Can you tell our readers a bit about Pavegen, what you do and where the initial idea came from?
Pavegen is the global leader in harvesting energy and data from footfall. Our technology is a data-rich platform that provides people with an opportunity to physically interact with sustainability. We call this the internet of beings, making cities smarter with every step.
Whilst on an industrial placement year at university, I worked for one of Europe’s largest energy companies, trying to find renewable energy solutions suited to the urban environment. After much deliberation over solar and wind, I thought outside the box and had the idea of using the wasted ambient energy from people and footfall. After graduating university in 2009, I began testing prototypes and formed the company, Pavegen. We are currently based in Kings Cross, London, with an R&D hub in Cambridge.
How does the technology work?
The Pavegen technology is a multi-functional custom flooring system that transfers the kinetic energy of pedestrians into electrical energy and data. As people step on the tiles, their weight causes generators underneath the tiles to vertically displace, generating off-grid power via electro-magnetic induction for use within the built environment. Each tile is equipped with wireless technology to transmit real-time movement data analytics, whilst directly producing people-power when and where it is needed.
What products do you offer and what benefits do they provide for businesses?
For permanent installations, we offer the V3 technology, which seamlessly integrates into the built environment. The technology generates electricity from the constant flow of pedestrians in key areas such as transport hubs, retail centres and other public spaces, whilst also providing brands with invaluable data insights. Along with our permanent projects, Pavegen has a strong and growing track record in the experiential sector, where we use our technology to bring our clients’ marketing campaigns to life. The interactive technology promotes behavioural change and sustainability whilst creating brand connections and memorable experiences, engaging people with the biggest issues of our time.
How do Pavegen tiles compare to other renewable technologies?
Pavegen is one of the only alternative energy technologies to utilise people as power, by harnessing their footsteps as a valuable resource, providing both energy and data. One of Pavegen’s key USPs is the engagement factor of our technology and its ability to make sustainability fun and educational. Our technology simplifies the energy and data generating process, allowing people to experience it first-hand.
There must be a lot of planning involved in installing Pavegen Live (experiential) events, what’s the process from a business coming to you with an idea to installing it? How long does it take and how many people tend to be involved?
The sales team will initially pick up conversation with the client and liaise about the type of project, discussing all the core details. When the project progresses, the projects team will take over and oversee the construction, up until completion. Every department will be involved in the process at some stage – from the communications team creating the messaging around the campaign, to our design team who interpret the client’s vision and bring ideas to life through creative visuals. We always try to be completely transparent with the client, enabling us to provide the best activation we possibly can that meets their standards.
We can turn quick projects – from two to four weeks – depending on the application and software we are providing. Other projects might be more involved with strategic communications planning and software development. The point is we are adaptable and have a strong experienced team in all departments. Project teams can vary from 4 to ten people, depending on the brief.
What brands are you working with and which of your events/brand experiences have had the most positive impact/generated the most energy?
Pavegen has worked with the some of the most iconic global brands, including adidas, Coca-Cola, Schneider Electric, Shell and Westfield. All of our projects, whether permanent or experiential, aim to generate positive societal and environmental impact through engagement with sustainability. We allow people to physically interact with our technology, inspiring people to contribute to a greater environmental goal.
We’ve conducted over 150 activations in 30 countries around the world. Some key highlights include our work with the 2016 Formula E race at the Battersea Park London, with an audience of 65,000 and now being rolled out internationally for the 2017 season. We have also partnered Heathrow in 2015 with a walkway at Terminal 3, which is still being used and reaching potentially 15.2 million passengers per annum.
Your business combines clean technology and innovation with sustainability, how important do you think it is becoming for businesses to be environmentally and socially sustainable?
The need for businesses to become environmentally and socially sustainable has become a top priority in recent years. Brands are gaining customer loyalty through their environmental and social initiatives, with people less likely to associate with a brand if they’re not ethically engaged. Pavegen is a technology that is both socially and environmentally positive, aiming to create a more sustainable world for future generations.
It’s taken a lot of time and investment to get to where you are now, what future plans do you have for Pavegen?
Pavegen’s vision is to connect and empower communities all over the world through our technology. We aim for Pavegen to be the intel inside all smart cities of the future with an intelligent energy and data offering, made possible by reaching economies of scale in the near future. We plan to strengthen our leadership team and invest in new tooling to meet the demands of our customers, scale the business and continue to innovate.
A huge thank you to Pavegen for telling us all about their new technology.
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