Iberdrola Pledge  

INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY AT STARTUP VILLAGES

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Geographical scope: Spain and Portugal.

BACKGROUND TO THE PLEDGE:

With a history of over 170 years, today Iberdrola is a global energy leader, the number-one producer of wind power and one of the world’s biggest electricity utilities by market capitalisation. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries, has more than 600,000 shareholders, a workforce comprising almost 39,000 employees and assets worth more than €123 billion.

The group is leading the transition towards a sustainable energy model and today is one of the companies with the lowest emissions and an international benchmark for its contribution to the fight against climate change and to sustainability. Additionally, Iberdrola was recognized by the European Commission as the most innovative Spanish utility and the third one at European level. In the short term, the utility will assign 330 million euros by 2022 for R&D activities,
reaching 400 million euros by 2025.

Iberdrola is strongly committed with rural areas as key stakeholders for the energy transition, with several initiatives and projects to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and the generation of local employment, to boost the economic activity of these regions and to decarbonize rural activities, for the consolidation of a zero emissions energy model.

CONCEPT

In this context, Iberdrola will focus on the objective to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability at rural areas in those geographies the group operates (for this call, specifically Spain and Portugal) throughout the identification of Startup Villages that could be eligible to become a Sustainable Startup Village.

Note:

Potential definition of start-up village: It is related to villages willing to execute activities
helping themselves to become stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous areas and communities, having approximately a population equal or lower than 15.000 inhabitants.

This initiative would be oriented to create new opportunities to attract businesses and job opportunities around reforestation and usage of land for sustainable activities that helps to improve biodiversity and reduce or capture CO2 emissions, via innovative solutions supporting the digitalization, monitoring and maintenance of these sites (e.g. reforestation sites).

Such Startup Villages must have a clear strategy and plan on the promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. It will be considered, among others:

– Planned initiatives such as events, coworking spaces or others with focus on creating
new business opportunities and talent attraction.
– The village’s strategy regarding rural and demographic challenges.
– The village’s plan regarding sustainability with special focus on renewable energy, demand electrification (mobility and heat) and decarbonization of other rural activities.
– Grants and public support for new businesses creation (i.e. start-ups) and talent attraction.
– Grants and public support regarding sustainable initiatives.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

To participate, each Startup Village should get registered and allow the project to use the information for this scouting and to be included and shown in the repository. This information will refer to:

Relevant aspects related to innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability:
– Number of start-ups and entrepreneurs associated to each Startup Village (if any).
– Innovation and entrepreneurship activities (e.g. Coworking spaces, events, matchmaking, etc) to be carry out.
– Number and brief description of activities developed by the Startup Villages before 2022.
– Strategy and plan regarding innovation and sustainability including grants and public support.

General aspect of the village:
– Number of inhabitants (maximum of 25.000 inhabitants approx.).
– A brief description of the village and its commercial/business/entrepreneurial activity.
– Content showing innovation, entrepreneurial and sustainable initiatives (e.g. pictures, videos, news, etc.)
– Availability of recent reforestation land or land to be reforested (preferably owned by the town council), including land characteristics (dimensions, location, etc.)

DATES

Open call for start-up villages registration: January 1st – February 28th
Winner announcement: end of March ‘22
Execution period: April ’22 – December ‘22

PRIZE:

The prize will consist on a collaboration with IBERDROLA which will support the cost of land reforestation and implementation of innovative solutions for the digitalization, monitoring and maintenance of the reforestation site, for up to 5 awarded proposals (depending on the quality of applicants). This could include:

– Land reforestation (if needed).
– Implementation of innovative solutions for the digitalization, monitoring and maintenance of the reforested site.
– Identification as “Sustainable Startup Village” and promotion of the initiatives on social media and public events.
– Guidance and support on other sustainable initiatives such as renewable energy, mobility or heat electrification.

Additionally, the village will be awarded with a Startup OLÉ ’22 package. Each package includes: Networking Platform / APP | Round Tables | Matchmaking | Pitch Competition | Virtual Fair / Stand | Global Visibility | Networking Cocktails (for 2 persons of each team) | And much more…