Portuguese start-up Pavnext is the grand winner of the 5th edition of Big Smart Cities, an entrepreneurship and innovation competition sponsored by Vodafone and Ericsson, with the support of Cascais. The final was held yesterday in the presence of the Minister of the Economy, Manuel Caldeira Cabral, the Mayor of Cascais, Carlos Carreiras, the CEO of Vodafone, Mário Vaz, and the Chairman of Ericsson, Pedro Queirós.
Created by an electrical engineer (Francisco Duarte), a manager (João Champalimaud) and a designer (Sílvia Soares), Pavnext is developing equipment for road surfaces that exploits vehicles’ kinetic energy to reduce their speed.
In addition to promoting road safety, the energy captured is converted into ‘clean’ electricity, which can be used, for example, in street lighting. The Pavnext system also generates traffic and speed data, and data about the energy generated and consumed, enabling the creation of reports and the optimisation of energy consumption in real time.
In addition to the first prize, two further prizes (worth €2500) and an honourable mention were also awarded. They are:
With its victory in yesterday’s final at Cascais Cultural Centre, Pavnext will now be incubated at Vodafone Power Lab, Vodafone Portugal’s innovation ‘laboratory’ which supports entrepreneurial projects. In addition, it will travel to Stockholm to visit the head office of Ericsson and its innovation clusters, as well as benefiting from the 10,000 euro prize to begin to realise its road traffic solution for the cities of the future.
In addition, starting in September, the winners and Cascais Municipal Council will streamline processes so that start-ups can test their pilot projects in the municipality, in what will be the first experimental city for start-ups.
Created in 2013 to capture technological ideas aimed at improving the daily lives of those who live and work in or visit a city, the 5th edition of Big Smart Cities received the highest number of applications of any edition to date, with nearly 240 teams entering.
The 20 finalists who yesterday competed for the jury’s recognition were decided by online registrations and at various events held in April and May in Braga, Porto, Évora, Coimbra and Lisbon.
There followed a month-long pre-acceleration of the finalists’ ideas, with each team developing their vision for the cities of the future, contributing to making them smarter, more sustainable and promoting a better quality of life for their residents, workers and visitors.
Further information at powerlab.vodafone.pt.