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Qarnot Computing’s smart heating system wins £10,000 in ENGIE Big Pitch Competition

29 June 2017

ENGIE has chosen Qarnot Computing as the winner of the 2017 Big Pitch competition, with the company receiving a £10,000 prize.

This award, made on Friday 16th June at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, was the culmination of ENGIE’s annual UK Innovation Week programme, part of a global initiative by the ENGIE Group involving 180-plus activities in 29 countries around the world.

The winning business was one of the top five companies from 50 entrants who made it through to the final of the Big Pitch Competition, which this year focused on SMART buildings.

Qarnot’s pitch focused on the Q.rad, a ground-breaking computing heater using embedded microprocessors as a heat source.

The heat produced provides free and efficient heating for residential, office and public buildings.

The company also offers a cloud computing service through a fully distributed infrastructure where computing power is deployed not in concentrated data centres but instead distributed throughout the city in the form of Q.rads.

In addition to being awarded the £10,000 prize in the competition, Qarnot Computing will now have the opportunity to develop a proof of concept with ENGIE’s UK business.

Hélène Legay of Qarnot Computing said: “I feel really enthused about all the opportunities this will bring to Qarnot in our ongoing relationship with ENGIE.

"We’ve had several meetings with ENGIE since last year, and met with several teams, and that led to our decision to enter the Big Pitch.

"This win confirms that there is certainly the potential for successful collaboration in future projects.”

Through the Big Pitch ENGIE was seeking to discover the next big idea in SMART building technology.

Supported by Cambridge Cleantech (a members’ organisation supporting the growth of environmental goods and services or ‘cleantech’ companies in the Greater Cambridge area), the competition was judged by a panel of clean energy and smart technology experts including Lucy Armstrong (The Alchemist) and Nick Bassett (InnovateUK) as well as ENGIE executives.

Wilfrid Petrie, ENGIE CEO in the UK and Ireland, said: “Once again the Big Pitch competition has brought out the best in UK innovation.

"The judges were impressed by the quality and range of ideas uncovered during the competition, demonstrating that innovation and entrepreneurship is thriving across the UK.

"The winning pitch, Qarnot Computing, offered some exceptional approaches that could have a transformative impact in how we operate and maintain our buildings.

"We congratulate Hélène and her team for a truly innovative approach and we look forward to ENGIE and Qarnot Computing continuing towards a successful business future.”

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