NB Power, Siemens and UNB launch Smart Grid Innovation Network

Smart Grid Innovation

 

Jan 28 2016

Siemens Canada, NB Power and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) are providing local and global companies with a new testing platform to drive innovation and support business ideas for development and export to world energy markets.

The Smart Grid Innovation Network (SGIN) was officially launched last week by founding partners Siemens Canada, NB Power and UNB. SGIN will offer businesses a venue to design, develop and test smart grid related products and services, offering aspiring start-ups and established companies a testing environment to overcome technology hurdles. It will allow companies to test and adapt products using smart grid technology, enabling them to communicate with other products and respond intelligently to the demands of the electrical grid.

“We are focused on creating the right environment for innovation to flourish to help create jobs and grow the economy. This partnership will support local businesses and entrepreneurs, while positioning New Brunswick as a centre of excellence to attract companies that want to develop and test smart grid technology,” says Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault. “This partnership is a great example of local and international leadership working together to develop innovative ways to make New Brunswick a world leader in smart grid technology.”

“This Smart Grid Innovation Network is Siemens’ newest investment in New Brunswick, and we are incredibly excited about SGIN as a catalyst for innovation and development in the business community with smart grid ready products and services as the outcome – not only to support smart grid deployment here in NB but to promote it throughout the Siemens world and beyond,” says Robert Hardt, President & CEO of Siemens Canada.

The SGIN comprises three interconnected labs, each with a number of virtual and physical lab elements:
•    Smart Grid Research Lab at the University of New Brunswick
•    Interoperability Lab at Siemens
•    Products and Services Lab at NB Power

“While our primary goal is to transform the electricity system in New Brunswick to bring customers greater value and services, we also have a tremendous opportunity here to help local businesses get their smart energy products market-ready,” says NB Power President and CEO Gaëtan Thomas. “This new network will provide local and global companies a chance to build on the R&D already happening here and promote greater innovation for the benefit of New Brunswickers.”

Beyond the physical labs, SGIN is intended to offer a single point of contact for local and global companies for smart grid related development and testing, as well as provide research and development testing. To assist this, SGIN will host workshops and conferences to engage and exchange knowledge among users and potential users of the network.

Siemens will invest over a million in cash and in-kind over the next five years into the SGIN and its testing environment, known as the Interoperability Lab. NB Power will invest approximately $2 million in cash and in-kind in its Product and Services Lab; and UNB has also committed more than $2 million in cash and in-kind, including National Science Engineering Research Council project research funding, to the venture.

At a government level, SGIN is also supported with a non-repayable contribution of $2 million from the federal government through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA), Business Development Program (BDP) to the University of New Brunswick (UNB) for the creation of a Living Lab that will support the smart-grid power management research and development activities, as well as an $840,000 provincial government investment by Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB).

“At UNB, we’re incredibly proud to be at the forefront of smart grid research and development. Our collaboration with NB Power and Siemens on the Smart Grid Innovation Network is one of the many examples of the rich eco-system of innovation we have in this province,” says Dr. David Burns, Vice-President Research. “We see immense potential for the SGIN to foster the co-creation of intellectual property at the cutting edge of smart grid technology.”

 

 

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