2019 BAE Q3 Recap: Bostons approach to IoT, Technology and Innovation

- Johanna Cimilluca, Fellow

The Boston Advanced Energy Q3 on IoT, Technology and Innovation quickly jump started with the help of some coffee from Zero Carbon Coffee. The meeting launched with some opening words from H.G. Chissell, the founder and CEO of the Advanced Energy Group. He highlighted the headway and momentum being accomplished by the previous winners of the Q2 stakeholder series. The Q3 Stakeholder Series then commenced with the four problem statements made by the discussion leaders. 

Anne Schwieger with the City of Boston’s Department of Innovation and Technology kicked off the meeting. She discussed how to bring about innovation to Boston’s population by working to find a way to deliver affordable and fast broadband and how it should benefit all. Anne painted a picture for everyone in the room. to imagine if everyone in Boston could control the environment within their home utilizing advanced technologies that connect them immediately to their home electric, HVAC, and water. Her problem statement highlighted the many uncertainties surrounding the infrastructure of data transmission and management/governance of data. 

Fouad Dagher, Director of Customer Innovation with National Grid Partners, was next in line to present his problem statement. He emphasized the concept of social and technological innovation and how it has been the catalyst of change in nearly every aspect of daily life for the past decade. As we try to solve for the critical challenges facing Boston every day, Fouad proposed coming up with tactics and approaches on how to effectively engage with customers and extract added value from the things they enjoy, invest in, and matter to them. 

Another speaker was Andrea Ruotolo, Senior Manager - Smart and Distributed Energy for the Worley Group. She stated that Boston’s fundamentals around energy is efficiency, activity, and clean energy. She expanded on how IoT, Innovation, and Technology can impact the three fundamentals by creating visibility, optimizing systems, and incorporating renewable energy sources. She pointed out how bringing visibility to the individual is critical for success. Her problem statement was framed to express that by freeing data to engage the innovative power of the crowd allows for innovation. 

Last, but not least, was Joana Abreu, a Program Manager - Demand Response for Eversource energy. She brought a very unique perspective to the Q3 conversation talking about the interface between human-systems, technology, and dynamic energy system. Joana understands the importance of user experience and the accessibility of technology to a city’s population in order to have an impact on utility delivery and consumption. Her experience informed her problem statement - providing reliable, secure, and anonymous energy arbitrage services, minimizing the impact on the population. 

After the presentations, eight tables were then challenged to come up with a 12-month action statement with milestones to achieve the decarbonization goal in Boston. Once the brainstorming session had completed, and ideas and goals were presented, a decision was to be made. This followed a stimulating deliberation with questions and voting.

Andrea Ruotolo’s problem statement was prioritized: Energy data is not easily accessible and in silos rather than in the public commons, this prevents the crowd from being engaged. The following milestones were decided to be completed within the year: 

1. Develop consensus on need for hub

2. Draft key changes required to establish hub

3. Draft comprehensive framework / stakeholders

4. Submit framework to designated authority

The Q4 Stakeholder Meeting will be held on November 21st. The topic of this stakeholder meeting will be on Mobility and Transportation. Please request for an invitation here: goadvancedenergy.com/participate.

AEG members will have custom invitations.