Developing a truly smart grid is an unfolding process that requires going beyond solutions already on the market. Constant R&D and innovation are the key to moving that needle.
Siemens is exploring novel smart grid solutions through their venture innovation group, Siemens Technology to Business. This group searches for the most promising external ideas (mostly from startups) and arranges collaborations between these companies and Siemens. These collaborations often result in proof-of-concept (PoC) projects to test new ideas.
For instance, Siemens TTB collaborated with TROVE Predictive Data Science (a "big data" startup founded in 2011) and eMeter, a Siemens Business, on a PoC project aimed at addressing electricity theft. A utility was also involved in this project.
Utilities play a critical role in PoC projects, providing the most important use cases as well as real data to use in testing. Additionally, utilities can provide feedback over the course of the project, which influences development. In the end, utilities also have the opportunity to be first customers.
"The proof-of-concept approach can help test out new ideas quickly and with relatively modest capital," said Debjit Mukerji, Director of Venture Technology, Siemens Technology to Business. "Utilities can partner with large OEMs like Siemens to address some of their most pressing problems. Often the most efficient projects involve new software solutions, including analytics."
AT DISTRIBUTECH: Thurs. Jan. 30, 8:30-10am: Driving Innovation through Proof-of-Concept Projects.Part of this panel: Theft Identification with Smart Meter Data
More about Siemens at DistribuTECH 2014.
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