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RELEASE: Callida Energy named $80,000 winner of 2016 NextChallenge: Smart Cities

By Posted on December 12, 2016
Media, NextChallenge

Callida Energy named $80,000 winner of 2016 NextChallenge: Smart Cities

DETROIT, Dec. 9, 2016NextEnergy, in partnership with DENSO International America, DTE Energy and Wells Fargo, has named Callida Energy as the winner of the 2016 NextChallenge: Smart Cities technology challenge, a global competition challenging innovators to find hardware and software technology solutions to address unmet needs in urban areas. Callida Energy will receive $80,000 in grant funding from Wells Fargo to demonstrate and validate their solution.

“The NextChallenge finalists and their proposed solutions demonstrate the response to a demand for addressing challenges related to safety, mobility, emissions, accessibility, and congestion,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “Each of the finalists provided great presentations and truly made great cases for their solutions, but Callida Energy’s solution had a lasting impact on the judges. We look forward to working with them to demonstrate their solution in 2017.”

Callida Energy’s Occupant App software uses real-time data collected from occupants via a comfort survey to empower building operators to more efficiently heat and cool buildings based on occupants’ comfort and presence. Rather than running HVAC systems based on a predetermined occupancy schedule, the software gathers data to learn zone occupancy patterns and recommend more efficient zone operating schedules that turn-down heating/cooling when offices are unoccupied or lightly occupied. It also visualizes occupant comfort problems to facility managers in real-time and learns what occupants perceive to be actual comfort to improve temperature settings.

Based on prior results, Callida estimates the software will achieve 30+ percent HVAC energy savings annually – as well as costs and carbon emissions reductions – with no decrease in occupant comfort.

RideHop, a company providing accurate, reliable data to track, analyze and optimize public and private transportation systems, also received $20,000 to further its development of their latest innovation.

RideHop On-Demand for Fixed Routes reduces the total number of buses or shuttles needed by adapting the transportation system to respond to ridership demand in real time opposed to standard circling for rider coverage. Urban campuses, such as hospitals, universities or large companies often provide buses or shuttles on a fixed route to transport employees, guests and patrons to and from buildings and parking lots. During decreased demand, circling mostly-empty buses results in unnecessary engine hours, greenhouse gases and operational overhead. As a solution, RideHop On-Demand allows riders to indicate when they are waiting at a stop, drivers are automatically dispatched, and riders receive an ETA for their ride. Early projections indicate the solution could reduce fleet coverage by 29 percent, while reducing wait time for passengers during off-peak times.

Fifty-seven innovators submitted online concept proposals earlier this year which were reviewed and narrowed down to a group of semi-finalists based on the following objectives: validity of innovation, applicant qualifications, competitive advantage, and scalability. Twenty-three semi-finalists from innovators around the world submitted full proposals which were narrowed down to a group of 10 finalists from the United States who pitched their ideas live to a panel of judges – representatives from NextEnergy, DTE Energy, DENSO and Invest Detroit – who collaboratively determined the winners.

The 10 finalists included: Callida Energy, GoKid, Locational Emissions Estimation Methodology (LEEM), LumenCache, Movatic, Nextek Power Systems, ParkIT, RideHop, Solartonic, and SPLT.

About NextEnergy

Founded in 2002 as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NextEnergy is one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy and transportation technologies, businesses and industries. NextEnergy drives technology demonstration and commercialization; delivers industry and venture development services; and provides an authoritative voice in the public sector. Since its inception, NextEnergy has helped attract more than $1.5 billion of new investment, including programs in excess of $160 million in which NextEnergy has directly participated. For more information, visit nextenergy.org.

 About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. In 2015, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 16,300 nonprofits, ranking No. 3 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s rankings of the top corporate cash philanthropists. Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.86 million hours in 2015, serving more than 40,000 nonprofits. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in underserved communities, environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

About DTE Energy

DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.


DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 140,000 people. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, totaled US$40.2 billion.

In North America, DENSO employs more than 22,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates. Of these, 25 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaled US$9.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. For more information, go to densocorp-na.com.

Media Contacts:

Amanda Roraff  

Bridgette LaRose
bridgette_larose @denso-diam.com

Stephanie Beres
DTE Energy

E.J. Bernacki
Wells Fargo