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OUR STORY

In the footsteps of the great aeronautical firsts, Solar Impulse intends to achieve the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015, after 12 years of research, tests and development. No fuel, but only solar energy and technologies of the future, to prove that pioneering spirit and innovation can really change the world.

EXPLORATION TO CHANGE THE WORLD

The Solar Impulse pioneers have set out to achieve something that still seems impossible today: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions. 

Our aim: Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg do not plan to revolutionize the aviation industry but instead to demonstrate that the actual alternative energy sources and new technologies can achieve what some consider impossible. Solar Impulse wants to mobilize public enthusiasm in favor of technologies that will allow decreased dependance on fossil fuels, and induce positive emotions about renewable energies.

Solar Impulse also wants to encourage and inspire each and every one of us to become pioneers and explorers in our own lives, and to invent a brighter future.

Solar Impulse 1

AT THE CONTROLS

The Pilots: two pioneers and innovators, both pilots, came together to drive forward Solar Impulse: Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The former’s avant-gardist vision and skills as a communicator and the latter’s entrepreneurial experience complement each other ideally.

- Bertrand Piccard, the doctor, psychiatrist, explorer and aeronaut who made the first ever non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, is its founder and chairman. With Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard is continuing his family's history of adventure, from the exploration of the stratosphere (Auguste Piccard) and the ocean depths (Jacques Piccard) to his own round-the-world balloon flight. 

- André Borschberg, engineer by education and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in management science, a trained fighter pilot and professional airplane and helicopter pilot, is the CEO.

Team and Partners: the Solar Impulse team is about 90 people, including 30 engineers, 25 technicians and 22 mission controllers, supported financially and technologically by over a hundred partners and advisers.

André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard receive the Chromy Award 2015

After H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, and environmental sustainability advisor Tony Juniper, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are awarded the Chromy Award 2015 during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

The Cloak of Consciousness is a reminder of our collective responsibility to act for positive change in our world,” said Bertrand Piccard. “This year we can really combine our momentum and show how many voices are committed to using clean energy,” continued André Borschberg.

The Chromy ...

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The Cloak of Consciousness is a reminder of our collective responsibility to act for positive change in our world,” said Bertrand Piccard. “This year we can really combine our momentum and show how many voices are committed to using clean energy,” continued André Borschberg.

The Chromy Award is a small replica of the Cloak of Conscience - a five meter high sculpture carved into a single stone block from the renowned Cave Michelangelo. Sculpted by world-renowned artist Anna Chromy, the Cloak of Conscience represents our spiritual and moral achievements in life, particularly those that demonstrate environmental preservation and human rights promotion.

It was fitting that Anna Chromy chose the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by solar Impulse’s Host Partner Masdar, to present this award; highlighting a shared vision for widespread renewable energy to be used in our daily lives.

More information about the award and Anna Chromy can be found at: http://chromys.annachromy.com/

 

This week Abu Dhabi plays host to one of the most important international gatherings of global policy makers and leaders, meeting to address the opportunities of renewable energy and sustainable development.

Hosted by Masdar, Solar Impulse’s Official Host Partner, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week addresses the global energy challenge by exploring the relationships between economic development, poverty ...

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Hosted by Masdar, Solar Impulse’s Official Host Partner, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week addresses the global energy challenge by exploring the relationships between economic development, poverty eradication, energy security, water scarcity and climate change. In 2014, it welcomed over 32,000 participants from 170 countries, and this year Solar Impulse is proud to be invited as a symbol of innovation in solar energy.

Anchored by the World Future Energy Summit, the 2015 program features a series of complementary events, conferences and exhibitions. Under the wings of Solar Impulse, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) teamed up with the Financial Times to host a debate about the future of global energy supply.

When we started Solar Impulse, we wanted to find concrete solutions to apply on the ground”, said André Borschberg. “If we adopt the clean technologies that exist now, we can halve the energy consumption of our world”, continued Bertrand Piccard.

Celebrating the achievements in this domain is the Zayed Future Energy Prize, annually awarded to companies and organizations that reflect impact, innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. All of the nominees showed leading environmental awareness in both clean energy generation and efficient consumption, and the award ceremony was a time to reflect on the accomplishments of 2014, while looking forward to continued momentum in 2015.

What better opportunity for Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg - Solar Impulse founders and pilots - to announce the route of the First Round-The-World Solar Flight? 

For the UAE, this year holds the word “innovation” as a cornerstone. Through the pioneering spirit of Solar Impulse, 2015 is the opportunity to grasp the opportunities of clean energy in our lives.

Follow @solarimpulse for live updates during the ADSW until January 24th 2015.

Pictured left to right: Bertrand Piccard, Peter Frei and Hanspeter Maeder

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions is the official insurance provider of Solar Impulse and one of its official partners. The company helps realize such pioneering projects like Solar Impulse by taking care of the risk associated with flying the unique solar-powered plane.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions makes renewable energy projects possible, like Solar Impulse by providing insurance from conception to construction and operation. Its vast insurance expertise in aviation, engineering, construction and renewable energy risks makes it a strong partner for a project ...

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Swiss Re Corporate Solutions makes renewable energy projects possible, like Solar Impulse by providing insurance from conception to construction and operation. Its vast insurance expertise in aviation, engineering, construction and renewable energy risks makes it a strong partner for a project as visionary as Solar Impulse. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions aviation experts are closely watching preparations for the round-the-world flight and they are confident that the risks are well managed. 

Hanspeter Maeder, Senior Marine Cargo Underwriter from Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, attended the loading operations of Si2 with Solar Impulse's Initiator and Chairman, Bertrand Piccard, and Peter Frei, Head of Conceptual Design and Aerodynamics, a few weeks ago in Payerne, Switzerland.

"I was able to witness the loading of the plane on site – and what an amazing event it was. Every team member was moving extremely carefully, a lot was done by hand in order to avoid any possible damage to the plane. For example, it took one hour to load just one of the wings… It is great that my employer is one of the sponsors of this great project and I am proud to see our logo on the nose and tail of the plane. I constantly receive a lot of positive comments from clients, brokers and even competitors, who are all impressed with our commitment to insure and partner with Solar Impulse. It's a great 'ice-breaker' to start any business meeting or any conversation. Everyone is fascinated about the ambitions of this adventure!" 

It is worth mentioning that the underwriting process (evaluating the risk and providing insurance cover) for this unique plane is very particular and complex because there is no precedent. A comparable plane simply does not exist. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has the experience and the competence to insure what others consider "uninsurable", in this case Solar Impulse. They can provide a risk management framework that allows investors to become comfortable with investing into such projects. That’s part of the role that they, and the insurance industry, take in advancing renewable energy and clean technologies.


Read more about the partnership with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions on their website: www.swissre.com/solarimpulse


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