Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Siemens puts weight behind energy accelerator Plug & Play

Steve Rogerson
August 2, 2017
To address the rapid changes in the energy market, Siemens is partnering with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug & Play to identify and work with start-ups that have the potential to innovate in the energy industry.
The German company participated in the recently founded Plug & Play energy and sustainability programme, which focuses on new technologies that can be adapted across the energy market value chain. This programme renders a network between leading start-ups, corporations and venture capitalists at the heart of Silicon Valley.
"The collaboration with Plug & Play as a member in the new energy programme is a key initiative for Siemens to develop the relationship with leading start-up companies in the energy and adjacent markets," said Zuozhi Zhao, chief technology officer of Siemens’ power and gas division. “We are passionate about this partnership and the opportunities that come with the connection to this global ecosystem.”
Siemens has joined the platform to identify start-ups for collaborative projects. Technical focus areas include digital platforms and new business models in the energy market, energy efficiency and distributed energy resources, including wind, solar, energy storage, microgrids, electric mobility and alternative energy.
"This partnership with Plug & Play supports the implementation of our innovation roadmap for topics that address the changes in the energy market," said Bernd Wachmann, head of innovation at Siemens. “Key targets include the reduction of emissions, the utilisation of digital technologies and new business models, the increase of energy efficiency, and the management of the growing renewable install base, all embraced by the energy and sustainability programme. With its global customer base, its broad portfolio and the global sales channels Siemens offers huge opportunities for start-ups."
Plug & Play will run 12-week business development programmes twice per year, accepting up to 20 start-ups per class. This programme is stage-agnostic and does not require equity or fees from the start-ups to participate.
"Plug & Play has built the critical mass and developed the know-how to foster start-up innovation in partnership with the leading corporations around the world," said Wade Bitaraf, director at Plug & Play. “Our partners in the energy sector have line-of-site into the emerging technologies across various sectors like finance, automotive, retail, new materials etc. The energy platform serves to find new technologies in artificial intelligence, predictive maintenance, blockchain, data analytics, machine learning, supply chain optimisation, industrial IoT, asset tracking, cyber security and more in order to adapt them for the energy sector.”
Plug & Play invests in more than 150 companies every year. Since its inception in 2006, its programmes have expanded worldwide to include a presence in 24 locations globally.