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Dr. Christoph Sosna

Innovations have to grow

"A lot of data result from water metering and energy measurement. In order to transform those data into useful business ideas, we have set up Diehl Metering NEO as mixture of an innovation center and incubator for business models. Among others, we collect ideas for data management for water metering and energy measurement. Here in particular, our employees represent an inexhaustible source for ideas." Dr. Christoph Sosna, who developed the so-called "innovation incubator" Diehl Metering NEO, explains.

Dr. Sosna completes the internal pool of ideas with a look at the market: "To find innovations for the smart use of water, thermal energy, gas and electricity, we pay a lot of attention to the opinion of external partners and customers. This network allows us to immediately determine the fields in which customers are searching for solutions and what challenges they are facing."

Good ideas in themselves are not enough. They are filtered and weighted by a specially developed method: "We consider how far along different aspects of an idea are and create a to-do list. What still needs to be done to get it on the right track?" the innovation manager explains.

"Within three to six months, we elaborate how much potential lies in in the idea in order to develop new business models from the selected and checked ideas. For the final evaluation, the direct feedback from the market and the customers is necessary again."

Many innovations revolve around energy and consumption measurement as well as optimization and resulting data. For an energy provider, for example. The customer is looking for a solution to better control the district heating supply for its households. "Together with external partners, we evaluated the feasibility: Is it possible to give the customer an hourly-based forecast of the future consumption in its heat network by using an algorithm which is able to identify patterns? This allows the energy provider to better plan the generation of district heating. Energy needed for this is used more sustainably, which has positive impacts on the use of resources and also on the costs."

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