ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and BBL Ventures announced a call for applicants to its Robotics Reverse Pitch Energy Challenge, with a prize of $60,000 awarded to the winning application. The deadline to apply for this challenge is Monday, May 13, 2019.
ExxonMobil said they’ve identified potential robotics/automation applications in their refining and chemicals manufacturing, with challenges titled “Opening Process Equipment” and “Arc Flash Risk Reduction.” Applicants chosen to participate in the reverse pitch, in which an organization pitches the problems they want startup teams to solve, will be invited to Houston for the finals.
Two challenges to solve
The first challenge, Opening Process Equipment, is asking companies to create a method to stop exposure to flow or residual material. The second, Reducing Arc Flash, aims to create a mechanism for the specified units that will reduce the risks of arc flashes for electricians, as a way to promote personal safety in addressing and reducing negative events on campuses globally. More details on each challenge are available at this website.
“This event will showcase ExxonMobil’s commitment to innovation by inviting outside companies to partner with and solve challenges ExxonMobil employees face in the field,” said Tim Westhoven, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Technology Scouting and Ventures Advisor. “We are extremely excited to sponsor this event as well as the opportunity to partner with entrepreneurs who are on the forefront of technology.”
“We confront many challenges with the maintenance of petrochemical facilities and are eagerly looking forward to engaging entrepreneurs, educational institutions and local business in helping us visualize new approaches and solutions to old problems,” said Michael J. Creedon, mechanical manager at ExxonMobil Baytown Complex, where the event will be held.
The challenge is overseen by BBL Ventures, a partner for the energy and natural resources industry, helps identify pain points and technology gaps to build solutions, provide funding, and aid in scaling new companies.
Not only do companies get a chance to pitch a technical solution and potentially win a monetary prize, they also have a possibility of funding a commercial pilot to produce the solution, the companies said. Winning entrepreneurs or companies can also receive guidance as they formulate a business plan and test their concepts for viability.