Electricity Provider VERBUND Hosts Innovation Challenge For Startups & Researchers

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VERBUND is one of Europe's largest producers of electricity from hydropower. Now, the Austrian company hosts an Innovation Challenge to explore solutions on sonification, neural networks, and decentralized electricity generation. Apply till July 9th!

Austria’s largest electricity provider, VERBUND, introduces its first
Innovation Challenge, calling Electricity Provider VERBUND Hosts Innovation Challenge For Startups & Research Institutionsspin-offs, startups as well as researchers to participate. In total, the call offers an application for three challenges until July 9th.

As one of Europe’s largest producers of hydropower (accounting for four-fifths of their electricity generation), VERBUND already made their commitment toward climate-friendy, renewable power clear. To take this engagement further, the corporation has decided to collaborate with external partners to “foster a future of clean energy”, as chairman of the board Wolfgang Anzengruber explains. The Innovation Challenge is anticipated to boost this process as it is calling only the most innovative players on the market, including startups and researchers. Applicants that offer creative and innovative solutions can participate in one or more challenges.

Electricity Provider VERBUND Hosts Innovation Challenge For Startups & Research Institutions

Kölnbreinsperre, dam wall

#1 Neural Networks For In Power Plants

The Innovation Challenge’s first part revolves around the analysis of telecommunicated measurement data and the prediction of the behavior of dams in hydropower plants. Specifically, VERBUND Hydro Power is seeking solutions that are capable of the autonomous detection of correlations between input and measurement data. Solutions that are able to depict the recognized connections and allow for a physical interpretation or comparison will be preferred by the jury.

The company targets predictions with limited range to shorten the process of detecting deviations, thus enabling the simplification of recognizing the cause. To put it short: neural networks, qualified to link data intelligently, process and visualize it. Startups and researchers working on such solutions can request to receive real data.

#2 Sonification Of Data From The Grid

The handling of big data is especially affecting the electricity grid due to an enormous amount of data that is being received. To improve the acquisition and analysis of different factors, short- and long-term system changes should be made audible for the human ear. Austrian Power Grid (APG), as a subsidiary of VERBUND, is looking for the audible rendering of company data from the grid, load data of power lines, transformers or other grid elements of the EHV network. Making this data audible opens new dimensions for the analysis of said data to complement classical presentation and analysis methods.

Option 1 includes the demonstration of new possibilities in the realm of predictive maintenance from which new maintenance strategies can be developed.
Option 2 discusses the audibility of electricity supply in the grid at a specific time frame for the purpose of presentations with audience appeal.

Submissions can be given in for one or both options, and for this challenge too, real data is available upon request.

#3 Optimization Of Decentralized Plants

Here, VERBUND Solutions targets prosumers as well as industrial players. The innovative solution for prosumers should result in soft- and hardware enabling them to use the energy they produce through photovoltaic cells etc. to a maximum instead of having to rely on the central grid at times. VERBUND Solutions’ ambition is to fulfill the prosumers’ wish for more independence and support them in the process.

For industry players, the goal is to find a creative solution that ensures uninterrupted power supply, which they often struggle with due to a rising instability of electricity grids. Both, existing and developing new technology are eligible to enter the challenge.

Long-Term Cooperation & Equity-Free Prize Money

An expert jury will evaluate all applications, selecting three finalists in each category to present their solutions at the Pitching Day in Vienna on July 21st. The winners will be chosen subsequently, entitling them to a long-term cooperation with VERBUND, additional to an equity-free prize money of 8000 Euro. Other benefits include access to VERBUND’s partner & distribution network, the possibility for investment, the inclusion into the electricity provider’s PR activities and the participation and presentation at the energy 2050 conference from September 27th – 29th, 2017.

Startups and researchers can apply and find further information on the website of VERBUND’s Innovation Challenge.

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