Why we open our lab and community as an open innovation project

By GreenCom CEO, Dr Christian Feißt.

Recently, open innovation has been a buzzword – GE, Nasa, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Lego are doing it. So why aren’t we doing it in the decentralized energy resource management (DERM) market? Why not harness the power of collaboration?

Well, we thought about an open innovation platform for some time. There are some problems though:

  1. The DERM market is still young and many players are aiming for the big revenue expected shortly while different companies are fighting for leadership. A mistake in opening one’s platform may be a fatal error in this phase.
  2. Others might copy stuff. Design, ideas or technology – you name it. Once a company gives partners access to real data, live and from real people and devices (yes, we anonymize everything) a lot more can be learned – especially if the offer is supposed to be helpful including data analysis, and downloads of data or getting access to optimization results.
  3. Others might see stuff not polished by marketing. Flyers and demos are all fun but letting someone take a look under the hood has the potential for embarrassment.

Open innovation with noticeable advantages as well

On the other hand, there are strong advantages:

  1. Yes, others might copy stuff, but they most likely will use GreenCom’s lab and community for supporting their own innovation: to develop new products. New products then mean additional feedback, insights and, after some time, new customers or partners for GreenCom. This helps our customers and partners but also our company as we get feedback that would else way have taken years to collect.
  2. Yes, others will most likely see challenges and things unpolished. However, an engine is made to work, not to be shiny. And, those challenges will help customers and GreenCom alike. Some may point to issues on the GreenCom platform; others may offer insight on what products just won’t work yet; others will show that there are things that need to be modified.
  3. Yes, the DERM market is growing. Not fast enough though. By collaborating with customers, we will speed things up. Help clients to be successful – in the end, that will be GreenCom’s success too.
Open Innovation with GreenCom's lab and community - image of the GreenCom community
Open Innovation with GreenCom’s lab and community – image of the GreenCom community

At the beginning of 2018, we decided to opt for collaboration with partners rather than trying to stir up the market ourselves. For those interested, here are some key features of GreenCom’s open innovation project:

  • Real end-to-end showcases
  • Households with different devices like heat pumps, EVs, PV, battery storages, micro CHPs and all of that from a large variety of different device manufacturers
  • Access to real live data from devices and households, anonymized, with the possibility to export for own product development
  • Ideation for new products and services, business modelling, and support from data scientists
  • Integration, product and service testing

Want to know more about open innovation at GreenCom? Get in contact.