"The fact that Negavatt is taking place already for the sixth time, shows that today's youth wishes to change the world and do something for the environment," says the director of EIC Andrus Treier. "People always have a lot of good ideas but Negavatt gives them a real output. EIC has put up 18,000 euros as an award fund, but the knowledge received from the mentors and trainers during the competition is also important, which can definitely be useful in the future, even for making further career decisions, entrepreneurship or why not for the submission of KIK project applications."
A Negavatt idea may be a product or service that helps to conserve resources or raises awareness related to it. And that can be at home, in school, in the urban environment or around the world.
Negavatt’s project manager Kadi Mitt encourages that participation in the competition is not complicated. "Initially, we are not expecting a thoroughly prepared and budgeted project application but you need to fill in a simple and understandable text box about the problem and idea description on Negavatt's home page. "Further actions are our task, i.e. we will help young people to solidify their thoughts and make them more detailed." Mitt continues that the idea submitted to Negavatt does not have to be something big and global, but it could easily fit to the context of some school, settlement, hobby or friend circle, etc.
After the deadline for idea submissions, which is 3 March 2019, the best 15 are selected from the projects by the specialists of EIC and the Ministry of the Environment. A seminar, taking place on 6-7 April at Paunküla Heaolukeskus awaits those ideas that have been selected, in which the ideas will begin to take actual shape under the guidance of trainer Mart Kikas and the mentors. Then, 10 teams will continue their road towards the super final taking place at the Club of Different Rooms in Tartu on 28 May. The best one will receive a 10,000-euro main prize for the realisation of the idea. The second place will receive 5,000 and third place 3,000 euros.
During the past five seasons, 226 ideas have been submitted to Negavatt, in the framework of which, the University of Tartu has carried out the tap water drinking campaign and new bicycles producing electric energy have been installed to the gym, Poko, which makes reusable shopping bags foldable into a keychain has gathered strength from this program and the startup SmartVent which deals with the automation of the internal climate systems of offices. Some other companies who are still continuing with their projects are Boxit, which develops food packages made of reusable and biodegradable materials, Circup which develops the comfortable and fast washing solutions of reusable coffee cups and 3Cular which develops the 3D printing solution based on wood residues.
Negavatt is a competition born out of cooperation between the EIC and the Ministry of the Environment, the goal being to raise resource-related awareness and to encourage the offering of solutions that help to conserve the environment. Partners of the competition include Rimi Eesti Food, Eesti Pandipakend and Uuskasutuskeskus.