Iberdrola SA: Hub in Bilbao consolidates its position as a global innovation center in smart grids
The Iberdrola Hub in Bilbao consolidates its position as a global innovation center in smart grids
Six months after its inauguration, Iberdrola’s Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub (GSGIH) in Bilbao consolidates its position as a global center for innovation in smart grids. There are already more than 60 collaborating entities and companies for the development of grid digitization solutions, the integration of renewable energies, the deployment of electric vehicles and energy storage systems.
According to Noemí Alonso, director of the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub in Bilbao, “the work we do at the Hub revolves around three main axes: development of scalable projects in other countries where Iberdrola is present as a distributor of energy; market-oriented projects in areas such as digitization, network automation and cybersecurity; and the generation and attraction of talent in close collaboration with universities, young entrepreneurs and collaborating companies”.
Iberdrola invested more than 337 million euros in R&D&I in 2021, 15% more than in 2020. Part of the resources were directed to projects related to smart grids. It should be noted that among the achievements of the GSGIH in these first months of operation is the identification of ongoing R&D&I projects for a total investment estimated at 32 million euros at Iberdrola Redes España.
“Electrical networks will play a fundamental role in the energy transition and in the process of electrification of the economy. They will have to be transformed in a very profound way, we will need more digital, more flexible and resilient networks”, explained Javier Arriola, director of the northern region of i-DE.
The Iberdrola Hub, which has the collaboration of the Provincial Council of Biscay, is a hub of innovation and open collaboration to develop solutions between manufacturers and startups. It thus promotes innovation projects in smart grids that meet the challenges of the smart grids of the years to come.
This collaboration is essential to the generation of projects in which the i-DE and iNET30 technical experts analyze in a transparent way, with the most active companies in R&D&I, the needs of the Business in order to prioritize the lines of work in the new technologies available.
In the same way, the challenges proposed by the Hub stimulate the development of possible solutions, thanks to startups. At present, there are already 4 international challenges launched by the GSGIH with the objective of attracting startups.
The Hub's growth pole
This public-private collaboration space -with more than 1,000 m2 and located at the headquarters of the Iberdrola network in Larraskitu- is a pole of attraction for talent and the promotion of new technologies that will make the energy transition possible, maximizing the use of renewable energies, by fully integrating energy storage systems and optimizing access to new uses of electricity, such as mobility and air conditioning. In addition, it is also an international collaborative project, bringing together the potential of more than 200 professionals in the development of innovation projects to be developed in countries in Europe, America and the Middle East.
The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub also promotes knowledge transfer through scholarships and postgraduate degrees; serves as a catalyst for business development through startup incubation and acceleration programs; and active competitive intelligence actions, such as the design of global conferences.
Another line of action revolves around the connected worker and the robotization of operations, with the aim of using sensory equipment to receive information on risks in real time. It also uses land and air robots (drones) to perform remote operations, avoiding travel and working more safely and efficiently.
The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub is connected to the Biscay Startup Bay strategy, as it will also become a scaling location for energy startups that locate in the Biscay Tower.