Colbún and Ennomotive Lead the Charge for a Sustainable Future for Rural Schools

Colbún and Ennomotive Lead the Charge for a Sustainable Future for Rural Schools

Ennomotive and Colbún have joined forces in a groundbreaking initiative to launch the first-ever open innovation social challenge. This challenge will focus on water, energy, and thermal comfort and aims to address the pressing issues faced by two schools located in the rural regions of San Esteban and Quillota.

Colbún SA, a Chilian electricity generation and trading sector frontrunner, is no stranger to community upliftment. Through its foundation, Fundación Colbún, the company has been at the forefront of initiatives to improve the living conditions of the vulnerable.

Their commitment to strengthening access to essential resources like energy and water aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 and 7. SDG 6 is dedicated to ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all and SDG 7 focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

Ennomotive offers a range of innovation challenges, boasting a vibrant community of over 20,000 engineers and startups globally. The company is dedicated to addressing challenges spanning new product development, industrial processes, operational efficiency, and environmental sustainability, and the platform goes beyond conventional geographical and sectoral boundaries. By championing open innovation, Ennomotive enhances the likelihood of success in intricate technological endeavours. Their platform is underscored by a tried-and-true methodology, evident in over 100 challenges and complemented by an agile digital process that facilitates global scouting, technology validation, and business model formulation.

Ennomotive – The “Transforming Schools” Vision

In its initial phase, the “Transforming Schools” program is set to revolutionize schools in the San Esteban and Quillota regions. The challenges range from interruptions in water supply due to pressure issues in the general network to classrooms that experience drastic temperature drops; these problems are real and pressing for the communities that live there.

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The challenges are designed to pave the way for innovation. By collaborating with the innovation platform Ennomotive and the NGO Desafío Levantemos Chile, Colbún aims to unearth innovative solutions in three critical areas:

  • Water: The goal here is to design a robust system that ensures uninterrupted water availability, even when there are pressure-related issues in the general network.
  • Thermal Comfort: The focus is selecting insulating materials that guarantee thermal comfort. With classrooms experiencing temperature drops to as low as 5 to 8ºC, there’s an urgent need for an effective heating system to complement the insulation.
  • Energy: The challenge is to identify sustainable energy sources that not only cater to the school’s needs but also promote self-consumption.

This challenge isn’t restricted. Whether you’re a professional, a startup, an academic, or an engineer, this is your chance to make a difference.

With a prize pool of up to 15,000 USD and a deadline of August 28, 2023, the stage is set for innovation.

Voices from the Ground

Pedro Vial, Colbún’s Corporate Affairs Manager, encapsulated the essence of the initiative, stating that “At Colbún, we are seeking to generate social innovation in energy and water issues for rural schools in our territories. In this context, we have contacted 2 schools close to our operations in the Valparaíso Region to, together with them, seek solutions to real needs in the field of sustainability, which improve the conditions in which these schools provide education. We trust that there will be a lot of participation in the dialogue with these schools in order to efficiently improve the quality of life of both school communities.”

Pablo Díaz, Director of the Abel Guerrero School, explained, “we have had two meetings to identify the challenges that these solutions could address in the school, such as the insulation of spaces or heating, especially today, during the winter season. It is essential to start these projects to carry out effective changes within the school according to the existing needs, and innovation plays a fundamental role. We hope that everything will develop in a positive way in order to provide a better quality of life for our students and staff, as well as deliver a better educational service, which is, broadly speaking, the purpose of this project”.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Río Colorado School, Johnny Boisleve, explained that “participating in the program is a real contribution to the proper functioning of the lectures and the educational development of the children. It is a huge joy, since we raise some needs that we have in our establishment. The first one is to design a system that ensures constant water availability, since, many times, the supply is interrupted because we belong to an APR (Rural Drinking Water system) and, due to emergencies or system outages, classes are interrupted. The second focus is thermal comfort, since we are from a sector of the mountains where we have low temperatures and there are rooms with a subsoil that creates a lot of humidity and we have to interrupt the class or heat the sector to be able to return to normality.”

With Colbún and Ennomotive leading the charge, the future of rural education in Chile looks promising. Through initiatives like the “Transforming Schools” program, they are not just looking at short-term solutions but a sustainable future where every child has access to quality education in a comfortable environment.

Apply to the challenge now at


  • Ennomotive and Colbún launch an innovation challenge to enhance sustainability in rural Chilean schools.
  • The challenge focuses on water availability, thermal comfort, and sustainable energy.
  • The “Transforming Schools” program aims to address real-world problems and improve the quality of rural education.
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