Living Lab 2.0 will be a first-of-a-kind, agile and scalable real-world test environment for businesses innovating in the UK home energy market by upgrading existing homes.
UK-based software development company SysMech has been selected by Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) to help deliver a cloud-based digital integration platform for its “real-world test environment”, Living Lab 2.0.
SysMech (Systems Mechanics) specialises in large-scale big data solutions, delivering real-time analytics solutions for government and large enterprise infrastructure monitoring projects, telecommunications operators, and high-volume IoT applications.
According to ESC, Living Lab 2.0 will be a first-of-a-kind, agile and scalable real-world test environment for businesses innovating in the home energy market. It will upgrade existing homes from across the UK to become digitally connected smart homes.
This “national asset” will provide innovators with a safe, affordable, shared space for the trial and demonstration of energy products, services and business models with real consumers to de-risk and scale innovations for market. It will also provide insights and evidence to help transform market arrangements, policies and regulations – as the UK moves towards a net zero carbon future.
A critical part of the Living Lab 2.0 infrastructure is the development of a cloud-based digital integration platform that acts as the intermediary – to intake, manage and analyse huge amounts of data – between the innovations being tested and the wide range of mainstream smart home devices and energy appliances within Living Lab homes.
“SysMech [is] helping us develop a digital integration platform that enables UK businesses to trial their products and services [with] real consumers, generating the high-value, high-volume data needed to validate and improve innovations and business models,” said Dr Andrew Barton, systems development manager, ESC.
“We chose SysMech because they were a UK SME (small- or medium-sized enterprise) with experience developing systems that can handle huge amounts of data while ensuring performance, health and utilisation.”
Based on SysMech’s Zen product, the digital integration platform will be open and technology-agnostic, providing interoperability and scalability to enable a range of innovative new products, services and business models to be trialled in hundreds and eventually thousands of UK homes.
ESC says Living Lab 2.0 will significantly improve and expand on its existing Living Lab of 100 connected homes, where businesses can design and market-test heating products and services.
“We chose SysMech because they were a UK SME with experience developing systems that can handle huge amounts of data while ensuring performance, health and utilisation.”
The digital integration platform will act like the operating system, allowing innovators to plug in their own software or utilise a Catapult option that will be interoperable – physically, digitally and commercially – with the smart control systems and IoT devices being used by households.
Initially, the work will focus on low-carbon heating and transport innovations and the integration of smart controls, electric vehicles and distributed energy technologies. New integrations will be added in response to evolving policy and market needs.
Selected via a competitive tender process, SysMech has formed a joint team with Catapult that will work very closely throughout the project, which is being delivered using an “agile scrum” approach.
Energy Systems Catapult was set up to help accelerate the transformation of the UK’s energy system and ensure UK businesses and consumers capture the opportunities of clean growth.
It is an independent, not-for-profit centre of excellence that seeks to bridge the gap between industry, government, academia and research.
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