WEC500 programme connects startups to energy transition challenges

Climate change adaptation and the energy transition require collective effort and a holistic approach. In Rotterdam, a bustling innovation ecosystem is developing, based on collaborating partners, space to innovate and experiment and with a ‘make it happen’ mentality. Platform Zero operates at the centre of this ecosystem. During the World Energy Congress Platform Zero is organising a special WEC500 program for startup and scaleup companies, active in the field of energy transition.

Platform Zero, launched in November 2021 with the support of the City of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, is a physical and digital hub for climate and energy related innovators, aficionados and stakeholders. Its physical hub, the Climate Campus, is located in Rotterdam’s up-and-coming M4H district, where startups, corporates and NGOs can come together to co-create and collaborate on sustainable solutions for pressing global challenges around climate, energy and maritime. Platform Zero focuses on the opportunities around sustainable energy, the maritime transformation and all that contributes to a positive planet, including opportunities around energy production, storage, transportation and trade, but also opportunities around hydrogen, batteries, methanol and more.

Header photo: the official signing moment for the WEC500 programme

WEC500 programme: connections and opportunities

During the World Energy Congress (22-24 April 2024 at Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam), Platform Zero is organising  a special WEC500 programme. The aim is to attract 500 international startups and scaleups to Rotterdam for the event and to connect them to each other, corporates and investors. With thousands of international stakeholders gathering in Rotterdam for the congress, participating in the event opens up opportunities for startups to showcase their vision and innovations and to find and connect to potential partners. Through the WEC500 programme, corporates can share their climate change and energy transition related challenges with startups  and scaleups who can bring their ideas and solutions.

Collaboration Platform Zero and RSM

Hydrogen is widely seen as a crucial enabler for the energy transition. Although it has several challenges, it will be a crucial part in the energy mix to reach our carbon neutral goals. To enhance, scale, share and support hydrogen innovation, Platform Zero together with more than 10 Universities launched a Global Hydrogen Partnership. With one of these University partners; RSM, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam and its Erasmus Centre for Energy Transition, Platform Zero initiated an education programme for executives, are interested to explore the opportunities of the hydrogen economy. More information about this can be found here and here.

The Rotterdam way

Platform Zero and the WEC500 initiative are exemplary to the Rotterdam way of doing things: actively collaborating, experimenting, innovating and stepping ahead. A way that has also led to other programmes and initiatives such as PortXL (a maritime accelerator programme creating real business value for maritime start-ups and scale-ups) and Up!Rotterdam (helping startups find access to talent, funding and markets, strengthening the local ecosystem and positioning the greater Rotterdam region for innovative entrepreneurship).

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