Vicomtech participates in Iberdrola's Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub
The center is equipped with the latest developments in digitization, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, in which 50 companies, technology centers and universities are already working on 120 projects worth 110 million euros
Iberdrola creates the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, a global center for innovation and knowledge that aims to be a world benchmark in smart grids and will allow it to respond to the challenges of the energy transition.
The center was launched in October 2021 with the presence of the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, and the general deputy of Bizkaia, Unai Rementeria. In addition, in November, it was presented in an event attended by the King Felipe IV and the 1st Vice President of the Government, Nadia Calviño.
This public-private collaboration space - with more than 1,000 m2 and located at Iberdrola's networks headquarters in Larraskitu - was created with the aim of accelerating innovation and R & D & I in smart grids. A hub that combines cutting-edge technology, research, training and entrepreneurship and is equipped with the latest developments in digitization, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, among many other fields.
The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub is configured as a pole for attracting talent and promoting new technologies that will make the energy transition possible, maximizing the use of renewables, fully integrating energy storage systems and optimizing access to new uses of electricity, such as mobility and air conditioning.
Iberdrola and the Provincial Council of Bizkaia have combined the capacities of more than 50 industrial companies, universities and technology centers, including Vicomtech, which contribute their technological capacity, industrial character and research experience.
The smart grid innovation hub is also an international collaborative project, which brings together the potential of more than 200 professionals in the development of innovation projects to be developed in countries in Europe, America and the Middle East. So far, 120 projects worth 110 million euros have been identified.
Digital solutions, business development and connected/safe worker design
The addressed activity will provide solutions in new materials and technologies to reduce the environmental impact of electrical installations, equipment to facilitate integration of renewable energies and promote the deployment of electric vehicles, power electronics and energy storage systems, or the digitization of the distribution network supported by the latest generation telecommunications systems, such as 5G. Likewise, it will promote solutions related to energy saving and efficiency based on demand management or the reduction of losses in the network.
Among the main areas of innovation of the hub is the digitization of the low voltage network, the basis for building the smart city of the future. In this sense, the projects will be aimed at developing the new generation of smart meters and ensuring that equipment and the network provide data and intelligence.
Likewise, work will be done on the new smart and sustainable substations in order to replace the current 'bundles' of control cables with shared data 'buses', using solutions based on the concept of 'internet of things'.
The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub will also promote knowledge transfer through scholarships and postgraduate courses; It will serve as a catalyst for business development through startup incubation and acceleration programs; and will activate competitive intelligence actions, such as the design of global conferences.
Another axis of action will revolve around the connected worker and the robotization of operations, to make use of sensorized equipment to receive real-time information on risks. In addition, it will use ground and aerial robots (drones) to perform operations remotely, avoiding displacements and working more safely and efficiently.
The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub is connected to the Biscay Startup Bay strategy, since it will also become a scaleup place for startups in the energy sector that are installed in the Bizkaia Tower.
The center will act as a driving platform for innovation, combining Iberdrola's technological capacity with that of its collaborators: suppliers, universities, start-ups and technology centers, among which is Vicomtech. In addition, it will serve to attract strategic suppliers and international talent, thus strengthening the business ecosystem.
Vicomtech at the Global Smartgrids Innovation Hub
Vicomtech will develop its activity within the Technical Advisory Committee of Processes and Systems. As a Technological Center specialized in Artificial Intelligence, Visual Computing & Interaction, it will apply its knowledge in applied research in digital technologies, to analyze and improve the tools associated with the optimization of distribution processes, such as network planning, operation and maintenance.