Innovative collaborations accelerate the route to fossil-free living

Floating solar fields, maintenance robots for wind turbines and hydrogen production solutions. These are some areas Vattenfall wants to co-develop in collaboration with partners.

Green:field is Vattenfall’s open innovation platform and acts as the bridge between Vattenfall’s current core business and new, fast-paced business opportunities. To achieve this, green:field partners with later-stage startups, scale-ups and innovative companies by working on key innovation themes and within the Vattenfall strategy.

Florian Grossmann, Innovation Partnership Lead at green:field (Vattenfall)

Florian Grossmann, Innovation Partnership Lead at green:field (Vattenfall).

“We believe in building partnerships in our ecosystem to ultimately accelerate our journey towards fossil-free living,” says Florian Grossmann, Innovation Partnership Lead at green:field at BA Wind.

At the beginning of June, green:field invited 18 innovative companies to a two days co-innovation event in Vattenfall’s head office in Solna, Sweden.

The co-innovation event was the follow up of an elaborate scouting process to find innovation partners within six strategic search fields (see below) that can contribute to Vattenfall’s target to enable fossil-free living within one generation. The invited companies have been chosen after multiple selection rounds and from a longlist of more than 240 potential partners.

Alfred Hoffman, Vice President Portfolio and Business Development, BA Wind (Vattenfall).

Alfred Hoffman, Vice President Portfolio and Business Development, BA Wind (Vattenfall).

“We are active in most of the European markets, so if there is a great product from a startup perspective which could be used in almost all the countries in Europe, that is of course a big opportunity,” says Alfred Hoffman, Vice President Portfolio and Business Development, BA Wind.

This year green:field has scouted for companies that can help Vattenfall develop solutions in these main areas:

  • Floating photovoltaic systems on lakes, rivers and at sea,
  • Robotics for offshore wind operation and maintenance,
  • Software solutions for optimising hydrogen production from renewable power generation,
  • Smart thermostats that help households save energy and cost,
  • Solutions to extend the lifetime of lubricant oil used in the gearbox of offshore wind turbines,
  • Ways to reduce CO2 footprint of meetings and conferences.

Interesting pitches

On the first day, 3 June, all of the companies gave a short presentation of their solution which provided an opportunity for Vattenfall’s employees to know and learn more by meeting the companies’ founders and representatives.

Co-innovation workshops

On the second day, 4 June, the companies had an in-depth discussion with Vattenfall’s experts for each respective topic. The objective was to decide which companies would be suitable for and would agree to a joint Proof of Concept (PoC) in the second half of the year.

Ken Wahren, CEO Autonomous Devices

Ken Wahren, CEO Autonomous Devices.

“It has been really fantastic and the whole process has been fantastic, so this event brings together people from all over Europe and beyond, it is a great chance for us to network, get to know Vattenfall a bit better, and understand how our technologies can really be applied to Vattenfall´s challenges,” says Ken Wahren, CEO Autonomous Devices.

During the closed meeting, each company had an individual workshop session with Vattenfall experts on the respective topics to discuss Vattenfall’s requirements, company product and capabilities as well as potential PoC design and resources.

“As an early-stage start-up, we are always looking for commercial environments, so we can have ability to test our products, and Vattenfall is going to be the perfect partner for providing such facilities for us”, says Ihsancan Özpoyraz, Managing Partner, Quant Co, a company that provides AI (artificial intelligence) as a service for home energy management.

The results and next steps

The workshops resulted in concrete proposals for collaborations, which will be confirmed internally within the next few weeks. Partners will enter into a joint PoC to explore key assumptions (business and technical) with Vattenfall experts, define potential for wider roll-out within the company and a commercial partnership beyond the initial test project.

Collaboration partners will not only receive pilot funding but directly work with Business Units accessing know-how, infrastructure as well as support throughout the process.

In the end, the established collaborations with selected innovation partners aim to accelerate Vattenfall’s journey towards fossil-free living within one generation.

19 potential partners participated in the final co-innovation workshops

This year green:field scouted for six main topics, and the companies that participated in the selection process were:

Floating photovoltaic systems (5 companies)

Technologies and solutions to build solar energy plants on water (lakes, rivers, sea). Example solutions are floating islands, mooring systems, floating solar panels.

  • Profloating B.V.
  • Isigenere
  • Oceans of Energy
  • Floating Solar
  • Seaflex

Robotics for offshore wind O&M (2 companies)

Looking for ways to have remote presence via robotics to inspect and conduct basic operations and maintenance in offshore wind turbines. Technology should include vision, sensors, and robotics.

  • Autonomous Devices Limited
  • Terabee

Digital hydrogen solutions (3 companies)

Looking for software solutions that control the production of hydrogen from wind energy and water depending on factors such as demand, market prices and storage costs.

  • Enercast GmbH
  • Mentat Innovations
  • 7LYTIX GmbH

Smart thermostats (5 companies)

Solutions that help private households to manage their heating devices and adapt heating to their preferences while saving energy costs. Technology can include sensors, data analytics and IoT or market-ready smart thermostats.

  • Quant Co
  • Vestemi Limited
  • Rockethome GmbH
  • Vilisto GmbH

“Oil-for-life” solutions for offshore wind turbines (2 companies)

Seeking solutions to increase the lifetime of oil used in the gearbox of offshore wind turbines. Solutions could include measurement of quality, reconditioning of oil, as well as new sustainable, long-lasting oils.

  • SP3H
  • Atten2

CO2 footprint optimisation

Tools to reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of meetings and conferences (from smaller meetings to large conferences), help to track improvements and facilitate shared transport to and from the meetings between participants.

  • TroopTravel
  • Deal Engine

For more information

Please contact green:field’s Business Development Manager Amira El Bidawi.

See also

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