Contxto – Spanish energy and sustainable infrastructure conglomerate Acciona will soon launch its first Latin American accelerator. Known as I’mnovation, the open innovation platform will premier in Chile this September.
The decision to bring the Spanish program to the Andean country was based on Chile’s strong economic potential.
“Chile’s entrepreneurial ecosystem wealth is an opportunity to find solutions for future challenges,” said the general director of Innovation and Technology of Acciona, Arantza Ezpeleta. “This is an ideal platform to create an innovation hub in Latin America.”
“We believe that through the program, Acciona can boost Chile’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to contribute to the adaptation that cities and industries of the future will require, becoming an agent promoting innovation in a country that is strategic for us.”
Currently, the company is preparing for the transcontinental launch. With this, it is scouting startups and tech partners with high growth potential, especially regarding sustainability.
Following suit, chosen companies will develop pilots with Acciona for three months. Together, they will study solutions in hopes of scaling and business implementation. Past projects have involved revamping wind farms’ digital infrastructure to digitizing Acciona’s maintenance operations.
Once the program ceases, Acciona will decide whether or not to sign commercial or strategic agreements with startups.
Acciona began its Open Innovation program in Spain in 2017. In preparation for future tech demands, the premise is to boost startup development by providing mentoring and guidance from the group’s team of experts. Those that accomplish the three-month acceleration then become eligible to receive funding for pilots.
Over time, it has worked with over 300 startups developing construction, energy, water, service, corporate and industrial solutions. Out of this group, 20 startups have developed joint pilot projects alongside Acciona.
Since its founding, it has also launched 21 pilot programs with various startups. Some of these initiatives have ranged from urban mobility, smart cities, digital construction, as well as energy 4.0.
Last year, the European Commission awarded Acciona with the “Open Innovation Innovative Approach Award.”