The InnoEnergy PhD School sent twelve PhD candidates to Grenoble during the first week of July 2017 for an intensive hands-on workshop. The participants were given a truly unique opportunity to work on a real-world project:
“Chamrousse Village 1650, the Alps’ Connected Smart Resort.”
This ground-breaking project will transform a traditional ski resort into a smart, fully-connected model of sustainability.
The participating InnoEnergy PhD candidates are conducting energy-related research at some of Europe’s leading institutions, and receive additional training in business and entrepreneurship through the InnoEnergy PhD School. Therefore, they are uniquely positioned to drive innovation.
The Chamrousse project proved to be an excellent match for the PhD candidates’ competencies. In particular, the cohort was asked to help develop innovative solutions using a design thinking method under the guidance of Grenoble Institute of Technology faculty member Karine Samuel. Working in small groups, the PhD candidates came up with potential solutions to specific energy storage, district heating, and smart grid challenges (*find below the 3 websites created by the different teams presenting the solutions). They presented their ideas to a jury made up of InnoEnergy experts and Chamrousse project manager Serge Khavessian. The workshop also gave the PhD candidates a chance to connect with local stakeholders.
The format of this “Energy Solutions Design for Eco-districts” course was effective, and could be reproduced in the future to boost innovation on other energy-related projects.