Open Innovation Q&A: Voltaware

Over the course of our eight-week Open Innovation programme, we’ll be putting a series of quick-fire questions to our finalists to find out a bit more about where they’ve come from and what their plans are for shaping the future of our cities.

Today, Voltaware founder and CEO, Sergey Ogorodnov, answers our questions…

How did you come up with Voltaware and what problem are you solving?

I founded Voltaware with the aim of providing a low-cost, easily deployable energy monitoring solution.

We realised that there is currently a huge lack of transparency around energy bills. We therefore came together to solve this problem and developed the Voltaware solution to empower the user by giving them a much better understanding of their consumption – so they can become energy efficient!

Since then we have expanded our offering providing solutions for a variety of sectors, not only for energy efficiency but also for predictive maintenance, safety and security and also for health care – all through harnessing the power of electricity data.

Tell us about the Voltaware team

The company was founded by myself and one other director. We both worked in the telecoms sector and have years of senior level experience between us.

We’ve now grown the team into more than 20 strong individuals coming from different nationalities and backgrounds. The team has a diverse set of skills and includes data scientists and machine learning experts, hardware and software developers, a business development team, an energy manager, and a communications and marketing team.

And between us, we speak twelve languages! We are spread geographically across the globe. We have the HQ in London, but we also have a strong development team in Brazil, an R&D team in Italy, and sales representatives in Spain and Russia.

Why did you decide to apply for the CityVerve Open Innovation Programme?

When I read the brief it was very exciting to see how relevant the purpose of the CityVerve project is to our own objectives as a company, and also how much we could both contribute and learn from it.

It is estimated that there are 11,000 households living in fuel poverty and that businesses in Manchester could save up to £17 million through energy efficiency improvements alone. Most of these improvements require very little investment and can be realised by understanding how people use energy. So there is this massive untapped potential in the city of Manchester.

You have two ideas for the programme, could you tell us more about them?

Yes of course! Voltaware is unique in a way that our technology can be applied to solve a number different challenges.

For Voltaware Energy, we are installing sensors in one of the buildings in Manchester Science Park to monitor the tenants’ energy consumption in real time. We are providing data in much greater detail via easy-to-use applications so that both the end user and also the landlord can have much better insight into the energy use of their premises. This leads to energy efficiency with minimum effort, mostly via simple behaviour changes such as turning off equipment and lighting when it is not in use.

For Voltaware Health we are installing sensors into households in Manchester for a different cause. By monitoring electricity and understanding individuals’ routines (through data science techniques including machine learning) we plan to monitor vulnerable people without intrusion. In this way our aim is to alleviate the costly measures employed by care agencies and other health services, whilst providing peace of mind for these people and also their next of kin.

May 11, 2018 in Energy & Environment, Health & Social Care

Tune in to CityCast, the smart cities podcast from CityVerve