AES Announces Winners of Open Innovation Contest at 2017 Innovation Congress


ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) today announced the winners of its Open Innovation Contest targeted at identifying innovative unmanned inspection solutions for extreme heat environments to help AES avoid hazardous work hours during manual inspections of energy infrastructure while increasing energy availability for customers.

Contest Winners and Proposed Solutions:

  • Roland Bruyns (individual, USA): Polymer enshrouded drone
  • Sonya Davidson (H2 Energy Now LLC, Israel): Ceramic encased drone
  • Alexander de Melo (Lexno Industrias, Brazil): Thermoelectric cooled drone
  • David Espinosa Duran (Aronax Technologies Group LLC, Spain): Sound imaging camera

The contest winners were unveiled at AES’ 2017 Innovation Congress, a biennial global event where people from across AES convene to showcase ideas and solutions that are shaping the power industry for the future and to celebrate innovation.

“The rapid rate of change and shifting dynamics in the power sector demand new and forward-thinking solutions from inside and outside the industry,” said Bernerd Da Santos, AES Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “AES’ Open Innovation Contest is part of our applied innovation approach to adapt proven technologies in other sectors for use in the power industry. The smart application of technologies, such as drones, for existing and emerging power system challenges helps us to rethink our approach and will transform the future of the global electric utility industry.”

It is estimated that more than 20 GW of generation capacity is offline globally at all times due in part to outage-related inspections, representing nearly $1 billion in lost power capacity. When system failures that halt electricity generation occur, operators typically need to wait until temperatures reach a sufficiently low level to safely inspect the confined space and repair equipment. This is both hazardous work and increases the time it takes companies to begin generating electricity again.

“Safety is our number one value at AES. We are continually seeking ways to keep our people and communities safer from the inherent hazards of electricity,” Da Santos added. “The Open Innovation Contest gives us a new vehicle to source ideas that both increase the safety of our workplaces and improve the services we provide to customers.”

AES launched its Open Innovation Contest in 2016, in partnership with NineSigma, a company specializing in connecting organizations with external innovation resources, to help advance a safer, smarter workplace, and identify potential drones and robotics solutions that can resist extreme heat. AES accepted proposals from other companies, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and inventors. Submissions came in from nine countries, covering a range of approaches, including drone designs, high temperature resistant materials, acoustic technologies, applied sensor technologies and robotics.

For more information about the contest, please go to

About AES

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 200 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 17 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce of 19,000 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. Our 2016 revenues were $14 billion and we own and manage $36 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit Follow AES on Twitter @TheAESCorp.

About NineSigma

NineSigma helps organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors find new solutions, knowledge and partners to accelerate innovation. The leader in creating ‘unexpected connections’, NineSigma has the largest open global network of solvers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning numerous industries and technical disciplines. The company helps for-profit and nonprofit organizations address problems of a global magnitude through its Grand Challenge innovation programs. Learn more at

It's on us. Share your news here.

Submit your stories and articles to citybizlist today.