Access to energy promotes economic growth, builds resilience and enhances the quality of life. To meeting the exponentially growing energy needs of the planet and for making energy equitably accessible to all, it is critical to enhance efficiency in the energy lifecycle and invest in clean energy sources. Sustainable energy has the potential to transforms lives, economies and the planet. Therefore, the scope for innovative technologies to not just create impact but also transform and capture the market is more optimal now than ever.

The Social Alpha Energy Challenge is back with its second edition (SAEC 2.0) to identify promising innovations in sustainable energy and incubate them in their journey from the lab to the market. We are looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with transformative technologies that can bring about deep and irreversible social and environmental impact. Up to top 20 innovations will be selected to be incubated by the Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC). CEIIC, which is Social Alpha’s Energy Lab, is the joint initiative of Tata Trusts and the Government of India. Supported by Department of Biotechnology, BIRAC, Tata Power and Tata Power – Delhi Distribution Limited, CEIIC has become the first International Incubator in India under Mission Innovation.

Innovative energy solutions, with a strong focus on affordability, accessibility and user experience, are invited to participate in the challenge from across the entire energy lifecycle (from generation, distribution, storage to consumption) and around a range of sectors and use cases, ranging from household to industry.


Up to 20 winners to receive

  •    Complete lab-to-market incubation support, tailored to their needs, at the Clean Energy International Incubation Centre, which may include:
  •    Access to world-class lab infrastructure & test beds, technical advisory & mentorship support for R&D
  •    Support in product development, assistance with designing, rapid prototyping and design for manufacturing
  •    Opportunity to implement techno-commercial pilots with industry and sector leaders such as Tata Power, Tata Power DDL
  •    Potential to access grant funding and implement projects on the ground in the Tata Trusts network
  •    Hands on operational support, business mentorship and go-to-market strategic advisory for commercial grade product development
  •    International exposure and collaboration opportunities, especially in the Mission Innovation countries
  •    Potential opportunity to access Social Alpha’s seed support; and facilitated access to a large investor and donor network
  •    Access to shared office space with amenities and shared support services such as those for accounting, compliance, taxation, legal, IP
SAEC 2.0 is looking for individuals, institutions and start-ups with energy solutions that are technologically innovative and have the potential to create impact, scale across locations and demonstrate business model sustainability.

We are inviting applications in two categories:

Pre-pilot (for mandatory physical incubation)

This category aims to support innovation which needs support in physical prototype development and testing. This would target the following:

   Technology which is at a very early stage of product development (lab/research), stage, but theoretical proof of concept exists
   Research published in credible journals and / or suitable IPR obtained / applied for
   Research is unproven but simulated, or prototype has been designed but not built
   Early Prototype exists and simulations and early testing is underway
   Research / idea should demonstrate feasibility and a quick timeline for implementation
   For more details please check the FAQ section

Post-pilot (for physical or virtual incubation)

This category is looking to provide support in primarily product commercialization and Go-To-Market Strategy. This targets innovations which are:

   At an advance stage of product development where prototype exists and atleast one pilot has been carried out or proof of concept has been physically demonstrated
   Pre-commercial / fully functional lab prototype with some testing and feedback from users exists
   The product is ready and is already in the market
   For more details please check the FAQ section