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World Economic Forum Selects Smart Wires as a Technology Pioneer

World Economic Forum Selects Smart Wires as a Technology Pioneer

June 16, 2020

The World Economic Forum has included Smart Wires in the small group of companies it identified as Technology Pioneers in 2020. This recognizes that Smart Wires is one of the world’s top technology companies and is poised to have a significant impact on business and society. Smart Wires develops and implements technologies that accelerates a low-cost path to global decarbonization by dramatically increasing the delivery of electricity through existing power grids.

“We’re excited to welcome Smart Wires to our 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “Smart Wires and its fellow pioneers are developing cutting edge technologies all over the world. Beyond their innovations, these firms are contributing greatly to improving the state of the world.”

“We are proud and humbled to be recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum,” said Smart Wires CEO, Gregg Rotenberg. “This is probably the world’s top honor for a company that has graduated from the early growth stages and is now making a major global impact. The Forum’s track-record in quickly identifying companies that will change their industries is breath-taking and we are so proud to join companies like Google, Twitter and Spotify as Technology Pioneers.”   

“I believe that within ten years, all major power grids will be operated by modern power flow technology. We will move from a grid managed mostly with steel and copper solutions, to a grid managed mostly by semi-conductors and software. This “digital grid” will enable much more rapid decarbonization with lower costs and less disruption to communities and the environment. We are committed to collaborating with utilities to quickly and affordably achieve the energy transition,” he added.

Following its selection as a 2020 Technology Pioneer, Smart Wires will be invited to contribute to Forum activities, events and discussions over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.

“This is probably the world’s top honor for a company that has graduated from the early growth stages and is now making a major global impact"

Gregg Rotenberg

Chief Executive Officer

More Information

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are shaping a wide range of industries. These leading companies are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

Technology Pioneers are selected based on their innovation, impact, leadership and relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.

2020 Tech Pioneer firms are advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The full list of this year’s Technology Pioneers can be found here.

More information on past winners and information on the community is available here.

About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

About the Global Innovators: The Global Innovators Community is a group of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups that are at the forefront of technological and business model innovation. The World Economic Forum provides the Global Innovators Community with a platform to engage with public- and private-sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome current crises and build future resiliency.

Companies who are invited to become Global Innovators will engage with one or more of the Forum’s Platforms, as relevant, to help define the global agenda on key issues.

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World Economic Forum recognizes Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens as Top Global Innovations in Critical Infrastructure from 2010-2020

World Economic Forum report recognizes key critical infrastructure innovations from Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens

May 27, 2020

Today’s report from the World Economic Forum’s International Energy Community in China has highlighted Smart Wires SmartValveTM as one of the energy sector’s influential innovations during the last decade. Winners were chosen based on several criteria including their benefit to society and contribution to accelerating the energy transition.

“Smart Wires is honored that our solutions were included on a very short and prestigious list of technologies recognized as critical enablers of the energy transition,” said Gregg Rotenberg, Smart Wires CEO.

Suleman Alli, director of strategy at UK Power Networks, said: “As the first network operator in the UK to trial the Smart Wires’ power flow control technology, we are delighted to see it recognized by this World Economic Forum report. Trialling smart solutions like load balancing highlights our commitment to unlocking new capacity for renewable energy safely, cost effectively and quickly.”

Smart Wires was recognized for its ability to maximize the grid’s transfer capacity which is necessary to enable rapid, low-cost and large-scale connections of new renewables.

Rotenberg reflected, “It is remarkable how much spare capacity exists on today’s grids. We regularly find projects where we can release several gigawatts of capacity in under a year without disturbing communities or the environment.”

“SmartValve is our solution to maximize the grid’s transfer capacity. This technology is causing leading utilities across Europe, Australia and the Americas to change the way they think about future investments in critical infrastructure,” Rotenberg said.

Further Information

Submissions were evaluated by a panel of experts from the US, Europe, China and Africa. Selected submissions were grouped into six categories: Critical Infrastructure; Emission Reductions; Energy Efficiency; Systemic Efficiency; Renewables Integration; and Access to Electricity.

Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens were highlighted in the Critical Infrastructure category. 

“Smart Wires is honored that our solutions were included on a very short and prestigious list of technologies recognized as critical enablers of the energy transition”

Gregg Rotenberg

Chief Executive Officer

“Transmission and distribution grids are the backbone of the entire electricity network. Radical changes [from the supply and demand perspective] require our critical electricity infrastructure to be more flexible and agile than ever before, without compromising on power security, reliability, efficiency or affordability. Innovative grid technologies are playing a key role in addressing energy transition-related opportunities and challenges,” the report says.

ABB was recognized for advances in High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology, supporting the integration of large-scale renewables, off-shore wind farms and cross-border interconnections.

Siemens was recognized for its Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) technology, representing a technological breakthrough when connecting large offshore wind parks to the grid.

These innovations have proven themselves over the past decade and will continue to be pivotal to enable a successful, low-cost and low-impact energy transition.

About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).

About UK Power Networks: UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England. Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.  UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).

The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks

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CEO STATEMENT: Supporting our staff, customers and communities through COVID-19

CEO Statement: Supporting our staff, customers and communities through COVID-19

May 18, 2020

First and foremost, Smart Wires extends a sincere “thank you” to all frontline healthcare workers who risk their own wellbeing every day. We are forever grateful for your relentless efforts to save lives.

We realize heroes also work outside the walls of hospitals. To those who work in food and goods, public transport, safety and security, education, and other key public services, thank you for ensuring our lives can continue as safely and easily as possible in these unchartered times. You each make selfless and critical contributions, so millions of people can stay safe at home. We salute you all.

I would also like to personally acknowledge our industry partners and customers, who day in and day out ensure the world has a constant and reliable supply of electricity. The criticality of this service is paramount as the world grapples with COVID-19. While the importance of powering hospitals and emergency equipment goes without saying, delivering this same reliability of supply to households is now just as crucial. This enables us to work, school and socialize from home, keeping our communities safe and healthy.

At Smart Wires, adapting to change and creating innovative solutions to solve critical challenges is part of our DNA. Our response to COVID-19 is no different.

Underpinned by our Guiding Principle ‘Safety’, Smart Wires’ response is fundamentally focused on the wellbeing of our employees and their families, and on our customers and their communities throughout the world.

While keeping everyone safe, we are proud to say our business continuity, production and commitment to improving global electric grids remain unchanged.

Ongoing support

The uninterrupted supply of electricity is essential to all of us during this crisis. We are inspired by our utility customers and are proud to support these vital organizations during these uncertain times.

In tandem, we are working with each of our customers to find innovative solutions to the new challenges COVID-19 is presenting to their business.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation and comply strictly with health orders and guidance issued by national health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO). We’re also in touch with our utility customers to ensure we comply with their individual onsite safety procedures, ready for the time when travel can recommence.

Business as usual

Despite different working conditions, we continue to fulfil our operational commitments to our customers. In fact, the lead time for production and deployment of our technology remains largely unaffected.

In the midst of the pandemic we have continued to safely and responsibly deploy our products around the world.

We have strict procedures in place to ensure essential workers can continue to safely work onsite at our facilities in California and Florida. These procedures comply with official health orders and guidance and ensure we maintain critical operational and business functions. The remainder of our global employees work as normal, from the safety of their homes.

We look forward to the brighter days ahead and reconnecting in person with our much loved staff, customers and industry colleagues.

Wishing you all good health,

Gregg Rotenberg

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EUREF Community-Newsletter Nr. 08 | 2020

EUREF Community - Newsletter Nr. 8 2020

Introducing: Smart Wires – Reimagine the Grid

April 23, 2020

Germany, as a trendsetter in the energy transition, is central to Smart Wires’ global strategy. Earlier this month, Dr. Susanne Nies joined the company as General Manager for Germany. She previously worked in Paris and Brussels as a senior fellow of the IFRI energy program, and as department head at the associations EURELECTRIC and ENTSO-E. At ENTSO-E, she headed strategy, research and communication until March.

“Right from the start, only one location was considered for setting up Smart Wires’ Berlin office: the EUREF campus,” says Susanne Nies. “Many important players have already settled here, such as GE Energy, Fraunhofer, KIC InnoEnergy, or Stromnetz Berlin. We are in good company in this real laboratory for the energy transition. We look forward to the exchange and will actively contribute to its success,” she says.

Michael Walsh, Managing Director of Smart Wires Europe, emphasizes: “Smart Wires’ motto is ‘Reimagine the Grid’. We are a global company based in Silicon Valley. Our unique technology was developed a few decades ago – designed by Georgia Tech graduates and evolving ever since. Smart Wires, which makes a significant contribution to the energy transition, provides solutions that optimize power grids significantly. Without efficient grids, no energy transition is possible. The use of power electronics enables a significant cost reduction and grid optimization, with the same high level of security of supply The European headquarters of Smart Wires is Dublin and projects in Ireland, the UK and some other European countries have already been successfully launched. Germany is now our focus. We are delighted to have such an energy industry expert as Susanne Nies join us to further our business activities in Germany and Europe.”

Smart Wires is currently completing a study with RWTH Aachen University, which shows the savings potential of ‘Smart Valve Solutions’ technology. The promising results will be presented publicly in summer 2020.


Dr. Susanne Nies
General Manager, Germany

EUREF-Campus 22, Design Offices

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