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San Francisco — May 10, 2016 — Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, announced its Silicon Valley Innovation program. Led by Paul Campbell, vice president of innovation, and based at the company’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center, the program is designed to scout and develop start-ups focused on applications related to the intersection of energy and the Internet of Things.
The program opens with the announcement of three partnerships with start-ups based in the Boston and Silicon Valley areas and will be a key resource for the company’s innovation efforts around the world.
The Innovation program will leverage Schneider Electric’s R&D resources and support from Aster Capital, an energy and IoT-focused venture capital firm, to partner or invest in new companies and engage Silicon Valley-based universities, to help expand Schneider Electric’s open innovation strategy.
The goal of the program is to explore new growth opportunities outside existing markets and technologies and extend the company’s existing assets into new opportunities.
“IoT presents the biggest transformational opportunity for our industry as the trends of urbanization, electricification, and digitization converge. As we continue to evolve our company, we are excited by the new market dynamic IoT presents to use data to better drive customer advantage, said Prith Banerjee, chief technology officer, Schneider Electric. “This program gives us the infrastructure to tap into new talent and business models to ensure we deliver the most cutting-edge solutions in energy management.”
The first phase of the program will identify and develop 10 start-up companies by Q4 2016. The first three partnerships include:
• Digital Lumens: Schneider Electric is partnering with Digital Lumens to add Digital Lumen’s intelligent, connected sensors and LED lighting solutions to Schneider Electric’s existing EcoBuildings offer. Digital Lumens solutions will help Schneider Electric’s EcoBuildings customers reduce lighting-related energy costs by up to 90 percent. In addition to delivering energy savings, the company’s connected system of lighting and sensors enable smarter buildings by generating data that can help customers be more productive, use their space more efficiently, and manage energy costs across their entire enterprise.
• PlanetEcosystems Inc.: Schneider Electric and PlanetEcosystems entered into a strategic partnership to deliver a superior customer engagement technology platform to utility service clients. This unique offering enables a new, compelling, and highly personalized customer experience — much more reflective of this age of Smart Grid and IoT — and an experience that allows utilities to provide new sources of customer value far beyond the provision of utility services and positioning utilities as "home utility system managers."
These new services enable extensive customer control of home equipment under the utility’s brand, across different vendors’ equipment, provide markets that make customer purchases and use of utility rebates very easy, and help customers understand and get the most out of their utility service.
It also makes efficiency programs much more compelling for customers, reducing program and operating costs, and boosts utility brand and satisfaction by enhancing each customer’s experience and delivering new customer value.
• OhmConnect: Schneider Electric is partnering with OhmConnect to coordinate energy reductions among consumers. OhmConnect’s software provides an interface for consumers to receive payments from energy markets for saving energy during peak times, creating a demand response revenue sharing platform for its users. The partnership starts with a recently announced pilot program for California residents.
“The intersection of IoT and energy is the sweet spot for energy management innovation. Internet of Things technologies not only feed directly into R&D, but create new business models that encourage greater participation among consumers and provide access to new revenue streams,” Campbell said. “We look forward to building our innovation program with leading start-ups dedicated to changing the face of energy.”
The program builds on Schneider Electric’s more than five-year sponsorship of Aster Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to funding solutions for the energy, IoT, and transportation industries. Schneider Electric has committed more than $50 million to the venture fund.
Schneider Electric had revenues of about $30 billion in FY2015 and has more than 160,000 employees serving customers in over 100 countries.