RALEIGH, NC and Vancouver Nov. 1, 2023 – InnovationForce, today announced InnovationWorks Hangar, a marketplace of verified utility-based industry challenges that will harness the collaborative intelligence of energy professionals with solutions in a simple and intuitive social networking platform. The Hangar has one sole purpose: accelerate innovation to achieve decarbonization and grid modernization goals faster. Unveiled this morning at the Electric Power Research Institute's Incubatenergy Labs Demo Day, The Hangar is the next phase of advancing InnovationWorks as the world’s first AI-enabled Ecosystem Relationship Management (ERM) platform for innovation.
“Innovation is fundamental in helping utilities move through the energy transition. Utilities are required to balance the needs of the grid while integrating new technologies and resources,” said Dan Killoren, EPRI’s Innovation Hub Program Manager. “The expertise that exists within utility organizations is key to their innovation process and unlocking the value that will help them achieve their decarbonization goals.”
According to a report by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), electric companies spent more than $154 billion in 2022 alone to make the energy grid stronger, smarter, cleaner, more dynamic and secure. This substantial investment reflects the critical need for innovation and infrastructure upgrades to ensure the reliability and resilience of the electrical grid as utilities transition to new and emerging technologies.
“In just the last two weeks, the U.S. Department of Energy announced its first tranche of $3.5 billion in Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program investments for 58 projects across 44 states. And, this is just the beginning,” said Kim Getgen, Founder and CEO of InnovationForce. “In response, InnovationForce launched ‘the Hangar’ to help innovators discover and share their R&D projects starting with the challenge statement they hope to solve. We call them ‘Test Flights’. We wanted to map a wide range of Test Flights to these grid modernization solutions and create a space where utility professionals can share valuable R&D learnings from the billions of dollars being invested to upgrade the infrastructure over the next decade.”
Amidst an evolving energy landscape, utilities are facing increasing pressure to innovate, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting that electricity demand is projected to rise by 31% by 2050. This growing demand underscores the crucial need for utilities to continuously innovate and adapt to changing energy consumption patterns while decarbonizing. The Hangar offers a diverse repository of over 200 verified utility challenges culled from authoritative public documents like R&D plans, general rate cases, wildfire mitigation strategies, and infrastructure reports. These challenges are matched with commercially available solutions and cutting-edge research from national labs.
“When we look at our R&D plans over the next 3-5 years, we have hundreds of grid modernization challenges that will be solved through collaborations with partners and peers. We are always looking for new ways to collaborate and scale transformation more rapidly,” said Chris Gilbert, Director - Research & Development and Innovation Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. “That’s why we are excited to support the InnovationWorks Hanger. The Hangar can help us find answers to our R&D challenges faster. Better yet, we can validate learnings with peers to save time and deliver the best outcomes for our customers. We applaud InnovationForce for making this available to the industry free of charge to utility professionals.”
“The InnovationWorks Hangar is a pioneering initiative that promises to be a game-changer by democratizing access to data required to innovate and address key industry challenges,” said Dr. Linda Hill, InnovationForce co-founder and author of Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation. “Our decades of research shows that creating a diverse marketplace of ideas where peers can be empowered to collaborate reduces the risk of innovation which is critical in highly regulated industries like energy.”
To access and begin collaborating to solve these pressing energy challenges, visit https:hangar.innovationforce.io
InnovationForce is on a mission to create technology that enables innovators to drive innovation faster. InnovationForce builds AI-enabled workforce and ecosystem collaboration software that measures, automates, scales, and democratizes the innovation process so that anyone can participate in scaling innovation rapidly. Through the use of its patent-pending Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology platform, innovator ecosystems can leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to "Innovate for Good '' to drive industry-wide transformation and solve the world's most complex climate and infrastructure problems. InnovationForce was named a "Most Innovative Company of 2023" by Fast Company; learn more at InnovationForce.io.