Iberdrola’s Hub in Bilbao consolidates with 75 companies and collaborating entities

IBM Technology, IBM Consulting, Schaffner, Automa, NTT Data, Turning Tables, INESC TEC and the universities of Murcia and Comillas join the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub that Iberdrola inaugurated 10 months ago at its Larraskitu centre. Iberdrola invested more than €337 million in R&D&I in 2021, 15% more than the previous year, and part of the resources were allocated to projects related to smart grids.

The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub -GSGIH-, which Iberdrola has in Bilbao, is consolidating its position ten months after its inauguration as the world centre for innovation in smart grids. There are now 75 collaborating entities and companies for the development of grid digitalisation solutions, integration of renewables, deployment of electric vehicles and energy storage systems. 

The latest to join the Iberdrola Hub in Bilbao are IBM Technology, IBM Consulting, Schaffner, Automa and NTT Data, which are leading innovation projects to improve customer service; and Turning Tables, INESC TEC and the universities of Murcia and Comillas, with projects to achieve a more efficient grid by applying flexibility to accelerate decarbonisation.

Iberdrola invested more than €337 million in R&D&I in 2021, 15% more than in 2020. Part of the resources have been directed to projects related to smart grids. It should be noted that, among the achievements of the GSGIH in these first months of operation, is the identification of R&D&I projects underway for a total estimated investment of €32 million in Iberdrola Redes España.

The Iberdrola Hub, which has the collaboration of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, is a hub for innovation and open collaboration to develop solutions between manufacturers and start-ups. In this way, it promotes innovation projects in smart grids that respond to the challenges of smart grids in the coming years.

This collaboration is key to the generation of projects in which i-DE’s technical experts transparently analyse, together with the companies most active in R&D&I, the needs of the Business in order to prioritise the lines of work in the new technologies available.

In the same way, the challenges proposed by the Hub stimulate the development of possible solutions, thanks to the start-ups. 

The Hub's growth pole

This public-private collaboration space -with more than 1,000 m2 and located at Iberdrola’s network headquarters in Larraskitu- is a pole of attraction for talent and the promotion of new technologies that will make the energy transition possible, maximising the use of renewables, fully integrating energy storage systems and optimising access to new uses of electricity, such as mobility and air conditioning. Moreover, it is also an international collaborative project, bringing together the potential of more than 200 professionals in the development of innovation projects to be developed in countries in Europe, America and the Middle East. 

Another priority objective of the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub is to promote knowledge transfer through scholarships and postgraduate courses; it serves as a catalyst for business development through incubation and acceleration programmes for start-ups; and active competitive intelligence actions, such as the design of global conferences.

Another of the main lines of action revolves around the connected worker and the robotisation of operations, with the aim of using sensorised equipment to receive real-time information on risks and anomalies in the network. It also uses terrestrial and aerial robots (drones) to perform operations remotely, avoiding travel and working more safely and efficiently.

The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub is connected to the Biscay Startup Bay strategy, as it will also become a scaleup location for startups in the energy sector that set up in the Biscay Tower.