To thrive in today's world where the energy demand and sustainable development challenges are high, smarter innovation is essential. Schneider Electric’s R&D innovation teams cultivate a deep understanding of customer needs and technological advancements that integrate with market trends to provide the best value propositions, to deliver energy management solutions, and to ensure Life Is On for our customers. Customers are involved in our innovation process; Schneider Electric's products and solutions are developed through collaborations with external organizations including start-up companies, universities, partners, suppliers, and customers to bring innovative ideas and solutions. We develop our competencies in disciplines into expertise in new domains such as IoT, software, microgrid, advanced analytics, cloud computing, and more to support technological innovation.

Prith Banerjee
Prith Banerjee

Executive Vice President, Technology
Schneider Electric 

Megatrends that drive our innovation

Empowered by 11,000 Research & Development engineers worldwide, Schneider Electric creates innovative solutions that solve customers’ biggest challenges and pain points. We help them tackle megatrends such as industrialization, urbanization, and digitization — all within the context of the world’s energy paradox. This landscape drives our innovation strategy.

The new world of energy

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A strong innovative spirit

At Schneider Electric, we are uniquely positioned to meet the demand for more efficient and more connected energy. We synergize energy management, automation, and software. This allows us to serve 70 percent of the world’s energy consumption in four markets: commercial and critical buildings, residential, industry and infrastructure, and data centers.

We are investing €10 billion in R&D innovation on sustainability over the next 10 years.

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In the data center space, for example, our InfraStruxure architecture was a game changer as a plug-and-play, scalable, future-proofed system. And we were the first to implement Open Protocol Ethernet on the factory floor — far ahead of its time. We also triggered the change from using fuses to using safer, easier circuit breakers. We defined safety in critical industrial applications. After 25 years, Triconex safety system maintains its clear leadership position with a record of zero failure to date.

 

Today, with solutions for solar energy, we are well into distributed generation, and we’re at the forefront of energy storage. Indeed, our innovative spirit is strong. Change is exciting for us as we surge ahead to meet our COP21 commitments — and more.

A strong innovative spirit

An intelligent energy storage system

Renewable energy storage will advance the energy transition

Renewable energy storage will advance the energy transition.

On the eve of the COP21 conference, we introduced the EcoBladeintelligent energy storage system. This efficient, scalable form of energy storage will provide energy reserves for times when electricity is most needed. The forthcoming system is designed for residential, IT, industrial, or commercial environments and for the grid. It’s a fully flexible system powered by Li-ion batteries.

Discover EcoBlade and the benefits of innovative energy storage

The EcoBlade energy storage system helps consumers and businesses transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

Up to now, electricity grids have not enabled new energy sources to be efficiently integrated. This innovative storage system will advance the energy transition and Schneider Electric’s commitment to ensure sustainable energy for all.

Our innovation principles

We are guided by five innovation principles applied everywhere.

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Innovation at every level

local control of field devices - Schneider Electric

The convergence of OT and IT enables local control of field devices, including this Altivar™ process drive.

Many of our gains and advances in efficiency are driven by the convergence of Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT).

We uniquely bring together energy, automation, and software & analytics to make the energy and automation value chain more intelligent. More predictable. More efficient. More reliable. And safer.

 

Add to this the growth of the Internet of Things, i.e, more and more connected devices, and our innovation strategy is
truly driving greater energy efficiency
and process optimization across all markets.

Research & Development

Investing in the future

We are committed to a high investment in technology for innovation. Our R&D teams further their expertise and approach their work with specific customer needs in mind. Since our experts are close to customers around the world, they take into account local specifications and preferences.

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Research & Development

A collaborative approach for open innovation

Our R&D is all about collaboration. We have transformed our internal R&D to extend into a broader approach to accelerate innovation. Specifically, we partner with 50+ best-in-class public and private organizations. Together, we lead global projects for intelligent buildings, renewables, homes, smart electricity, and demand response. We boost standardization and drive software breakthroughs.

Research & Development

The Aster Capital Fund

Aster Capital, a leading venture capital firm that specializes in the energy, mobility, and environment fields, supports innovative start-ups by accelerating their business and financing their expansion. This venture capital activity focuses on attractive innovation locations (i.e., Europe, North America, China, and Israel) and has supported over 40 early-stage companies since its inception.

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The collaboration generated between Schneider Electric and these startups, as well as the insights brought by the Aster team on the evolution of technology markets, is another source of innovation for Schneider Electric’s R&D.

In 2015, Aster was involved in the set-up of our African Energy Access initiative with the creation of a new investment fund dedicated to Sub-Saharan African, early-stage companies involved in the energy access field. A dedicated team was elected to manage the initiative locally.

Climate bond for low-carbon research

In October 2015, Schneider Electric successfully launched a climate bond, raising €200 million with a 10-year maturity and a coupon of 1.841 percent in partnership with AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), Mirova, and Neuflize OBC Investissements. This climate bond combines R&D, green technology, and responsible investment. Its objective is to finance Schneider Electric’s R&D programs dedicated to technologies that enable customers to achieve superior CO2 savings. This is the first corporate climate bond dedicated to financing low-carbon innovation programs. It targets investors committed to climate change.

For Mirova, a leading player in the Green Bond market, Schneider Electric's bond issue, which finances its energy efficiency research program, meets many energy transition challenges.

Philippe Zaouati

Chief Executive Officer,
Mirova

Innovation impact

Over the years, we have developed advanced solutions and expertise across a variety of market segments — from Oil & Gas to Utility; Healthcare to Food & Beverage; Water & Wastewater to Mining, Minerals, & Metals; and Cloud & Colocation providers to data centers. We serve the top customers globally in all of our key segments.

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Innovation impact

Giving Deloitte the edge

Deloitte the edge - Schneider Electric

A smart building, The Edge earn the highest score ever awarded by the Building Research Establishment: 98.36%

The Edge, in Amsterdam, is heralded as the world’s most sustainable office building (BREEAM-NL, 2014). An architectural wonder, it also is a comprehensive and cohesive array of building engineering and energy-efficient ecosystems. The Edge not only sets a new global benchmark for buildings; it also prioritizes the happiness, health, and productivity of its occupants with Schneider Electric’s
SmartStruxure solution harmonizing data from multiple systems.

This solution ensures comfort control for each employee and overall efficiency in the building’s day-to-day operation.

Sustainability is about more than a great BREEAM rating. It is also about a building’s overall comfort and efficiency for its occupants, so that they can operate with ease in a productive and healthy environment.

Coen van Oostrom

Founder and CEO,
OVG Real Estate