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Schneider Electric Partnering with Silicon Valley Startups to Spur IoT Solution Development

Schneider Electric has announced a new Silicon Valley Innovation program designed to scout and develop startups focused on applications related to the intersection of energy and the Internet of Things (IoT). The first phase of the program will identify and develop 10 startup companies by the fourth quarter of 2016, three of which have already been selected.

IoT presents the biggest transformational opportunity for our industry as the trends of urbanization, electricfication 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, the Chief Technology Officer at 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 innovation program will leverage Schneider Electric’s research and development (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 of existing markets and technologies and extend the company’s existing assets into new opportunities.

The first three startups are based in the Boston and Silicon Valley areas:

  • Digital Lumens’ smart, connected sensors and LED lighting solutions will be added to Schneider Electric’s existing EcoBuildings offer. The startup’s solutions are expected to help customers reduce lighting-related energy costs by up to 90 percent, while generating data that customers can use to improve their space’s productivity, efficiency, and energy cost management.
  • PlanetEcosystems Inc. will work with Schneider Electric to deliver a customer engagement technology platform for utility service clients. The startup’s services offer highly personalized customer experiences that 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.
  • OhmConnect provides a software 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 with Schneider Electric starts with a recently announced pilot program for California residents.

Schneider Electric’s newly appointed Vice President of Innovation, Paul Campbell, will lead the program, which will be based at the company’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center.

“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.”

Many other companies are also turning to partnerships to advance solutions for lighting and energy, including Vodafone and Philips, Cree and Cisco, as well as AT&T with various partners such as GE.