 years ago, is present in all countries in which the France-based company has an interest. The foundation contributes to the development on an individual and societal level through energy-related education, innovation, awareness-raising, and being present in higher education.
The foundation runs three programmes, and the first one is ‘Energy is for All.’ It supports those ventures in developing areas that would not survive without ensuring education and sustainable energy sources.
The second, ‘Tackling Energy Poverty,’ is offering innovative solutions for supplying energy. In several areas, even in the developed world, supplying energy is not resolved, or at least not at a realistic price.
The third is ‘Conscious Sustainability.’ This programme is concerned with solving already present energy and climate change problems on our planet with the help of various sustainable solutions.