Schneider reveals Silicon Valley tech play

May 20, 2016

A programme designed to scout out and develop start-ups focused on applications related to the intersection of energy and the internet of things (IoT) has been revealed by Schneider Electric.

The energy management and automation major said that the goal of its Silicon Valley Innovation scheme is to explore new growth opportunities outside of existing markets and technologies and extend the company’s existing assets into new opportunities.

Investing in Silicon Valley based universities: Schneider Electric’s Innovation Centre in California
Investing in Silicon Valley based universities: Schneider Electric’s Innovation Centre in California

Based at the company’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center, near San Jose, California, the programme will leverage Schneider’s R&D resources and cash from VC firm Aster Capital to partner or invest in new companies and Silicon Valley-based universities.

“IoT presents the biggest transformational opportunity for our industry as the trends of urbanization, electrification and digitisation 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 at Schneider Electric.

The first phase of aims to identify and develop 10 start-up companies by the fourth quarter of 2016 and opened with three partnerships concerning connected sensors and LED lighting; a customer engagement technology platform for utility service clients; and a system that provides a demand response revenue sharing platform.

Editor’s comment: With an increasingly distributed energy system, advanced control systems facilitated by the IoT allows new consumer-led business models and potentially provides access to new revenue streams.

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