PKN ORLEN launches a crowdsourcing project to promote technology innovation
PKN ORLEN has launched Poland’s first open contest to find innovative solutions improving the energy efficiency of production processes. In line with its new approach to R&D, the Company chose a crowdsourcing model. Contestants from all over the world, including research institutes, companies, independent researchers, consultants and students, are invited to submit their proposed solutions.
The aim is to find the most creative technology concept for efficient recovery and utilisation of low-temperature heat from distillation columns. To manage the project, the Company has partnered with NineSigma, an international crowdsourcing leader, which has organised similar initiatives for BASF, GE and Siemens − companies in the vanguard of innovative industrial technologies. Contestants can enter their submissions via a dedicated NineSights web platform, available from the PKN ORLEN challenge website.
Sustainable use of natural resources is our responsibility, which is why we are constantly on the lookout for new solutions to improve energy efficiency in the course of our production activities. At the same time, we put stock in a different, but vitally important, energy source – human creativity. That’s why we have turned to crowdsourcing. Through this contest, we invite bold and innovative thinkers to help us find more efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions - said Jacek Krawiec, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
Three winners will each receive prizes of EUR 10,000 from PKN ORLEN. Those who come up with the best projects may be invited to negotiate with PKN ORLEN over their pilot implementation, with a possibility of installing them on as many as seven process units if successful. The contest is open until December 9th 2015. The submissions will then be evaluated by a team of PKN ORLEN engineers and experts, who will select the most promising ones. The finalists and winners will be announced in late March or early April 2016. Submissions can only be made online, via NineSights.com. For detailed information on the contest, see heatupinnovation.com.
ORLEN intends to use the contest primarily to look for new waste heat recovery technologies. Proposed solutions may be based on high efficiency heat pumps, generation of low pressure steam, thermoacoustics, as well as thermogalvanic or thermal-photovoltaic technologies. The Company is interested in all innovative methods, materials and hybrid form designs submitted via the NineSights platform, provided they ensure full operational safety without any toxic emissions.
We are happy to be working with PKN ORLEN, assisting them in their worldwide search for the best technology solutions meeting their current and future needs. It is through this kind of global collaboration, that we hope to create real breakthroughs enabling efficient and sustainable management of natural resources - said Rick Wielens, European CEO of NineSigma.
The contest is co-organised by NineSigma, which provides a dedicated interactive platform for organisations to tap the innovative potential of external talent. The purpose is to support the development and implementation of advanced solutions in the private, public and social sectors. In 2015, NineSigma was listed in the Inc. 5000 ranking of fastest-growing private companies in the US. For more information on NineSigma, visit www.ninesigma.com or www.ninesights.com.