Setting the right innovation challenge

Atos is a global leader in digital transformation. Atos employees 110,000 across 73 countries with annual revenue of Euro 12 billion.

Atos holds the number one position in European advisory companies in Cloud, Cybersecurity and high-performance computing that provides end-to-end solutions to Orchestrate a wide array of Digital Solutions.

Why do I single out Atos for a post? There are several good reasons:

Firstly, I like its stated purpose “to help design the future of the information space” and Atos looks to contribute to the development of scientific and technological excellence.

Secondly, I have worked with, often exchanged views and shared from the work that a wonderfully knowledgeable person so often provides on such a diversity of subjects. I do recommend you should certainly follow Antonio Vieria Santos (@AkwyZ) who works within Atos in a roving, supportive role building community knowledge. We presently meet and participate in the Siemens #SIEx community together, and each time I find the opportunity to talk with him, I learn from him. He is a great teacher to engage with and passionate about diversity in opinion and knowledge sharing.

Thirdly, Atos has recently been ranked number 1 in sustainability performance within the IT services sector for the second year running, and they continue to push social responsibility, and this brings me to why I am writing this post.

Atos has made a significant commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emission for themselves by 2035, as have many others. Still, it is the leveraging of this sustainability journey of their clients towards decarbonization, security and digital inclusion that attracts me in a core purpose and need, that for me, makes for further investigation.

This commitment drew me in to investigate further.

I spent some time taking a deeper look at Atos and its positioning in the decarbonized digital services through its sustainability consulting capabilities. Atos recently completed the acquisition of EcoAct, a climate strategy consulting firm with a team of 160 climate experts. This acquisition further shapes a global Decarbonization Excellent Center to offer comprehensive delivery capabilities for clients and their climate ambitions.

My fourth reason came from my investigations and shared focus.

Fourthly Atos is looking to develop digital solutions to support decarbonization. They rightly state it becomes an important aspect is to challenge the existing and find new innovative ways to solve decarbonization issues across many tough areas. Atos decided this year on an IT challenge seeking out to develop digital solutions that will support multiple decarbonization initiatives to help companies and society as a whole tackle climate change.

I relate strongly to this as the #EnergyTransition is a core focus area for me, and I devote a significant part of my time researching, exploring and explaining this transition. If you are interested, go over to my dedicated posting site of www.innovating4energy.com – a transition in all of our lives. Increasingly our “collective” focus will be on this overarching need to decarbonize the planet.

My own views on the themes for Decarbonizing has been set in my agenda setting post if you care to read it.

Atos offers its first international student competition dedicated to technological innovation.

I really hope this is well supported, the challenge is vitally important to continue to accelerate the energy transition we are all undergoing. This is their first international student competition dedicated to technological innovation. Let me outline this here: Technological innovation to achieve decarbonization is vital.

The challenge closed for entry on 29th November 2020, so registration please go here

Background and challenge

The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, particularly Carbon Dioxide. This is especially true in the area of energy production and usage; by increasing the share of low-carbon energy sources, especially renewables, with a corresponding reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

They are asking students to develop a functioning application, mobile app, service or simulation to support industry, commerce or individuals in the drive for decarbonization. They are looking for interesting applications that could have immediate and impactful real-world applicability.

  • In power generation and demand, how can we support a shift to nuclear, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, solar, wind and tidal forms of generation?
  • In the area of power use and efficiency, perhaps local power generation, distribution, storage and community schemes can be investigated?
  • In the production of steel and cement, which produces large emissions, are there ways that digital solutions can reduce or optimize the use of these materials?
  • In agriculture and farming, we need to solve the large volumes of methane release. The use of inorganic fertilizers releases methane into the atmosphere. Additionally, livestock farming (particularly cattle) produces large volumes of methane. Can we reduce these emissions, or use digital technologies to make better use of waste methane?
  • How can digital technology help to prevent the destruction of rainforests or aid in the recovery of deforested areas?
  • In transport, how can digital technology support a shift from fossil fuels to electricity or hydrogen, maximise the use of public transport, car-sharing and rental schemes? Can this be extended to shipping or air travel?
  • Can digital solutions aid the distribution and delivery networks supporting increased online product and grocery shopping, especially now that we’re living in a world so impacted by coronavirus?

The 2021 winning team will receive €10,000 to help them bring their app to the market and the two finalists respectively €5,000 and €3,000. Also The IT Challenge organizing committee will offer to all the members of the winning team and the two finalist teams the possibility of applying for an IT Challenge-fast track internship to work within Atos on subject areas relating to their projects.

You can follow the competition on Twitter at @atositchallenge

Finally a useful link to more on the competition: on More information about Atos decarbonization ambition

I can only wish Atos and those that take up this challenge good luck. The areas chosen are so vital to have all levels of innovative solutions. Finding imaginative digital solutions to decarbonization is so much part of our needs today in making this energy transition

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