Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has been working with industry players, from developers to AEC firms, and increasingly tech ventures and start-ups, to smarten up the built environment.
In Hong Kong, Schneider Electric has been working with developers and partners to deploy the company’s smart building systems to newbuilds, such as The Quayside, completed in 2019 to achieve improvements in energy efficiency and sustainability. With Schneider Electric’s plug-and-play, open, interoperable IoT-enabled platform, EcoStruxure for Building, The Quayside is benefited from increased levels of operational data visibility and control to better manage building performance, occupant comfort and energy efficiency.
These solutions are a result of industry-wide collaborations with industry stakeholders in the know for years, says Eric Xie, Senior Vice President of Schneider Electric and Head of China Innovation. “Innovation is a continuous process and at Schneider Electric, we implement an open innovation strategy to keep the momentum going with a set of programmes that enable innovative start-ups to grow with us.”
For example, the company’s ‘Innovation at the Edge’ programme invests in emerging technologies and business models formulated by start-ups that challenge and complement Schneider Electric’s offerings. The program invests in start-ups through ‘SE Ventures’, the corporate venture capital fund, partners with start-ups to do proof of concept or co-sell to customers, and incubates new businesses.
Schneider Electric’s team of investment, partnership and incubation experts work with entrepreneurs and act as strategic accelerants for high potential start-ups with a focus on energy management, electric mobility, cybersecurity, AI and Industry 4.0, etc.
“We understand that for a start-up to stand on its feet, step one is securing the first client. Therefore, our experts would work with entrepreneurs to solve problems together by co-creating solutions or have their innovations integrated into our technologies. We also help them formulate proof-of-concept (PoC) models and allow them to test it out in our applications or our customer’s applications. Once securing their first client successes, I believe the start-ups we partner with will see their route into new segments or markets.”
Xie says as the Greater Bay Area continues to be transformed into smart cities, there is plenty of room for innovative start-ups to thrive. The convergence of 5G, GIS, BIM and IOT sensing is creating a lot of possibilities that were once unimaginable.
Whatever smart cities need, especially in buildings, infrastructure or industry, Schneider Electric has dedicated digital technology to support. Also, the large volume of GBA start-ups will drive technological advancement to the next level, seeking opportunities to demonstrate their technological capabilities to the right potential customers. With Innovation at the Edge program, Schneider Electric actively promote open innovation, invest and build a broader and coordinated ecosystem in the GBA area to accelerate those transformations.
Creating a smart city needs collaboration and integration, and transforming a city into a smart city requires collaborative efforts between all stakeholders in the community, including government, industry (private & public), practitioners, residents and researchers. With strong teams in China, Schneider Electric has forged close ties with customers in Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau to provide comprehensive solutions and expand GBA business collaboration.
The ultimate goals of digital twins are to make the built environment more sustainable, resilient, hyper-efficient and people-centric, he says. “We are playing our part in the transition towards smart cities. During this journey we will work closely with policymakers, industry players and innovative start-ups.”
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