EirGrid and NDRC Launch Innovative Smart Grid Collaboration

EirGrid and NDRC (the National Digital Research Centre) have announced an innovative new collaboration, the Smart Grid Innovation Hub, to assist companies, entrepreneurs and academics with Smart Grid propositions to access support from both the energy and ICT industries in Ireland and Northern Ireland, towards new products and services that will realise the Smart Grid.

The initiative aims to;

* Position the island of Ireland as the global centre of excellence in Smart Grid

* Bring new ideas from concept to market

* Facilitate the establishment of a cluster of successful Smart Grid companies

* Create indigenous enterprise

* Leverage learning to the benefit of the power system, and customers, in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Innovation Hub will operate by steering strong propositions towards success, with hands-on facilitation from power industry, ICT and commercialisation experts, with a testing environment or ‘sandbox’ for concepts and project spaces.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD comments: “This initiative will assist companies, entrepreneurs and academics with Smart Grid ideas access the expertise in both the energy and ICT industries in Ireland and Northern Ireland and gain assistance in developing their ideas to bring them to commercial reality.”

Fintan Slye, EirGrid Chief Executive, says: “The combined transmission networks of Ireland and Northern Ireland manage some of the highest levels of wind penetration in the world. This provides us with a unique opportunity in developing Smart Grids technology. Supporting innovation in new grid applications is critical and will ensure that the Grid works more efficiently and economically in the future.”

Ben Hurley, CEO of the National Digital Research Centre, “NDRC builds high-impact new ventures. By providing the people, the time, the space and the investment needed at the earliest stages of dedicated commercialisation work, NDRC can help to realise the Smart Grid in Ireland and beyond. Our work with EirGrid and the Smart Grid Innovation Hub will see us bringing together the players who have a role to play in Smart Grid development. Through this Innovation Hub, we will work side-by-side with these players to enable convergence and to turn great ideas into new ventures that will lead the Smart Grid evolution.”

Further details about the initiative and how to apply are available on www.smartgridinnovate.com

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