The challenge is part of a multi-year collaboration between Santander and F1® and aims to support and recognise innovative new businesses who are contributing to the sustainability of the automotive industry.

Over 600 start-ups and scale-ups from 11 countries took part in Santander X Global Challenge | Countdown to Zero, and the winners were announced at the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022.

The winners in the “Start-up” category were Concrete4Change (UK), Staxy (UK) and Ucaneo (Germany), while Spain's Cedrion, H2SITE and Zeleros took home the prize in the “Scale-up” category.

Madrid, 28 October 2022.
The winners of the Santander X Global Challenge | Countdown to Zero were announced today at a ceremony ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix. Three companies took home the awards from Spain (Cedrion, H2SITE and Zeleros), two from the UK (Concrete4Change and Staxy) and one from Germany (Ucaneo).

Over 600 entrepreneurs from across 11 countries participated in the challenge, including business from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the UK, Uruguay and the US. 

The challenge is part of a multi-year collaboration between Santander and F1®, which aims to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030, and aims to support and recognise innovative new businesses who are heling improve the sustainability of the automotive industry. The winners have all developed solution that will help achieve that goal.

The winners were:  

  • Concrete4Change (UK), which aims to decarbonize construction with technology to transition cement makers to net zero developing an additive material that captures CO2.
  • Staxy (UK), which has developed a low-cost ride-sharing app which enables users to reduce their carbon footprint by connecting people making similar journeys. 
  • Ucaneo (Germany), who have produced the first cell-free Direct Air Capture (DAC) to capture CO2 from the air using an efficient and sustainable technology. 
  • Cedrion (Spain), who have created of silent, smaller and lighter cooling devices for on-board electronics in electric cars.
  • H2SITE (Spain), which produces onsite renewable hydrogen for Small and medium sized companies. 
  • Zeleros (Spain), which produces and supplies high-speed, ground-level and emission-free hyperloop passenger and goods vehicles for high-speed transportation.

Honourable mentions went to Basquevolt (Spain), a producer of solid-state lithium batteries, to DeepDrive (Germany), a developer of innovative technology to make electric vehicles more efficient, and Nüwiel (Germany), which makes an electric trailer with sensor technology for zero-force transfer and electric-powered braking and acceleration.

The six winners, who attended an award ceremony in Mexico City ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix of Formula 1, are taking home a share of 120,000 euros (30,000 euros split between the start-ups, and 90,000 euros between the scaleups) to continue to develop their ideas. They will also be given the opportunity to pitch their solutions to Formula 1® executives and work with EIT InnoEnergy Innovation Engine on the design of their growth roadmap. 

Furthermore, all the awarded companies will become part of Santander X 100, an exclusive and global entrepreneurship community for top Santander X projects. 

Juan Manuel Cendoya, global head of Communications, Corporate Marketing and Research at Banco Santander, said: “The collaboration between Santander and Formula 1® offers the opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their ideas focused on sustainability with one of the most innovative sports in the world. As the leading auto lender in Europe, the US and other countries, we would be delighted if some of these ideas were eventually implemented in the automotive industry in order to make it increasingly sustainable”.

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “Formula 1 is all about innovation, so it is a pleasure for us to be part of this challenge and see solutions that are consistent with our sustainability strategy and commitment to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2030”.

Banco Santander and its support for education, entrepreneurship and employment 

Banco Santander is firmly committed to progress and inclusive and sustainable growth with a leading and consolidated commitment to education, entrepreneurship and employment. It has been developing through Santander Universities for more than 25 years and distinguishes it from the rest of the world's financial institutions. Since its launch, the bank has earmarked more than 2,100 million euros and has supported more than 790,000 students, professionals and entrepreneurial projects through agreements with nearly 1,000 universities and institutions in 15 countries.

Formula 1® 

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