Centrica investment a game-changer for start-up

An artificial intelligence start-up has been awarded £200,000 by Ignite, Centrica’s impact investment fund.
Published: Wed 23 Aug 2017

The funding will help the start-up, Grid Edge, to get closer to realising its commercial potential. The Birmingham-based enterprise is the product of three researcher friends, Tom Anderson, Dr Jim Scott and Dr Dan Wright, who met while working together at Aston University’s European Bioenergy Research Institute five years ago.

Artificial Intelligence to optimise consumption

After three years of product development, the researchers have come up with a cloud-based energy management software which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast the building’s energy requirements over a four-hour period to optimise its consumption.

In turn, the system can help reduce energy consumption in buildings by up to 25%, helping to cut carbon emissions and energy bills while also improving system resilience.

Developing commercial viability

Ignite’s investment now means the three partners can focus their efforts full-time on transforming Grid Edge into a commercial venture.

The start-up aims to create four new roles at its city-centre headquarters, with three more positions planned by the end of 2017.

Tom Anderson, Grid Edge CEO, said: “This investment is a game-changer for us. We can now focus on accelerating our product development and establish a real footprint in the commercial market. Our ambition is to be in more than 500 large-scale buildings within five years. In addition to the financial support, the expertise and industry insight provided by the Ignite team is already proving invaluable, said Anderson.

Impact investment fund

Ignite, backed by Centrica, is the UK’s first impact investment fund with a focus on energy.

Since 2014, the fund has supported more than 25 enterprises with expertise and investment, helping firms realise their energy efficiency potential.

Sam Salisbury, Investment Principal for Ignite, said:  “We believe Grid Edge is a fantastic example of an enterprise that could truly benefit society, which is the key reason why we’re backing the team. The technology could have huge potential for the commercial and public sector and we’re particularly excited about the opportunity it offers housing associations and local authorities; helping them to cut carbon emissions, reach energy efficiency targets and create warmer, healthier places for tenants to live.”

 

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