SAP launched an agribusiness-focused virtual startup accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry Paris. The eight international startups have been selected by a jury of SAP experts, partners, customers and investment funds to join the program.
As France is one of the largest agricultural powers in the world, SAP.iO Foundry Paris was a natural location for the first accelerator program from SAP.iO entirely dedicated to this industry. The selected startups specialize in procurement, supply chain, production monitoring platforms and decision support tools.
“Digital technology and collaboration are key enablers to feed the rapidly growing world population in a sustainable way,” said Anja Strothkaemper, SAP vice president of Agribusiness and Commodity Management. “Working together with startups, we can combine our innovation power and serve the evolving needs of our agribusiness customers.”
The program addresses three key industry challenges:
- Integrating data, artificial intelligence, analytics and decision-making into agribusiness
- Combining compliance and traceability throughout production and processing
- Ensuring agriculture is more responsible and environmentally sensitive
Over the next 10 weeks, the startups will have access to curated mentorship from SAP executives, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers around the world.
The following startups are participating in the SAP.iO Foundry Paris program:
- Agrora enables processors and traders of agricultural commodities to save time on procurement and distribution processes.
- Clarifruit offers an automated quality control platform for fast, objective and consistent fresh fruit and vegetable quality control.
- Connecting Food uses blockchain technology and smart modules to provide transparency, traceability and digital auditing of food products.
- GrainChain Inc. combines blockchain and Internet of Things–driven technologies to verify and auto-execute smart contracts, creating fully automated and digitalized workflows at every stage.
- HeavyConnect develops easy-to-use mobile software that digitalizes paper-based compliance workflows in farming and processing.
- Milk Moovement connects all players in the dairy supply chain, improving visibility and generating valuable insights across the raw milk supply chain.
- ProcSea digitalizes seafood trading by connecting all partners on one digital platform for optimized and secured purchasing and sales processes.
- Sencrop designs and sells connected weather forecast solutions farmers use to measure humidity, temperature, wind speed and rainfall.
To learn more about how SAP.iO is helping innovators start up and scale with SAP, please visit https://sap.io/.
Energy Transition Meets Digital Transformation – SAP Innovation Strategy for Utilities
The IPCC reports that limiting the global mean temperature increase to 1.5° C will require CO2 emissions to reach net zero by 2050. This analysis is the foundation for policies like the New Green Deal in the EU, which also aims for climate neutrality by 2050. Decarbonization of the energy sector is the major pillar for this because about 73% of global greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to the use of energy for industry, buildings, and transport.
It is therefore no surprise that Renewable Energies are the fastest growing source of energy, contributing half of the growth in global energy supplies and becoming the largest source of power by 2040. In most regions, wind and solar are also the cheapest source of electricity generation, even without subsidies.
This shift to renewables also fosters the growing number of Decentralized Energy Resources (DER). Renewables like solar, wind, or bioenergy are to a large extent generated by small local generation assets, which feed directly into the distribution grid. The intermittent nature of solar and wind causes challenges for the balancing of demand and supply in the power grids.
Also the demand side is changing with industrial, commercial, and household customers more and more generating their own energy and becoming Energy Prosumers. This causes a shift in utilities’ business models from pure selling of energy and water to becoming a full-service provider for energy prosumers.
NET2GRID announced that its Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services solution is now available on SAP® Store. Built on SAP Business Technology Platform, the solution delivers energy insight and user engagement services to utility customers.
“We are proud to be an SAP partner and we are excited that our Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services solution is now available on SAP Store,” says Bert Lutje Berenbroek, NET2GRID’s founder and CEO. “We have a vision of creating an intelligent, transparent, and cleaner energy value chain by translating energy consumption data into smart, personalized services. With our solution now available on SAP Store, we can benefit from SAP’s global reach, enabling the solution to be readily available for businesses that use SAP technologies with only minimal set-up efforts. Take the billing service, as an example. With Time of Use (ToU) tariffs becoming more and more available, NET2GRID can offer a bill split per activity, aggregated over different ToU tariffs and periods in a very cost-effective way.”
The core functionality of Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services include:
- Energy bill transparency: The solution disaggregates total energy consumption into a daily and personal list of itemized household events and activities, allowing the end-user to see how much energy is consumed in each category. Our clients have seen Net Promoter Score increase from -13 all the way up to 65, on average, due to increased user engagement and financial benefits for end-users.
- Cost-saving on energy: Total household energy consumption insights are broken down per appliance type and event category, providing personal, relevant, and actionable energy-saving tips to help reduce costs.
- Energy load forecasting: For energy retailers and utilities, NET2GRID’s solution offers a highly accurate, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) load forecasting service with a less than a 2% error margin. The solution reaches these high-quality forecasting results for day-ahead forecasts to year-ahead, long-term aggregated load predictions.
- Engage customers in Electric Vehicle (EV) rate plans or virtual power plant schemes: NET2GRID identifies EV owners and clusters them in a target group for campaigns so that energy suppliers can offer EV rate plans and integration with demand response controls to upsell to virtual power plant schemes and earn money with their investments. For example, users can have EV car chargers upgraded to smart charging devices at low tariffs. The leads generated for EV can also be generated for renewables and energy savings solutions like heat pumps and insulation.
- Homeowner property investment recommendations: With the actionable energy insights from Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services, a utility or energy supplier can upsell to energy-saving solutions like insulation, heat pumps or renewables, as an output of NET2GRID’s “Next Best Actions” AI engine.
Future Grid recently announced that its Future Grid Platform is now available on SAP® Store, which recently merged with SAP App Center as the single digital marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. The Future Grid Platform integrates with SAP Predictive Asset Insights and delivers real-time grid insights previously invisible to electric utilities.
“Now that the Future Grid Platform is available on SAP Store and integrated with SAP Predictive Asset Insights, the generated insights are even more powerful,” said Chris Law, CEO and co-founder of Future Grid. “We are excited to partner with SAP after participating in the SAP.iO Foundries program that was focused on accelerating utilities startups. This will make our solution even more accessible for electric utilities around the world.”
With Future Grid, businesses that use utility solutions from SAP can save time and money with increased reliability of supply and streamlined automated work orders and processes. Electric utilities will also have the ability to manage asset health issues directly and proactively plan and respond accordingly. Future Grid’s software turns smart meter data into improved grid reliability, asset management and customer safety, enabling electric utilities to integrate renewable energy at scale using their existing network assets.
Future Grid creates visibility into the health of critical yet ‘invisible’ electricity assets such as wires, transformers and fuses. Once its software analyzes and converts smart meter and other IoT data in real time, Future Grid creates a secure feedback loop by analyzing data from the grid edge and integrating grid recommendations back into distribution systems so that networks can be operated in real time. A wide range of use cases are currently being trialed, including dynamic voltage control, safety fault detection and constraint management. The Future Grid Platform is available for a trial on SAP Store.
SAP.iO kicked off a global sustainability-focused accelerator program alongside Accenture at SAP.iO Foundries Berlin and Munich. The Sustainable Future program aims to help early-stage B2B startups get up and running quickly to enable companies across multiple industries to address sustainability challenges and create a positive impact on both industry and society.
Sustainable Future is the largest SAP.iO cohort to date. Thirteen startups have been selected to work with SAP.iO Foundries Berlin and Munich, in tandem with Accenture experts and leading companies in various industries.
“To address global challenges such as climate change, businesses must partner on all levels and across organizations, industries and regions,” said Daniel Schmid, SAP chief sustainability officer. “Teaming up with Accenture to accelerate early-stage startups is part of our holistic innovation approach to integrate new solutions in our portfolio that help our customers understand and improve their environmental and societal impact.”
Sustainable Future is an equity-free program that seeks to propel digital transformation and corporate-startup innovation in four target areas including carbon tracking and trading, resource efficiency, climate risk tracking and mitigation, and circular economy. The program builds upon SAP and Accenture’s long-standing partnership and shared commitment to using technology to help the world build a more sustainable future.
“Our clients are increasingly turning to technology to enable sustainability agendas across their business and deliver on their purpose-based missions to drive value for their stakeholders,” said Caspar Borggreve, global lead for the Accenture SAP Business Group. “Together with SAP, we are helping startups bring innovation to life with solutions and services that allow companies to raise the bar by integrating sustainability into their core processes, strategies and operating models.”
The startups in this cohort will receive curated mentorship, access to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and exposure to SAP and Accenture customers to develop high-impact proofs of concept. The accelerator program will run for three months and conclude with a demo day on July 8, 2021.
The Sustainable Future cohort includes the following startups:
- Astraea provides an integrated platform to access, analyze and deliver earth-observing data and geospatial information using artificial intelligence (AI).
- Blacksquared GmbH / Changers.com motivates and rewards employees in a playful manner to participate in healthy and environmentally friendly activities.
- Breeze Technologies measures and analyzes common pollutants like nitrogen oxides, ozone or particulate matter in real time using machine learning and Big Data technologies.
- Carbon Minds GmbH has built the largest and most regionalized lifecycle database for the chemical industry to help companies reduce their environmental impact with evidence-based guidance.
- Circular IQ is a digital platform that monitors the circular performance of different suppliers, products, components and materials throughout supply chains to improve their impact on people and the planet.
- CodeCheck is a mobile application that promotes source transparency and enables consumers to check the ingredients in food and cosmetics by scanning the barcode.
- Emitwise helps businesses measure, report and reduce their carbon footprint across their operations and supply chains by automating data collection and processing.
- Footprint Technologies GmbH enables consumers to accurately measure their feet at home and find the right shoe size, thus avoiding returns, costs and CO2 emissions for online retailers.
- GreenPlat provides traceability from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal of generated waste using blockchain technology to create transparency across the supply chain.
- Journey Foods uses machine learning, AI, data scraping and cohort analysis to recommend the most nutritious and more sustainable ingredients for food companies.
- Lixo is an AI-powered waste detection system to improve the performance of recycling companies, from waste collection to sorting and recycling.
- Lizee helps retail brands enact their rental business model and successfully enter the circular economy.
- Too Good To Go connects consumers to restaurants and stores that have unsold, surplus food to fight food waste.
SAP’s Commitment to Sustainability Through Utilities Industry Support
Over 10 years ago, SAP made sustainability a long-term strategic goal in line with its vision of improving people’s lives and helping the world run better. SAP enables organizations to minimize the greenhouse gas footprint of their products and leads by example with a goal of being a carbon neutral company by 2023. With forty five of the fifty top utilities companies in the world running SAP solutions, SAP is a leading force in helping utilities light the way by efficiently incorporating more clean energy into the grid. As the world transitions to a more sustainable, renewable, and digital energy reality, SAP is providing the tools and empowering utilities, which are front and center in the global shift toward renewable energy resources, to successfully reinvent power generation, transmission, distribution, and retail.
Connecting Utilities with Innovative Solutions for a Successful Energy Transition
Through SAP.iO, SAP works with startups and new technologies to cultivate innovation and fuel future growth for our customers across all industries. SAP.iO Foundries is a network of nine top-tier startup programs in strategic startup ecosystems, focusing on enabling early-stage companies to form a partnership with SAP and integrate their innovative solutions with key SAP applications and platforms. During SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s latest accelerator program focused on solutions for the utilities industry, SAP.iO along with SAP’s Utilities business unit has been working closely with seven global startups to create joint offerings for our utilities clients to enable a smooth energy transition in an intelligent way. The startups’ solutions cover next-generation intelligent energy production, energy trading, multi-directional intelligent transmission and distribution, smart metering, and prosumers with e-homes and e-cars.
Meet the 7 Startups Empowering SAP’s Utilities Customers to Thrive in a Renewable Energy Reality
These startups are leading the energy transition and bringing value to SAP customers while doing so!
FSIGHT offers state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software solutions that allow the end user to predict, optimize and trade energy.
Future Grid enables the renewable grid of the future to deliver safe and reliable electricity.
NET2GRID delivers a platform for utilities to gain powerful energy insights and run value-added services using machine learning algorithms on smart meter data.
Lemonbeat offers a scalable end-to-end Internet of Things–enabling solution, building a seamless experience journey from device to cloud.
OXYGEN TECHNOLOGIES provides digital value-added services to private and commercial “prosumers” with an operating system to monitor and control distributed energy devices.
Pexapark provides the operating system for post-subsidy renewable energy sales.
Raycatch’s AI-driven digital asset management system automates and optimizes solar photovoltaic plants.
A conversation with Amanda Niklaus, PPA Transaction Manager in the renewable industry.
The Road Less Traveled
What initially drew you to the energy industry?
During my Master’s studies, there was a mining boom in Australia. A lot of money was put into energy research, particularly for oil and gas. The Head of my university department suggested that I pursue mathematical economics in energy and work with some prestigious supervisors from the industry which I did. After graduation, I worked as an economist for the government and then in investment banking where we were looking at M&A opportunities. At the time, I found working within this very male-dominated industry a bit unsettling, and left for the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) where I worked on providing training for investors and traders and we looked at battery viability for participating in different markets. A lot happened and changed over the time I worked there and that is one of the elements I like about the power market sector: it’s very dynamic, constantly evolving.
When I came back to Switzerland, I read about Pexapark. They were very new at that time and had a lot of potential. I thought it would be exciting to work with a focus in renewables and to help developing a business. I was right — it’s so far been an incredible experience to be part of and contribute to Pexapark’s development and growth.
What’s the most satisfying part of your role at Pexapark?
I really enjoy working across markets and looking at different issues, that clients are encountering or questions they are trying to answer. While our business is very specialised, I feel like a request is never ever the same. It’s always new, there is so much to learn constantly!
What’s your secret sauce that you bring to work with you each day?
A ‘can do’ attitude and resilience.
Making Strides in Renewables
What thoughts are going through your head (if any) and what are you experiencing when you find yourself to be the only woman in the room?
That’s often the case to be honest. With clients, I do not let that disturb me, I cannot. Otherwise I am going nowhere. It is of course harder to ignore for someone who works in this environment every day. There are many studies about the ‘Onlys’ — referring to the only woman in a team. A notable one is from McKinsey, showing that women in this situation often receive judgement or doubt about their own area of expertise. They feel under a constant pressure to provide a proof of competence compared to their male colleagues. The sad part is that you don’t know if it was intentional, or it is just a dynamic of the competitive environment. That is not always clear. What is clear to me — there is a way to improve the situation.A more gender- balanced team is very important and I’d like to think I try my best to influence in that direction.
Did you have any female mentors or role models? How can we facilitate more mentorship initiatives?
In my first job as an economist, I had a female mentor. Since then I have had other mentors and role models, but they haven’t been women. This might be because there are not too many women in leadership / senior positions in my industry to support other women — which is key to how women help each other to grow in other industries. Studies have shown that mentoring and networking activities designed for women are key to break through the glass ceiling and to remain in top positions. Multi-level mentorship and leadership programs are necessary in providing dynamic social support, including promoting gender awareness and building network to support sustainable career development. There are successful mentoring and leadership programs where high-potential women are trained in the company’s leader pipeline. I believe that such programs help increasing female representation at the managerial and C-level.
I am part of the Women in Wind program organised by the Global Energy Wind Council. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to mentor another participant of the program who was from the same industry. Women in Wind is a great example of a mentoring program, particularly to create a network. To be honest I wish I could also participate as a mentee and a few of us mentors from the program have said the same thing. It’s extremely helpful to be able to share experiences and have a support group and of course to network.
SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Future Grid.
Chris is the co-founder and CEO of Future Grid. He is dedicated to helping utilities around the world to integrate renewables at scale and thus decarbonising the grid. With over 20 years of experience in the energy market working for companies like AusNet Services, AGL in Australia, and the startup GridNet in San Francisco, he is well connected within the industry. Chris is a wine connoisseur, a coffee lover, and enjoys riding his bike. In this interview, he talks about what his company has to offer and what’s next for Future Grid.
E-3 Magazine: What exactly does Future Grid offer?
Chris Law: Future Grid is a software that turns smart meter data into improved grid reliability, asset management, and customer safety. Our software creates new visibility into the health of critical yet ‘invisible’ electricity assets such as wires, transformers, and fuses in support of the transition to renewable energy. Using Future Grid’s software, utilities are empowered to manage the increasing shifts in power quality due to renewables. Utilities can then deliver safe and reliable electricity to their customers. That’s how Future Grid is enabling the renewable grid of the future.
How does your solution work?
Law: Future Grid is a software that works by creating a real-time feedback loop that updates key utility systems with real-time insights from invisible assets within the grid. The Future Grid software has been designed to integrate many different sources within the utility, including smart meters, to create a near real-time ‘map’ of grid assets and network health. Future Grid will then execute a range of real-time analytics and integrate the results back into key systems such as SAP, ADSM, and GIS for operational actions. We call this the feedback loop, as for the first time, utilities have the ability to take grid edge data from smart meters (and in the future DER) and feedback real-time insights to help inform grid operations and control.
SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Net2Grid.
Bert Lutje Berenbroek has 20 years of experience in the semiconductor business with innovative companies in Silicon Valley and Boston. He started Net2Grid 10 years ago with the vision that access to real-time energy data is a necessary piece of the puzzle supporting the energy transition. In this interview, he talks about what his company has to offer and what’s next for Net2Grid.
What Does Net2Grid have to offer?
Bert Lutje Berenbroek: Net2Grid is an AI-enabled software company which turns energy consumption data into personalized and actionable insights, empowering end users to become energy efficient. Our clients are energy companies based in Europe, North America, and Australia who offer our products and services to their clients. Increasingly we see interest in our services by tech and financial corporations, too.
One concrete example of what our services can do is the successful collaboration we have with E.ON Germany. Net2Grid is the hardware, platform, and NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring) supplier of E.ON’s app iONA. Through iONA, customers can view and control their electricity consumption in detail, helping them prevent energy guzzlers, compare devices, and gain an overview of the breakdown of costs. E.ON Germany saw a customer engagement increase from 3 minutes/year to 120 minutes/year after adopting Net2Grid’s energy insight solution.
For the first time in history, vegetation encroachment risk to the entire publicly available U.S. transmission grid has been analyzed from space by the Berlin-based startup LiveEO.
The goal of this large-scale analysis was to demonstrate LiveEO’s market-leading analytic capabilities to a North American audience. In total, over 15,000 public satellite images were used to evaluate risk to 574,000 miles of electricity lines. (Details about the analysis can be found at www.live-eo.com/us-power-transmission-grid-analysis).
The analysis covers the detection of vegetation along the transmission grid, as well as the identification of grid segments that are exposed at dangerously close distances. These are some of the biggest challenges and operational cost factors for utility companies in maintaining their assets. Proven by studies vegetation is one of the main challenges for utilities globally, causing up to 56% of externally triggered power interruptions. In the United States alone, approximately US$ 6 billion is spent on vegetation management by utility companies annually.
“The scale combined with the detail of the analysis represents a milestone in satellite data analytics for utility companies and proves that satellite data represents a viable alternative for vegetation management to Lidar or foot patrols.” says LiveEO’s Co-Founder Daniel Seidel. “Additionally, these insights can be made actionable directly via our tool set of mobile and web apps, and API integrations to improve workforce efficiency in the field and to realize OPEX saving” adds LiveEO’s other Co-Founder Sven Przywarra.
We chatted with Raycatch’s Chairman and Co-Founder, Mike Goldstein! Raycatch’s AI-driven digital asset management system automates and optimizes solar photovoltaic plants. In this episode of energenius, Mike shares how Raycatch’s software helps PV plant owners democratize operations and efficiently manage their assets, talks about the latest trends in the solar industry, and discusses how merging SAP and Raycatch’s capabilities will help clients with solar assets in their portfolios leverage their insights and reduce operational costs.
“Today, solar project owners and operators look with their own eyes on screens and graphs in order to analyze data and detect issues, which is very laborious, intensive and time consuming. Using Raycatch, without installing any new sensors or hardware, customers simply rely on existing data to quickly get clear insights and better prioritize their focus.”
Standing Out from the Competition
“While the cost of building solar assets is going down, operational costs such as hiring and renting as well as labor-based logistic costs are not. Raycatch democratizes this process and makes it financially sustainable with a software that helps operators and managers better manage their assets, automatically detect issues, and improve decision-making.”
Working with SAP
“Being focused on a specific vertical niche allows us to be the experts, so once our software and capabilities are merged with SAP capabilities, our joint clients with solar asset portfolios can enjoy the full solution A-Z; they can get software support in ERP and management, plus the deep, thorough, and sophisticated automatic diagnostics tool through Raycatch.”
We sat down with Pexapark’s Co-Founder and CEO, Michael Waldner! Pexapark provides the operating system for post-subsidy renewable energy sales. In this episode of energenius, Michael shares the latest trends in the PPA landscape, talks about the company values driving Pexapark to success, and discusses how Pexapark will help SAP’s utilities customers more efficiently manage their PPA contracts.
“Transitioning from subsidised to post subsidised markets opens up new risks. Companies now need to access new capabilities for energy risk management. We helped a large company and major investor in renewable energy with 2,000 MW installed capacity across different European markets. First we educated them on these new risks, structured and closed PPA agreements for them and followed up with our software solutions to help transform their organization to build up their risk management capabilities.”
Standing Out from the Competition
“The big difference is you no longer need to rely on an RFQ methodology where the price can become out of date by the time you are able to close. With our product, you can stay up-to-date every day with what the price should be for PPAs. You can follow pricing during your negotiations and spot deviations in pricing methodologies You get the same market pricing intelligence as utilities.”