E4C Student Challenge

“Imagine a Carbon-neutral City”

Projects to contribute to the energy transition in metropolitan areas

The Energy for Climate (E4C) Interdisciplinary Center of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris is inviting students from 10 institutions to take part in a challenge. It is aimed at students who wish to reflect on energy transition management solutions in metropolitan areas in order to reduce CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to the fight against climate change.

Taking into account demographic, social, environmental and energy issues, students will propose realistic and innovative projects to help reduce the carbon footprint of cities and their peripheries, either by addressing the problem as a whole or by proposing a specific initiative, focusing on topics such as transport or heating.

What is the aim of the challenge?

This challenge is designed to give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and work as a team to develop solutions in response to climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our time. The challenge also aims to teach students how to build a scientific and technical approach in order to propose solutions that are both economically viable and socially acceptable. About a hundred students are expected to participate in groups of up to seven.

Who can take part?

The challenge is open to students from ten academic institutions:

  • The five Institutions of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris
    • École Polytechnique
    • ENSTA Paris
    • ENSAE Paris
    • Télécom Paris
    • Télécom SudParis


  • HEC Paris



  • The Alliance institutions:
    Sciences Po
    Paris I
    Columbia University


  • École des Ponts ParisTech

How to take part?

Create your team
You must create your team and register by 18 November. You are encouraged to create multidisciplinary, inter-institutional teams. If you do not have a team, we will be able to put you in touch with other students.

Choose a mentor
The mentor is a qualified individual in the field(s) of expertise required for your project. He or she may be a teacher, researcher or a public/private sector

The role of the mentor:

  • Provide guidance on the project:
    The mentor should oversee the initial definition of the project to ensure the student initiative is viable.
    The mentor should ensure that ideas remain focused in order to achieve a successful outcome.
  • Provide a network:
    To answer any questions that students may have.
    To provide relevant contacts
    Support students in their approach without directly managing it:
    Encourage students to reflect on the progress and weaknesses of the project themselves.

The final proposal must result entirely from the students’ creativity. It is by no means a tutor-student relationship.

What kind of projects?

The project must address urban, energy and environmental issues. The project must be designed for implementation in a city such as Paris or a metropolis of equivalent or greater size. You are expected to use your knowledge and creativity and to exploit the multidisciplinary nature of your team!

Why should you participate?

This challenge is a unique opportunity to design a project with a social impact and to acquire experience that will be an asset for your future career development. In addition, some institutions will consider this project to count towards certain credits/projects in your academic curriculum.

How does it work?

21 November: registration deadline for your team
28 November: from 6 pm to 8pm, at the Drahi-X Novation Center on the campus of Ecole polytechnique, kick-off meeting with teams and mentor
6 December : kick-off meeting for teams from Columbia University
13 January: Deadline for submission of the pre-projects
24 January: Decision or recommendation after the evaluation of the pre-projects
3 March: submissions of projects’ advanced reports
10 March: announcement of selected projects
20 March: presentation of the selected projects before the jury and transmission of written questions by the jury to the teams
26 March: transmission of written answers to the jury
27 March: deliberation of the jury
End of March – beginning of April: announcement of the 3 laureates, award ceremony with a presentation of their projects by the laureates and 2 minutes presentation by the other participating teams

Registration required before 18 November.

Please complete the registration form. The entry deadline is 18 November. Please be aware that registrations may close once the maximum number of participants has been reached. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure not to miss out!

Presentation of project proposals will be held on 13 January.
Please complete the application form to submit your outlined proposals via the following link: Application Form.

For further information, please contact: challenge.e4c@ip-paris.fr

Registrations are closed


1.How many people should be in a team?
Your team should be made up of 4 to 7 students.

2. Can I apply with a team whose members are all from the same institution?
All teams are accepted, whether they are inter-institutional or not. However, an inter-institutional approach can be an advantage.

3. Can I participate if I do not have a team?
You can contact the challenge organizers at challenge.e4c@ip-paris.fr, in order to be put in contact with other students.

4. How should I submit my project proposal?
Please download and use the form below to submit your application: Download Here.

5. What are the criteria for the Panel’s assessment?
The Panel is made up of professionals and academics and will assess your projects according to the following criteria:
o Overall coherence of the project with the challenge requirements
o Technical and financial feasibility of the project
o Environmental and social impacts of the project

6. When will I know if my team has been selected for the final phase?
The selected preliminary projects will be announced on 24 January.

7. Any other questions?
If your question is not listed above, please contact the challenge organizers at challenge.e4c@ip-paris.fr.