British energy supplier EDF Energy has announced the launch of an innovative challenge to crowd source ideas that address key issues faced by the energy sector.

The competition named as EDF Energy Pulse Awards is aimed at helping start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs to get expert support and advice and attract investment.

The company had launched a similar program the international EDF Pulse Awards in 2013.

EDF Energy is looking for ideas in four categories, which are its key strategic areas.

The categories include Blue Lab’s connected home and business challenge, data solutions for improving health and safety and monitoring and inspection solutions for energy generation assets.

The program is also inviting ideas to inspire young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

EDF Energy research and development director Xavier Mamo said: “EDF Energy has a strong history of promoting innovation in our business and the industry.  The EDF Energy Pulse Awards will help us to collaborate with an even wider range of experts and get a fresh perspective on how to tackle a number of challenges facing our industry today.

“The innovative solutions chosen as part of this challenge will be developed alongside the existing work of our R&D teams and innovation accelerator Blue Lab, putting innovation firmly at the heart of our business.”

EDF Energy’s R&D UK Centre is involved in projects across all types of energy including nuclear collaboration with Generation R&D, renewable technologies, including storage, energy management, energy efficiency, smart meters and digital innovation.

In September 2015, secured approval from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for the construction of 1800MW gas-fired power plant in Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire in the east of England.