The largest private sector energy company in Brazil in electric energy generation, commercialization and transmission, transportation of gas and energy solutions and infrastructure, ENGIE was selected among the five leading renewable energy corporations with startup relationships, according to the Top 100 Open Startups platform ranking.

The result is an indication of the effort ENGIE has made in furthering initiatives for fostering the innovation chain in the country, bringing benefits for both company and partners.

“Innovation is part of ENGIE’s strategy and plays a critical role in the transition to a carbon neutral world. To be recognized as a corporate leader in Open Innovation serves to reinforce our vision that innovation is strengthened through collaboration. At ENGIE, we promote innovation through inhouse programs, across all our units and teams in Brazil and globally, through partnerships with startups, universities and other agents in the ecosystem”, says Mauricio Bähr, ENGIE Brasil’s CEO.

The CEO also makes a special point of highlighting the importance of the joint effort of ENGIE’s partners and employees. “We have been successful in developing a wide range of ideas, opinions and knowledge. In this way, we develop innovative solutions for making ENGIE a leader in the energy transition, supporting our clients in their own energy transitions and fostering innovation in the ecosystem of which we are a part”, he concluded.

ENGIE also makes a special point in supporting the innovation chain through calls for proposals of projects in various segments such as renewable sources, the natural gas chain, energy efficiency and solutions for Smart Cities. Another focus in fostering startups is designed to help the optimization of processes, reinforcing the company’s governance.

Open innovation has been a matter of increasing debate and included by organizations in their business plans, a practice inculcated in ENGIE’s culture.

The 100 Open Startups platform and responsible for the ranking, is a pioneer and leader in open innovation in Latin America and has published a selection of companies that most practice open innovation with startups in the country in 2020 based on data generated by the market itself. After a record number of agreements signed between corporations and startups, the platform now includes some of the biggest names.

Besides ENGIE, Raízen, Neoenergia, Solví and CTG were ranked as the five best in the renewable energy category.

In the Renewable Energies category, the ranking identified 32 corporations that practice open innovation with startups in Brazil, 19 of these involving relations developed with startups for the first time in the past year. In all, sector corporations set up 420 business relationships with 213 startups in the period, a growth of 145% compared with the 2020 edition.
Together in 2021, the 420 business relationships were responsible for directly negotiating business worth approximately R$ 52 million as opposed to R$ 13 million in 2020. The indirect impact in terms of benefits for both sides and the sector as a whole, certainly is many times greater than this amount. In relation to the partners, the larger part of the resources were destined to the IndTechs (22%), ProductivityTechs (18%), and AgriTechs (18%) hubs.

100 Open Startup Numbers

According to surveys conducted by 100 Open Startups, the number of open startups increased from 13,092 in 2020 to 18,355 in 2021. In parallel, there was also growth in the number of organizations which actively pursue these small companies – from 2,825 to 4,982.

Again, the number of declared relationships increased from 13,433 in 2020 to 26,348 in 2021, an increase of 96%. In relation to corporations with open innovation agreements with startups, the number jumped from 1,968 to 3,334 – a growth of 69%. Meanwhile the number of startups that have developed relations with corporations rose from 1,310 in 2020, to 2,344 in 2021, an even larger increase of 79%.

“The large corporations were responsible for pioneering the Open Innovation with Startups movement. However, we have seen over the last few years the adherence of smaller companies and representing all value chains, also beginning to pursue innovation in conjunction with startups. This makes the game much more accessible and democratic”, points out Bruno Rondani, CEO for 100 Open Startups. “On the other hand, the entry of more companies in pursuit of relationships with startups also engenders a much more competitive market as well as the creation of more opportunities. More startups lead to more open innovation programs and more innovation”, he finalizes.

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