Centrica to support new tech venture with Grid Edge

Three lecturers secure investment to support future growth of tech start-up, Grid Edge .

An artificial intelligence (AI) start-up has been awarded £200,000 by Ignite, Centrica’s impact investment fund, to help it take a step closer to realising its commercial potential.

Birmingham-based enterprise, Grid Edge, is the brainchild of three researcher friends, Tom Anderson, Dr Jim Scott and Dr Dan Wright, who met while working together at Aston University’s prestigious European Bioenergy Research Institute in 2012.

Following three years of product development, the trio has created cloud-based energy management software which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast the building’s energy requirements over a four-hour period to optimise its consumption. In turn, the system can help reduce energy use in buildings by up to 25 per cent, helping to lower carbon emissions and energy bills while also improving system resilience.

The six figure investment from Ignite now means the three partners can focus their efforts full-time on turning Grid Edge into a commercial venture. It is also creating four roles at its city-centre headquarters, with three further positions planned by the end of the year.

Tom Anderson, Grid Edge CEO, said: “This investment is a game-changer for us. We can now focus on accelerating our product development and establishing a real footprint in the commercial market. Our ambition is to be in more than 500 large-scale buildings within five years.

“Ignite is the perfect partner for us and we have a shared vision for the future of this venture. In addition to the financial support, the expertise and industry insight provided by the Ignite team is already proving invaluable.”

Ignite, backed by Centrica, is the UK’s first impact investment fund with a focus on energy. Since 2014, the fund has supported more than 25 enterprises with expertise and investment, helping firms passionate about building a more energy efficient future to realise their potential. 

Sam Salisbury, Investment Principal for Ignite, said:  “We believe Grid Edge is a fantastic example of an enterprise that could truly benefit society, which is the key reason why we’re backing the team. 

“The technology could have huge potential for the commercial and public sector and we’re particularly excited about the opportunity it offers housing associations and local authorities; helping them to cut carbon emissions, reach energy efficiency targets and create warmer, healthier places for tenants to live.”

For further information, visit http://ignitesocialenterprise.com/