Mechanical Repair of District Heating Pipelines in Operation

Collaboration with Seeker

Challenge overview


This Challenge, sponsored by Iren Energia, is looking for Solvers who can develop technology to repair leaking water pipes without completely shutting down the damaged section of the heating district pipeline network.

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will only need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.


The conventional repair of damaged water pipes used to heat houses requires a complete shutdown of the damaged section of the pipeline network. Not only does it hurt people living in the affected houses, but it also results in costly interruption of services for the company operating the pipeline network.

This Challenge, sponsored by Iren Energia, is looking for technology that would allow the repair process to take place while the pipeline is still in operation. To achieve this goal, Iren Energia invites Solvers to join this project by submitting a short, non-confidential proposal to develop such a technology.

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge. The Solver will write a preliminary proposal (about 2-4 pages, including supporting non-confidential information and contact details) to be evaluated by the Seeker with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership. Upon completion of the evaluation, the Seeker may contact selected Solvers directly to work out terms for a collaboration contract. The monetary value of the contract will vary depending on the amount of work to be delivered and the agreed-upon time frame.

NOTE: Proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work directly as the collaboration partner or supplier will be considered first. The Seeker will also consider proposals from other Solvers who refer a suitable candidate as a partner for a “finder’s fee” of $2,000 USD if convinced the candidate is worth contacting. See full description for details.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 26, 2023. 

Late submissions will not be considered.



Iren is one of the largest and most dynamic multi-utility companies in Italy. It operates in many sectors including the generation and distribution of electricity, production of thermal energy for district heating, and gas. It also manages electric grids and provides integrated water services, as well as environmental and technological services.

Iren serves a multiregional area in the Northwest of Italy. It employs more than 9,000 people and provides a portfolio of services in the energy sector (2 million customers), integrated water sector (2.8 million customers), and waste cycle sector (2.9 million customers). Iren is the largest operator in Italy in the production of thermal energy for district heating.

Iren operates mainly through its business units: Iren Energia, Ireti, Iren Mercato, and Iren Ambiente. The current Challenge is sponsored primarily by Iren Energia, a company dealing with the production of electricity and heat, management of district heating, public lighting, traffic light systems, and technological services.

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What is an eRFP Challenge?

A Wazoku Crowd eRFP Challenge allows Seekers to submit Requests for Proposals for a partner or supplier to provide materials or expertise to solve a business challenge by leveraging the Wazoku Crowd Solver network. This global community includes organizations and individuals, such as contract research organizations, scientists, university researchers, and technology companies.

After a Solver submits an eRFP response, the Seeker evaluates the responses to determine which Solver(s) to contact for further business discussions. With eRFPs, the Solver must not provide any confidential information in the eRFP response. If your eRFP response is selected, you negotiate the terms of the contract (including scope of work, tasks and duration) directly with the Seeker.

This Challenge type does not require Intellectual Property (IP) transfer. However, sometimes Seekers request that certain IP arrangements be made should a partnership be formed.

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