E.ON Grid Startup Challenge paves the way for nine startups to pilot innovative solutions in the grid business
27 November 2020
E.ON’s German regional subsidiaries and e.Kundenservice Netz have selected startups, with whom they will start pilot projects over the coming three to six months.
Partnerships and innovation are important components in meeting international climate targets, digitalising and decentralising the energy system and driving the energy transition forward. To foster innovation in the grid business and identify new solutions, E.ON Grid business has invited startups to pitch their solutions at the Grid Startup Challenge 2020.
For the first time, this year's Grid Startup Challenge was organised jointly by all nine of E.ON's German regional subsidiaries – business groups of Avacon, E.DIS, Bayernwerk, Hansewerk, Westnetz, Süwag, enviaM, Lechwerke, VSE – as well as e.Kundenservice Netz and E.ON Innovation. The mutual goal was to identify promising solutions and test them in the operational business.
A total of 150 startups submitted their ideas in a wide range of areas, including knowledge management, autonomous robotic systems, new IoT (Internet of Things) business, occupational safety as well as energy generation and flexibility in water grids. On 26 November, the finalists presented their innovative and market-ready technologies that could help to further develop E.ON’s grid business in terms of digitalisation, sustainability and connectivity.
Nine startups have been announced as winners this year: Zapiens, Weltenmacher, DeepHow, NeoHelden, Vilisto, Voixen, Energy Robotics, Bleenco and Natix. They will start pilot projects with E.ON´s regional subsidiaries over the next three to six months.
Following the challenge, Thomas König, COO of Networks at E.ON, has expressed the importance of collaboration in the energy industry: “We can make the energy transition successful only through strong collaborations as equal partners of other businesses. Every digital E.ON solution of the past few years was developed in partnership with other organisations – from large tech corporations, research institutions and universities to startups. We want to pool the expertise of different partners and integrate innovative solutions into our operational business as quickly as possible.”
The winner startups will be working on solutions in four areas: knowledge transfer, IoT, autonomous robotic systems and occupational health and safety. Learn more about their solutions below:
Zapiens, Weltenmacher and DeepHow, seek to facilitate a faster, more efficient and more targeted exchange of knowledge between employees through innovative, digital technologies. With their solutions, relevant knowledge can be compiled and sorted using various smart technologies, such as gamification, social interaction, voice control and similar.
NeoHelden, Vilisto and Voixen focus on IoT-based applications in the areas of sensor technology or smart city. These startups are developing new solutions for analysing and tracking data, for example for measuring environmental parameters (CO2), traffic monitoring and control, or for monitoring room temperature and humidity in buildings. Here, IoT technologies are primarily used to leverage synergies in the areas of energy efficiency, sustainability and public safety.
Energy Robotics delivers autonomous robotic systems for a wide variety of uses. They open up new avenues for carrying out inspection and repair work in the grid infrastructure and facilitate work that carries potentially high risks for the environment or the health and safety of the engineers.
Bleenco and Natix have developed innovative solutions to make the work of system operators safer. Using cameras and artificial intelligence, their systems can identify dangerous situations and thus prevent critical events to a large extent.
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