Vector and VIA Partner to Establish Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC), a Multi-Company Transformer Database

VIA is thrilled to announce our partnership with Auckland-based energy company, Vector, to build the world’s first privacy preserving, multi-company database for machine learning-ready transformer data, called the Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC): Transformers.

Vector’s CEO, Simon Mackenzie comments on the importance of this collaborative:

“With a larger, smarter and more collaborative data asset like the GDAC we can refine the information we depend on to keep our network assets in the best possible shape. This is becoming increasingly important as we transition the network to meet the needs of the new energy future, where new technologies like distributed energy resources and battery storage will integrate with the network at scale. We have a responsibility to make this transition as efficiently as we can, and without burdening customers with excessive infrastructure costs. Improving our data and analytics capability will play a central role in that.”

To read the full press release, visit Vector’s website.

VIA’s Colin Gounden and Jeremy Taylor Attend Opening of Innovation Center Denmark in Boston

Earlier this week, CEO Colin Gounden and CSO Jeremy Taylor were among a select group invited to the inauguration ceremony for Denmark’s Innovation Center in Kendall Square. VIA has established a presence within Denmark’s innovation community, thanks in large part to the support of Accelerace’s Cleantech program. This center is part of a partnership between the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Boston now joins Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Munich, New Delhi/Bangalore, Sao Paolo, and Seoul on the list of cities home to Danish Innovation Centers.

The new center will create opportunities for Danish researchers and companies to connect with Boston’s universities and cutting-edge start-ups, with a focus on cleantech and sustainable energy solutions.

Jeremy Taylor joined the roundtable discussion led by Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Tommy Ahlers. “Denmark has established an innovation cluster for artificial intelligence and robotics. One topic we discussed was the challenge with supporting ongoing development of these technologies in a socially and ethically responsible way. Montreal recently released its Declaration for Responsible AI, and I think that could be a great roadmap for Danish researchers and entrepreneurs as well,” said Jeremy.

 

VIA Denmark Innovation VIA Denmark Innovation

VIA and KWHCoin Partner to Securely Analyze Smart Meter Data for Utility Clean Energy Incentive Programs

Somerville, MA – December 20, 2018 – VIA, a leader in solving energy industry problems using artificial intelligence and blockchain, today announced its partnership with KWHCoin, a blockchain-based solution that integrates renewable energy and distributed energy resources into the grid.

KWHCoin will use VIA’s Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) to securely and anonymously analyze consumer behavior from smart meter data to help its utility partners incentivize their customers to use renewable sources and clean energy.

Girard Newkirk, CEO of KWHCoin explains the value of partnering with VIA, “We have been working with several rural development cooperatives here in North Carolina to offer a reward system to their customers who use solar panels at their home or business. VIA’s approach to privacy preserving AI at both the energy infrastructure and individual household level will help make these types of rewards systems easily adoptable for more utilities and their customers who are concerned about privacy.”

“AI and analytics are powerful tools. Providing meaningful insights while maintaining the privacy and security of the underlying data is a crucial challenge. VIA’s TAC™ application is a “no trade off” solution and the world’s first privacy preserving AI platform,” said Colin Gounden, CEO of VIA.

He continued, “We are honored to partner with KWHCoin, a leader in delivering renewable energy access to underserved communities. VIA is on track to have 100,000 individual smart meter households protected by TAC™ in 2019. TAC™ will provide utilities with the insights they need for fault detection, load forecasting, and to create incentive programs, and other value-added services.”

About VIA

VIA helps energy companies across the globe realize the value of their data through AI and blockchain. Since 2016, the company has worked with the world’s largest utilities and government agencies on AI initiatives like predictive maintenance and contingency planning. VIA has developed a blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) to help energy companies reduce the burden of preparing and sharing their data. TAC™ (patent pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithVIA.com.

About KWHCoin

KWHCoin is a blockchain based community, ecosystem with a mission to provide renewable energy to the 1.2 billion people across the globe. We are using cryptocurrency as a liberation technology by giving people who are on the edges of the grid access to clean affordable energy.  Physical deliverable units of KWh energy are leveraged from multiple sources including smart meters, sensor readings and green button data therefore allowing us to become a smart grid exporter. This measurable export output is tokenized on the blockchain to create digital KWHCoin tokens that can be traded on our peer to peer network. The KHWCoin team headquartered in Wilmington, NC were the 2018 Regional Start up World Cup winners at the World Blockchain Summit held in Nairbori, Kenya.  For more information, please visit www.kwhcoin.com.

Joe Babiec Speaks at EUCI Conference on Blockchain, Energy Sector

In October, VIA’s Joe Babiec, VP, Strategic Initiatives, was invited to present at EUCI’s conference: “The Blockchain Technology Revolution: Implications for the Energy Sector”. Hosted in New Orleans, the event welcomed thought leaders and decision makers from leading utilities and energy providers, local government agencies, research organizations, and technology companies to discuss business use cases of blockchain in the energy industry.

In his session, “Valuation of Utility Data Through Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence”, Joe discussed the ways customers are using VIA’s TAC application to reduce costs and monetize operational data in secure and privacy-protected ways. He explained how TAC’s blockchain-enabled smart contracting capability allows data owners and analysts to reach agreements with one another much faster than by traditional methods, and with the confidence that the terms of their agreement will be observed by all parties.

Fellow presenter Kristen Brown, a principal of technology innovation at Exelon, touched on implications of the transformation taking place in the energy industry. Specifically, she called on energy companies to embrace the transition from business models that prioritize “pipelines” to new approaches that emphasize generating value from “platforms” that connect energy providers and consumers in new ways.

For information on upcoming EUCI conferences, visit their website.

VIA’s Joe Babiec Invited to Speak at Cleantech Group’s Executive Summit

In October, Joe Babiec, VIA’s VP, Strategic Initiatives, was invited to speak at Cleantech Group’s Executive Summit, “Blockchain in Energy & Mobility”. The summit, hosted in New York, invited top leaders in energy and blockchain to discuss the technical, commercial, and regulatory challenges of scaling blockchain-based applications within the energy industry.

Joe spoke on the opening panel, which focused on the value propositions and business models being used by innovating companies like VIA. He explained how VIA’s Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) application generates revenue by helping energy companies reduce operations and maintenance costs, and by providing secure, private data access to external analysts. Joe also noted that TAC has an important advantage as a new product: unlike some future-oriented blockchain applications, TAC helps energy companies address challenges and opportunities they already experience, so using TAC allows companies to realize substantial benefits right away.

VIA is now engaging in a series of proof of concept pilots to confirm TAC’s evolution from a prototype to a production-ready application. The company plans to officially launch TAC in 2019.

VIA’s Joe Babiec Invited to Speak at Greentech Media’s Blockchain in Energy Forum

VIA’s VP, Strategic Initiatives Joe Babiec was invited to speak on a panel at Greentech Media’s Blockchain in Energy forum earlier this month. The panel, hosted at Pacific Gas and Electric’s San Francisco offices, focused on monetizing energy company data with the help of blockchain. Greentech Media’s Emma Foehringer Merchant moderated.

On the panel, Joe shared this insight into why VIA developed its blockchain-based Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC): “We identified a problem which turns out to be very common: in a typical nine-month project you often spend over two-thirds of your time getting access to the data before any of the value-add analytics work can begin.” TAC solves this challenge by establishing secure access to confidential data for analysis by third parties. Employing TAC to facilitate access to on-premise or cloud-stored data provides two key benefits: cost savings from better and faster analysis, and the opportunity for energy companies to generate new revenues by making data available, safely and privately, to in-house and external experts.

For more information about the event, visit PG&E’s website.

VIA CEO Colin Gounden Gives Keynote Speech at Siemens, Intelligent Energi Event

Earlier this month, VIA CEO Colin Gounden gave the keynote speech during an event hosted at Siemens’ Denmark offices. The Danish Intelligent Energy Alliance, Intelligent Energi, organized the event for its members. Intelligent Energi’s goal was to encourage dialogue between network companies, suppliers, and academics about opportunities and challenges to adapt to variable and renewable generation in the electricity distribution network.

Colin shared VIA’s AI and blockchain expertise, with a particular focus on its AI results to improve operations and maintenance and its Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) application. One major topic of discussion at the event was related to the massive transformation that electrification is having (e.g., changing consumption due to electric vehicles and electric heat pumps). In particular, participants agreed that to ensure the reliability of the grid under new stresses like electrification and renewables, improved sharing of digital information and AI are necessities.

Joe Babiec Presents at Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days (SUEID)

In August, VIA’s VP, Strategic Initiatives Joe Babiec was invited to introduce VIA’s Trusted Analytics Chain application (TAC) and its innovative use of blockchain technology to more than 100 energy industry leaders during an address at the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days (SUEID) conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

SUEID, hosted by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and swissnex Boston, is an annual, invitation-only event that unites industry and thought leaders across Switzerland and the US. This event convenes a dynamic community of corporate, government, and academic leaders eager to exchange ideas, explore potential collaborations, and showcase promising energy-related innovations. One major theme voiced by conference participants was the need to increase information sharing within the energy industry while also respecting privacy concerns like GDPR. Joe’s address highlighted TAC’s ability to facilitate advanced analysis while ensuring compliance with customer-imposed or government-mandated security and privacy requirements.

Joe was also invited to meet with some of Switzerland’s largest power companies as well as leading academics in the country’s blockchain community, all of whom were interested in learning more about TAC and exploring potential future collaborations with VIA.

To learn more about the event, visit SUEID’s website.

VIA Leverages BigchainDB to Enhance TAC Software Application

Somerville, MA – September 12, 2018VIA, a leader in solving energy industry problems using artificial intelligence and blockchain, today announced its utilization of BigchainDB to support the further enhancement of VIA’s Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) application. BigchainDB provides blockchain solutions for developers, startups, and corporations to help them build their blockchain applications. VIA will use BigchainDB’s database to make its TAC application a consortium blockchain.

“Over the last nine months, we have reached some exciting milestones in TAC’s development,” said Jesus Cardenes, Team Lead, System Architect at VIA. “We are happy to have found a solution in BigchainDB. We’re utilizing their blockchain database to allow TAC to maintain the immutability of the information in a decentralized and semi-private architecture, providing access to the network by invite-only.”

“We’re proud to work with VIA on what we expect to be a transformative blockchain application for the energy industry. They have also been instrumental in providing feedback on modules and other technical aspects to help make enhancements to our systems. We hope to co-develop together in the future,” said Troy McConaghy, a developer at BigchainDB.

About VIA
VIA helps energy companies across the globe realize the value of their data through AI and blockchain. Since 2016, the company has worked with the world’s largest utilities and government agencies on AI initiatives like predictive maintenance and contingency planning. VIA has developed a blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) to help energy companies reduce the burden of preparing and sharing their data. TAC (patent pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithvia.com.

About BigchainDB
BigchainDB is scalable blockchain database offering decentralization, immutability and native assets. BigchainDB allows for the deployment of large-scale applications in a variety of use cases and industries from intellectual property and identity to supply chain, IoT and artificial intelligence. BigchainDB provides unique solutions for developers, start-ups and enterprises to successfully build their concepts, platforms and applications as big as they can dream. For more information, please visit www.bigchaindb.com.

VIA Partners with Monitoring Analytics on Machine Learning Initiative

Somerville, MA – September 5, 2018VIA, a leader in solving energy industry problems using artificial intelligence and blockchain, today announced its partnership with Monitoring Analytics, the Independent Market Monitor for PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. PJM is the largest regional transmission organization in the United States, serving more than 65 million people.

“The volume of market data continues to grow, and market participant strategies are becoming increasingly sophisticated,” said Joseph Bowring, the president of Monitoring Analytics. “Bringing VIA on board provides us with leading edge analytical techniques to deliver new insights to help us in our role in maintaining competitive markets.”

“VIA is proud to partner with Monitoring Analytics” said Colin Gounden, CEO of VIA. “In addition to leveraging our machine learning expertise, we look forward to applying our patented Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) application to analyze data remotely.”

About VIA
VIA helps energy companies across the globe realize the value of their data through AI and blockchain. Since 2016, the company has worked with the world’s largest utilities and government agencies on AI initiatives like predictive maintenance and contingency planning. VIA has developed a blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) to help energy companies reduce the burden of preparing and sharing their data. TAC (patent pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithVIA.com.

About Monitoring Analytics
Monitoring Analytics was established in 2008, created by spinning off the Market Monitoring Unit of PJM. PJM, a regional transmission organization, operates a centrally dispatched, competitive wholesale power market in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Since 1999, the PJM Market Monitoring Unit has been responsible for promoting a robust, competitive and nondiscriminatory electric power market in PJM by implementing the PJM Market Monitoring Plan. Monitoring Analytics has extensive experience producing reports on a variety of market topics and participating in FERC proceedings. For more information, see http://www.monitoringanalytics.com/home/index.shtml.

Colin Gounden and Joe Babiec Present at Energy Impact Partners Roundtable in NYC

In late July, VIA CEO Colin Gounden and VP, Strategic Initiatives Joe Babiec gave a presentation on VIA’s Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) application at the Energy Impact Partners (EIP) Roundtable in New York City.

The event’s attendees, which included a mix of EIP’s utility partners, asked thoughtful questions about TAC implementation, as well as the application’s software and security details. One question that stood out to Colin and Joe was more related to specific use cases for TAC:

“Given TAC is able to share data privately and anonymously across companies,
could TAC then also be used for benchmarking the performance of assets, like power plants and wind turbines, in addition to advanced AI applications?”

The short answer is yes. In fact, we are currently developing a specific application on top of TAC to do just that. Companies today already spend a lot of money on third-party consultants to aggregate their data and generate anonymized comparisons of operating performance and physical asset performance. TAC offers a near real-time, cost effective way of sharing those same metrics.

To learn more about how VIA is helping the energy industry solve its biggest challenges, watch this interview Colin did during Iberdrola’s Innoday in May.

Colin Gounden Shares Expertise on Panel at Elemental Excelerator’s Interactive Event

VIA’s CEO Colin Gounden was handpicked to speak on a panel, moderated by California Energy Commissioner, Carla Peterman, at Elemental Excelerator’s (EEx) Interactive Event held in San Francisco last week. The panel, titled “Energy’s Digital Grid”, touched on the ways data is changing electrical grid operations in terms of predictability and visibility.

Over 200 people were in attendance, including some of the world’s largest utilities, as Colin talked about the ways VIA is applying artificial intelligence and blockchain technology to reduce risks associated with the aging electrical infrastructure. EEx captured a memorable quote from Colin, which was shared to Twitter:

For more information on VIA’s involvement in the EEx program, visit their website.

Iberdrola Innoday Recap: “We rely on power for everything”

In late May, VIA was invited to Iberdrola’s Innoday at its international campus in Madrid, Spain. The invite-only event was attended by over 600 people, with 25 companies showcasing the latest technology innovations to hit the energy industry. There were a number of technologies like drones for wind turbine inspection and AI solutions for the electrical grid being exhibited at the event.

CEO Colin Gounden attended Innoday and was the only participant to both be invited to speak on stage and give an exclusive video interview with Iberdrola. In the interview, Colin talked about the current state of the energy industry, how it will change over time, and the critical role VIA will play in the future of the energy. Check out the full video interview below, featured on Iberdrola’s website:

 

Colin Gounden Presents at FERC Technical Conference

Colin Gounden, CEO of VIA, gave a presentation last week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conference, “Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency and Enhancing Resilience through Improved Software.” This is the second time Colin has been selected to present at this invitation-only conference.

During his presentation, titled “AI for forecasting and resiliency in energy” Colin discussed the issues that limit AI learning to improve grid resiliency. These include too little data / signal, too much data, physically distributed data, and information privacy. His presentation focused on how VIA’s application, Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC), addresses these four common AI training data issues.

The three-day conference culminated with a final session with multiple speakers focused on the importance of data access and data sharing. There was widespread consensus from participants that improved access to energy data and modeling frameworks would allow faster and better analytical solutions. In particular, widening the scope for expert collaboration would have a dramatic impact on the quality of technical solutions that could improve grid resiliency and day ahead forecasting.

View the presentation slides:

For a copy of Colin’s presentation, please visit the FERC event page.

Joe Babiec, Experienced Government Advisor and MIT Alumnus, Joins VIA’s Advisory Board

Somerville, MA – June 19, 2018 – VIA, a leader in solving energy industry problems using artificial intelligence and blockchain, is pleased to share that Joe Babiec has joined its advisory board to provide his expertise in strategic partnerships and regulatory affairs. Joe will play a major role in gathering feedback and understanding market needs across stakeholders in the energy industry.

“Our blockchain-based technology, Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC), has seen growing interest across the US and in more than 10 countries in Europe and in Asia. Through conversations, we’ve realized that we have the opportunity to become the industry standard for secure and private data analysis, and we believe Joe is the right person to help us achieve that goal,” said Colin Gounden, CEO of VIA. He continued “Joe has a long history of working with heads of state and senior government officials on technology and innovation strategies to improve global competitiveness. His experience coupled with his technical education in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT made him the perfect candidate to fill the gap on our team.”

Joe has spent the better part of his 25-year career consulting with companies on their corporate strategies including product launches, enhancing brand image, and integrating both teams and products across a wide variety of industries including software and electricity generation.

“I’m thrilled to be joining VIA at such a transformative time for both the company and its AI and blockchain technologies. Since joining, I’ve experienced firsthand how hungry the market is for VIA’s TAC solution and I couldn’t be more excited to work with government and industry teams to help make TAC the standard for the industry,” said Joe Babiec.

About VIA
VIA helps energy companies across the globe realize the value of their data through AI and blockchain. Since 2016, the company has worked with the world’s largest utilities and government agencies on AI initiatives like predictive maintenance and contingency planning. VIA has developed a blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain (TAC) to help energy companies reduce the burden of preparing and sharing their data. TAC (patent pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithVIA.com.