South West (UK)

The Spark! Contest

The Spark! Contest

13th November 2023


The Spark Contest has been developing and inspiring Franco-British Net Zero young professionals since 2015.

Spark! is an independent development contest organised by a committee of young professionals that volunteer their time to create the high-quality, inclusive learning and networking experience for which Spark! is renowned.

Since Spark! started in 2015 with support from EDF and Rolls-Royce, it has continued to grow with help from leading companies such as NNL, Nuvia, Atkins, and Gleeds.

Spark! has a demonstrable record of enriching the career development of young professionals as well as giving companies greater access and visibility to the leaders of tomorrow. Participants develop a broad range of soft-skills through a hands-on, competitive experience. It fosters innovative, entrepreneurial and critical thinking mindsets in young professionals that will benefit their careers for years to come.

What is your innovative idea for Net Zero? Every Industry needs to play its part, what could your industry do?

The contest has three phases:

  • Phase 1: Registrations open 2 October 2023. Participants studying or working in the UK or France aged 18-30 create teams of 2 or 3, think of an innovative idea and submit a 1-page summary outlining how the idea will contribute to Net Zero.
  • Phase 2: The top 15 submissions are selected and the teams are invited to a fully-funded skills development workshop in Paris to network with other participants and meet industry leaders (mentors). Following the workshop, teams are tasked with writing a 10-page business case for their innovative idea with support from their two allocated mentors.
  • Phase 3: The business cases are marked by a panel of industry experts and mentors. The best 4 teams are invited back to Paris to pitch their innovative idea to industry executives ("Dragons") in The Dragons Den-style Spark! Contest Final to select the winners. 

Download the event poster >>

Closing date

The closing date for submissions is 7 January 2024.

The 2021-2022 final

The Spark! Contest Final culminated nine months of hard work and tough competition for the teams. It was their second visit to Paris. In April, these teams attended a 3-day workshop with another 11 teams of 2-3 young professionals to network, discuss careers, and develop their one-page summary into the 10-page business case with support from a senior industry mentor.

After a long deliberation, the panel selected the roof-mounted turbines as winners. The panel were impressed by the strong answers, clear product offering, and smart financing plan to make it accessible to all households.

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