DPC’s Low Carbon Economy Unit and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands were behind today’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge: From Innovation to Commercialisation event where South Australian and Dutch experts explored how to turn innovative ideas into commercial successes.

As Bridgestone World Solar Challenge competitors crossed the finish line in Victoria Square, our brightest young minds discussed how to turn their brainpower into viable renewable energy businesses.

A panel discussion followed a keynote address from Ton Backx of Dutch company Lightyear, which has grown from a solar challenge-winning team to a start-up to a fast-growing solar car manufacturer currently accepting its first pre-orders.

The successful commercialisation of the technology developed by the University of Eindhoven’s participating solar teams, including the 2013 Cruiser-class winning Solar Team Eindhoven, was central to Lightyear’s growth.

Following his address, the South Australian and Dutch teams which competed in this year’s challenge discussed their experiences, the commercial opportunities for budding entrepreneurs through spinoffs based on their university’s solar technologies, and career options for future participants.

The event was co-hosted by Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Ian Hunter and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Her Excellency Mrs Erica Schouten.