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Bringing smart and climate-friendly energy solutions to a historic and cultural landmark.

The City of Trondheim is known as the technological capital of Norway. More than a thousand years old, it is home to a large number of cultural monuments and protected buildings. Together these factors make for a unique playground for innovation. Can historic landmarks be transformed into smart and climate friendly powerhouses?

Buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of energy consumption and 36 per cent of CO2 emissions in the EU. The EU has therefore set the target for all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy buildings within 2020. How do we apply the necessary knowledge and innovation to existing building stock? Old buildings and new technologies should have room for each other.

The site: Nidaros Cathedral

The Nidaros Cathedral is the world’s northernmost medieval cathedral and Norway’s national sanctuary. Because of its immense size and construction, the building consumes a lot of energy. In 2017, the Nidaros Cathedral consumed 1.5 GWh of energy, 21 per cent of which was electricity and 79 per cent from district heating. The Cathedral is now about to change its entire lighting system. This provides a good opportunity to examine its total energy performance and make plans for green solutions.

Norway’s first new-built Powerhouse will soon be realised at Brattørkaia by the Trondheim Fjord. It produces more clean and environmentally-friendly energy than it consumes. Is it possible to turn Nidaros Cathedral into a renewable energy producing “Powerhouse” in the same way? There is potential to make the historic and religious monument power-generating in more ways than one.

Open Innovation Competition

The Municipality of Trondheim, the Nidaros Cathedral Restoration Workshop and EIT Climate-KIC now invite innovators to take part in an Open Innovation competition of which aim is to combine multiple concrete solutions for the following purposes:

  • Deep energy retrofit and smart energy management of large historic monument, taking into account cultural conservation and user experience.
  • Transforming a historic urban district into a smart energy system with decentralized production of renewable energy.

Proposals accepted until 31 May 2018

How the competition works

Stage one:

Proposals can be submitted from 24 March until 31 May. Pre-selection will take place in early June and five finalists will be selected and announced in June.

  • Open for submissions 24 March 2018
  • Deadline for submission of solutions 31 May 2018
  • Pre-selection Early June 2018
  • Announcement of five innovators for stage two 20 June 2018

Stage two:

The selected innovators will be invited to a boot camp, site visit and final pitch in Trondheim by the end of August, during Trondheim Playground (27-28 August 2018). Travel costs for up to three members per accepted proposal will be reimbursed by EIT Climate-KIC in accordance with the terms and conditions provided (see the Competition Manual). The winning proposal will receive professional advice and assistance by EIT Climate-KIC on how best to progress with turning their idea into reality. 

  • Boot camp and site visit in Trondheim 27-28 August 2018
  • Final pitch and announcement of final winner 28 August 2018


Competition Manual

The competition manual contains further information about:

  • Competition objectives
  • Specifications and criteria
  • Important dates
  • IPR and legal details
  • The structure of the process and how it will be managed
  • The competition partners and prizes

We highly recommend that you read this document carefully before submitting a solution.

Please download the Competition Manual (available from 23 March).

Help us to transform Nidaros Cathedral into an energy-smart building!

Proposal Template

All solutions must be presented via this submission form. Submissions that are not sent via this route will not be considered (will be made available from 23 March).

Answers to Competition Questions

Questions and answers related to the competition will be uploaded here.

Additional Information

Site Information and Energy Data

These documents provide you with details of Nidaros Cathedral and its surroundings. It outlines the needs and requirements that will have to be met by the winning solution before the end of the competition. Please download the documents here (will be available from 23 March).


Press Kit

Questions and Contacts

For further information and questions concerning the competition please get in touch with:

  • Chin-Yu Lee, Climate Adviser, Trondheim Municipality
  • Peter Vangsbo, Nordic Business Developer at Climate-KIC Nordic

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