With developed economies around the world transitioning to net zero-carbon energy sources, it’s kicking off the greatest upheaval in the energy sector for over a century.
This movement for change creates a rare opportunity for enterprising tech start-ups to disrupt established energy, supply models. by implementing innovations that speed the journey to a decarbonised future, in the process helping to address the growing global climate emergency.
Enter Gridcognition, an Australian team of self-confessed energy nerds who have received significant financial and organisational backing from the Entrepreneurs’ Programme Accelerating Commercialisation service.
With this formidable combination, the Australian start-up is building new technology to plan, track and optimise the shift to a decentralised and decarbonised energy future.
A powerful plan emerges
Fabian and Pete are long-time collaborators, having co-founded energy analytics software startup Greensense in 2008, which they sold to ERM Power in 2016 (now Shell Energy), where they continued to work in leading roles until mid-2019.
At this point, the pair could see how the energy industry was rapidly transforming, but that the pace of deployment of new green technology was being hindered by the cost and complexity inherent in depending on specialist consultants, vast complicated spreadsheets and niche, specialised tools.
So in 2020, they created Gridcognition, a new software platform to deliver confidence in the economic and environmental performance of complex multi-market, multi-site, multi-asset clean energy projects, powered by new advanced simulation and optimisation technology.
Energised for change
Pivotal to Gridcognition’s rise was a successful application to the Entrepreneurs’ Programme Accelerating Commercialisation service. Gridcognition received a grant of $998,783 and was paired with expert i4 Connect Facilitator, Josh Garratt, who’s advice and expertise helped the company double in size and attract interest from global energy players.
A start-up commercialisation professional with a passion for technology and automation, Josh was impressed by Gridcognition’s vision. “Their solution optimises for both financial and environmental energy outcomes. Armed with a grant and the support of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme Accelerating Commercialisation service, Gridcognition’s expert team has created a self-service platform to allow energy asset owners to meaningfully participate in decarbonisation, decentralised energy provisioning and digitally connected infrastructure,” Josh says.
Many and varied benefits
Funding from the grant directly contributed to hiring of new staff, commercialising the product via research, market development and business development, conducting trials to help validate the technology in Australia and beyond.
Beyond that, Josh supported Gridcognition through the comprehensive application process. “We’ve maintained a close working relationship with Josh through that period and he’s been very helpful,” Fabian says.
The company’s success in receiving the Australian Government-backed grant and additional support from an i4 Connect Facilitator strengthened their position. “The fact that we had this support was extremely helpful and gave people confidence that we had some financial strength as a business,” Fabian says. “It’s an endorsement of the business, as well the fact that we’ve been selected. I think that was very helpful.”
The world at their feet
Other key business goals were to finish commercialising the technology and develop a market expansion plan outside of Australia. “We have successfully contracted with customers in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom,” Fabian says. “Those are our first commercial sales of the new technology outside Australia. So, in that respect, we’ve been successful.”
With the world at their feet, a global energy market hungry to find clever solutions to an existential challenge and a massive commercial opportunity, Gridcognition now has all the elements needed to power towards a bright future.