About Blue Lab

Today we are at a very exciting crossroads in the energy sector. By collaborating with start-ups, we have a fantastic opportunity to innovate and transform our customers’ relationship with energy
Jean-Benoit Ritz, Innovation Director, Blue Lab

Blue Lab is EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator – created to play an instrumental role to improve the lives of consumers by harnessing the latest technologies, developing energy services and testing the new business models of tomorrow.

Our goal is to create an open innovation network to generate plenty of ideas and to make ideas happen. Our new agile working space on the south coast enables us to collaboratively work with start-ups, internal teams, universities and consumers to develop and shape those ideas into a reality.

We are driven by wanting to get our customers fired up about energy. Our Blue Lab way of working is simple! We take great ideas and the most passionate people and bring them together to get the very best for our customers and for our business.

We’re always looking out for like-minded people to come and work with us. If you’re bursting with great ideas that could help shape the energy future, we want to hear from you today.

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Challenge highlights

Watch video: Blue Lab Connected Home and Business Challenge

Meet our 2016 Blue Lab Finalists


We collaborated with five great startups on our 10-week Blue Lab accelerator programme, giving them a platform to receive support and advice from independent industry experts and our own subject matter experts. All five made incredible progress throughout the 10-week Blue Lab programme, which finished with a showcase at this year's EDF Energy‘s Innovators’ Day.

Our 2016 Winner: Howz

Our 2016 Winner: Howz

The Howz connected home system measures a household’s usage of electricity and combines this with information from a series of sensors that detect door movement, temperature and light levels in a person’s home, to build up a pattern of daily behaviour and alerts family members if the user’s normal routine is broken.

The system uses statistical principles and machine learning to identify unusual activity or trends and notify a person’s care network, using predictive analytics and a knowledge of frailty and functional decline to give early warning of trends that could develop into a serious situation. Predominantly aimed at elderly people typically living alone, the system has been created to empower the individual to let their care network know they are safe, warm and well.

Jonathan Burr, founder and CEO of Howz, said: “The past ten weeks have been such an eye-opening and valuable experience for the Howz team. We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity and to the other finalists who were so open and honest, it became a real shared experience among us all. Working with the Blue Lab team has been phenomenally beneficial to us; having the opportunity to work with a company that cares about developing ideas for people is something that really resonates with the values of Howz, and we look forward to working more closely with EDF Energy in the future.”

Our 2016 Runners’ up

Upside Energy - Bluelab Challenge Runner Up

Upside Energy

Upside Energy delivers a greener, cheaper way for the electricity grid to meet demand during peak times by operating a Virtual Energy Store™.

Every time you hit a switch, somewhere a power station needs to respond. But it’s inefficient to have power stations constantly ramping their generation up and down.

Upside operates a cloud-based service that coordinates energy stored in uninterruptible power supplies; batteries attached to solar Photovoltaics, electric vehicles, hot water tanks and heat pumps, eliminating the need for any additional hardware or investment. This creates a ‘Virtual Energy Store’ (VES) enabling Upside Energy to provide a range of demand response services to the grid, distribution network operators and energy suppliers.

Devrim Celal, CFO of Upside Energy, said: “We applied to the Blue Lab programme to work with EDF Energy to design and develop a service for EDF Energy’s customers that will utilise our platform, provide energy savings and flexibility. We would like to develop and market a joint product/proposition with EDF Energy.”
Momit - Bluelab Challenge Runner Up

Momit

A Madrid-based start-up founded by Miguel Sánchez, the Momit Smart Thermostat learns from people’s daily habits to help them save energy.

Momit designs, develops and builds smart home heating and cooling control devices for everyone. Central to its product design is the ability to learn from the user’s preferences and habits, while maintaining comfort at any one time and reducing energy waste.

Momit products have built-in capabilities to monitor and report progress against a set energy budget through friendly apps.

Miguel Sanchez, CEO of Momit, said: “EDF Energy is one of the biggest electricity suppliers in the UK and part of a global energy company EDF. The Blue Lab programme is an amazing opportunity for our business to evolve our products in collaboration with EDF Energy. Through our participation in the Blue Lab programme we want to build a global partnership with EDF.”
Ipsum Energy - Bluelab Challenge Runner Up

Ipsum Energy

Ipsum works with your smart meter to identify energy usage in a building down to the appliance that is being used. Its algorithm is one of the fastest in the market.

Ipsum’s mission is to make it easier to manage the energy performance of buildings, giving consumers and businesses personalised and real-time insights to help them understand how much energy they are using and how to reduce their energy bills.

Ipsum separates energy consumption data to an appliance level through its proprietary algorithms. It can be accessed from anywhere around the world using an app.

This unique and non-intrusive approach from Ipsum gives consumers real-time personalised insights into ways to reduce their energy consumption and save money, placing the consumer at the heart of the energy chain.

Peter De Bie, CEO of Ipsum Energy, said: “The Blue Lab Challenge represents for us a great opportunity to prove Ipsum’s smart meter energy insight with a leading utility company in the UK market. We hope it will allow us to collaborate with EDF Energy for a go-to-market solution in the UK and other regions
Futurahome - Bluelab Challenge Runner Up

Futurehome

Futurehome is a Norwegian tech start-up that provides a one-stop-shop for sourcing smart home technology and related services.

The smart home technology market today is fragmented with a range of standards and products. Installations can be complex, whilst not all solutions are comprehensive and can still be expensive for customers. Only a few companies are making it easy for consumers to have a complete smart home service.

Futurehome has developed an end-to-end platform that allows consumers to easily choose customised smart-home products from well-known brands and book a certified installer to setup their smart-home at their convenience. Futurehome offers its portfolio for a fixed price including installation; and there is absolute no need for any prior smart home knowledge.

With its user-friendly app, customers can connect a growing list of smart home devices including lighting, heating, alarms and electronic locks, all to work together to give total control and deliver comfort.

Erik Stokkeland, CEO and Co-Founder of Futurehome, said: “We applied to the Blue Lab programme to work with EDF Energy to develop a unified Smarthome service in the UK. I have high expectations from the Blue Lab programme, to come out of the programme with better UK market insight, and a more scalable business model and a concept which we will test in the UK market together with EDF Energy.”

About the challenge

  • 10 weeks’ free desk space

    at our Blue Lab accelerator on the South coast

  • EDF Pulse Awards nomination

    fast-track ideas to our global innovation award, to have a chance to win a grant and get recognition across Europe

  • Expert mentoring and coaching

    support and advice from independent industry experts and our own subject matter experts

  • Real consumer insight

    how we work and what our customers want

  • Scale up

    Develop business models and trials with our customers

  • Prize

    Winner awarded £30,000 cash

About the challenge | Bluelab

Connected Home and Business challenge categories

Data Display

Data and display

Help customers understand, interpret and plan their energy use from anywhere.

Switched on

Switched on

Allow our customers to actively control when and how they use energy or to finely tune energy consumption in different parts of their home or small business.

Customer Engagment

Customer engagement

Making energy interesting and relevant.

Wildcard

Wildcard

We love surprises!


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