January 28, 2016 - 9:01 AM EST
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Igniting the Energy Economy: Siemens, NB Power and University of New Brunswick Launch Smart Grid Innovation Network

FREDERICTON, NB--(Marketwired - January 28, 2016) -

  • Unique project aimed at developing smart grid eco-system for technology advancement, research and development in New Brunswick and globally
  • Investment of $8 million in cash and in-kind over next five years in initial phase
  • Supported and funded in part by federal and provincial governments

Aligning with New Brunswick's vision for a sustainable electricity future, the Smart Grid Innovation Network (SGIN) was officially launched today in Fredericton by founding partners Siemens Canada, New Brunswick Power (NB Power) and University of New Brunswick (UNB). SGIN is a joint testing platform that aims to serve as a catalyst for innovation and the development of a next generation electricity eco-system in New Brunswick, while supporting opportunities for innovation that can be applied to the global energy marketplace. 

Practically speaking, Smart Grid Innovation Network will allow businesses to design, develop and test smart grid related products and services, offering industry players access to an incredible eco-system that will help them over technology hurdles, and allow them to evolve their product or service to the next level of 'smart' so it can communicate with other products and the electrical grid. SGIN can not only support them to contribute to a successful smart grid implementation in New Brunswick, but also to give them the opportunity to take their product or service to the world. 

The SGIN is centered around three interconnected labs, each with a number of virtual and physical elements. Each lab will be led by one of the SGIN partners and will serve as on-ramps to business and organizations from New Brunswick and around the world, to innovate, design, test and take to market, products and services in the smart grid and sustainable electricity space.

The three labs are:

  1. Smart Grid Research Lab at the University of New Brunswick: To provide R&D in the early stage of the innovation cycle, providing a platform for developing new smart grid concepts, models and algorithms to feed into technology development; as well as to support testing in a simulated grid environment. This lab will also support advanced power systems research and education, coupled with hands-on real world experience.
  2. Interoperability Lab at Siemens: To conduct R&D and allow vendors to test the interoperability of various smart grid product and services components, by providing a configurable sandbox environment for innovation partners.
  3. Products and Services Lab at NB Power: To conduct R&D, utility grid interoperability testing, and support acceptance testing by validating product requirements and compliance readiness. Will also support training and provide a platform for outreach and demonstration activities.

Beyond the physical labs, SGIN is intended to offer a single point of contact for local and global companies for smart grid related development and testing, as well as provide R&D and demo support and build capacity for developing, sharing and supporting smart grid development. To assist this, SGIN will host workshops and conferences to engage and exchange knowledge among users and potential users of the network, facilitating this fast-paced and fluid innovation smart grid environment.

Governance for the SGIN will be structured formally with Lab Coordinators at each of the three physical lab sites managing staff and reporting into a recently appointed Innovation Officer who reports back to the Executive Oversight Committee and Steering committee presiding over the project. 

For its part, Siemens plans to invest more than $1 million CAD in cash and in-kind over the next five years into the SGIN and its Interoperability Lab. NB Power expects to invest in the order of $2 million in cash and in-kind in its Product and Services Lab; and UNB has also committed upwards of $2 million in cash and in-kind, including NSERC project research funding, to the unique venture.

At a governmental level, SGIN is also supported with $2 million in federal funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), as well as $840,000 in provincial government investment by Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB).


"While our primary goal is to transform the electricity system in New Brunswick to bring customers greater value and services, we also have a tremendous opportunity here to help local businesses get their smart energy products market-ready. This new network will provide local and global companies a chance to build on the R&D already happening here and promote greater innovation for the benefit of New Brunswickers".
- Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO, New Brunswick Power

"At UNB, we're incredibly proud to be at the forefront of smart grid research and development. Our collaboration with NB Power and Siemens on the smart grid innovation network is one of the many examples of the rich eco-system of innovation we have in this province. Investments such as the SGIN are incredibly important to the work we do at UNB and enable our researchers to work together with other stakeholders and innovators to the benefit of all. We see immense potential for the SGIN to foster the co-creation of intellectual property at the cutting edge of smart grid technology."
- Dr. David Burns, Vice President, Research, University of New Brunswick

"This Smart Grid Innovation Network is Siemens' newest investment in New Brunswick, and we are incredibly excited about SGIN as a catalyst for innovation and development in the business community with smart grid ready products and services as the outcome -- not only to support smart grid deployment here in NB but to promote it throughout the Siemens world and beyond."
- Robert Hardt, President & CEO, Siemens Canada Limited

"We are focused on creating the right environment for innovation to flourish to help create jobs and grow the economy. This partnership will support local businesses and entrepreneurs, while positioning New Brunswick as a centre of excellence to attract companies that want to develop and test smart grid technology. This partnership is a great example of local and international leadership working together to develop innovative ways to make New Brunswick a world leader in smart grid technology." 
- Donald Arsenault, New Brunswick Minister of Energy and Mines

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovation that helps to fight climate change and promote sustainable growth. We are proud to support the Smart Grid Innovation Network, a world class energy management partnership with the potential to introduce sustainable energy sources to the power grid, and reduce energy waste. This new initiative represents an important and positive step forward for clean energy and sustainable economic development."
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

About Siemens Canada
For more than 100 years Siemens Canada has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality and reliability. Siemens technology in the fields of electrification, automation and digitalization helps make real what matters to Canadians. From the Atlantic to Pacific oceans, more than 4,800 employees in Canada work together to deliver solutions for sustainable energy, intelligent infrastructure, healthcare, and the future of manufacturing. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions and automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a foremost provider of medical imaging equipment and a leader in laboratory diagnostics. Sales for Siemens Canada in fiscal 2015 (ended September 30), were $3.0 billion CAD. The company has 46 offices and 15 production facilities across Canada. Further information is available at www.siemens.ca.

Contact for journalists:
Ann Adair
VP Communications & Government Affairs
Siemens Canada
Phone: 416.567.7831
E-mail: [email protected]
Follow us: twitter.com/siemenscanada

Source: Marketwired (Canada) (January 28, 2016 - 9:01 AM EST)

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