Interconnect: Towards a digitalisation of the European electricity sector


In the InterConnect (Interoperable Solutions Connecting Smart Homes, Buildings and Grids) project 51 European entities gather to develop and demonstrate advanced solutions for the digitalisation of the electricity sector. Seven large-scale pilots will be installed in seven European countries, among which Belgium. The project was approved by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme.

The solutions developed within the scope of InterConnect will allow a digitalisation of homes, buildings and electric grids based on an Internet of Things (IoT) architecture. By including digital technologies (artificial intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud and Big Data) based on open standards, such as SAREF, it will guarantee the interoperability between equipment, systems and privacy/cybersecurity of user data. Energy users in buildings, either residential or non-residential, manufacturers, distribution grid operators and the energy retailers will have the opportunity to take advantage of these solutions.

The InterConnect project can be divided into eight seven major domains: standardisation, ontology, digital platforms, IoT, cloud, electric grid, big data and cybersecurity.

“At the end of the project, several outcomes are expected, such as a domain interoperable IoT reference architecture; interoperable functional components for residential and non-residential buildings; improved customer energy management; digital marketplace & interoperability toolkit; interoperable and replicable distributed system operators interface and business use cases for new energy and non-energy services”, explains David Rua from INESC TEC, the R&D Portuguese institution that is leading the InterConnect project.

Regulators and policymakers, end-users (home/ building owners), developers (SMEs and start-ups) and integrators will benefit from the advanced solutions that will be available in the demonstrators throughout the project and afterwards generally available in the market by 2023. The pilots will be installed in seven countries: Portugal, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and France.

Besides the developments that will be conducted by the 51 partners of the consortium, the project will also foster innovation to expand the ecosystem of players by offering opportunities for entrepreneurs through Open Calls. Three open calls will be launched by the project, from its second year, to select 42 innovative bottom-up projects – 14 prototypes and 28 small-demonstrators.

Led by INESC TEC, and with the Dutch R&D institution TNO as the technical innovation coordinator, the InterConnect consortium is composed by partners with different profiles: R&D and consultancy, manufacturers and associations, IoT/ ICT providers, DSOs, retailers and end-users.

About InterConnect

The following partners are part of the InterConnect consortium: INESC TEC (Portugal), EEBUS (Germany), TNO (the Netherlands), VITO/EnergyVille (Belgium), EDPD (Portugal), VizLore (Serbia), Th!nk E (Belgium), FundingBox (Poland), Wings ICT Solutions (Greece), SONAE (Portugal), Fraunhofer IEE (Germany), VolkerWessel iCITY (the Netherlands), Planet Idea (Italy), GridNet (Greece), YNCREA Mediterranee (France), Athens University of Economics and Business – Research Center (Greece), Elektro Ljubljana (Slovenia), ThermoVault (Belgium), TRIALOG (France), Domótica SGTA (Portugal), Schneider Electric Portugal Lda (Portugal) Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), IMEC (Belgium), DuCoop (Belgium), 3E (Belgium), CORDIUM CVBA (Belgium), Stichting VU (the Netherlands), HERON (Greece), COSMOTE (Greece), ENEDIS (France), ENGIE (France), SENSINOV (France), Whirlpool (Italy), RSE SPA (Italy), POLIMI (Italy), cyberGRID (Austria), RDGfi (Belgium), E.DSO (Belgium), OpenMotics (Belgium), KEO GMBH (Germany), ABB (Belgium), UNI KASSEL (Germany), DFKI (Germany), Fh-Dortmund (Germany), Bosch Thermotechnik (Germany), BSH (Germany), Miele (Germany), Wirelane GmbH (Germany), Vaillant GmbH (Germany), Daikin Europe (Belgium) and KNX (Belgium).

The InterConnect project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 857237. The project will run four years and has received 36M€ in funding.

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