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TMCNet:  IBM establishes new Smarter Energy Research Institute

[November 02, 2012]

IBM establishes new Smarter Energy Research Institute

Nov 02, 2012 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, an information technology company, has announced the launch of the Smarter Energy Research Institute, a new industrial research collaboration model aimed at accelerating innovation across the global energy and utilities market. Hydro-Quebec of Canada, Alliander of Netherlands and DTE Energy of USA joined as the first members.


The Smarter Energy Research Institute is a new collaboration between corporate research and the energy and utilities industry to transform energy companies through the use of predictive analytics, system optimization and advanced computation to deliver better services to their customers.

Combining IBM Research's expertise in the areas of mathematical sciences, computer science and high-performance computing with the engineering and operational know-how of the participating members, the Institute will focus on five core innovation tracks to pursue joint research and where shared investments, knowledge and capabilities will benefit every member. Each company will identify and be active in up to two tracks that match their business and operational priorities.

The areas include: Outage Planning Optimization, Asset Management Optimization, Integration of Renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DER), Wide-Area Situational Awareness, The Participatory Network.

The Smarter Energy Research Institute launches with Hydro-Quebec, Alliander and DTE Energy as the first members who operate energy networks in Canada, the Netherlands and the US and bring knowledge and expertise in operating and advancing smart grids.

"This is an important milestone for the industry and for Hydro-Quebec as we intensify our efforts to improve grid performance and stability. Joining forces with IBM Research, which has a world-class department of mathematics researchers at its disposal, will help lead the efforts of our combined resources to address the next phase in smart-grid transformation," said Jean Lessard, Director Technology Innovation, IREQ Hydro-Quebec.

"There is no other research-led consortium like the Smarter Energy Research Institute in our market and we believe that by bringing advanced research closer to areas of high industry importance, we can compress the time from research to implementation and business value," commented Rob Maathuis, Director of Asset Management at Alliander.

"Participating in this Institute allows us to utilize advances in predictive analytics to optimize the operation of our key assets and improve the reliability of our electric grid," said Vince Dow, vice president Distribution Operations, DTE Energy.

"Our mission is about bringing research and the energy industry closer together to work jointly on areas critical to the industry's transformation, and for members to become major beneficiaries in extracting value from the information and communication technology revolution. Working collaboratively across disciplines, institutions and geographies has been proven time and again at delivering superior innovation results" said Dr Dario Gil, the Smarter Energy Research Institute's Director, and Director of Energy and Natural Resources for IBM Research.

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