“Plant 4.0” Start-Up Incubator – A 2nd Edition on IoT With Five New Partners

Published Jun 28, 2017
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Total is has launched its second Plant 4.0 start-up incubator, joined this year by Air Liquide, AREVA, Eiffage, Solvay and VINCI Energies. This is the very first multicorporate Plant 4.0 start-up incubator in the world. The partners’ common goal is to accelerate the deployment of digital technology in industry.

Buoyed by the success of the Plant 4.0 start-up incubator launched by Total in 2016, the Group decided to repeat the experience, this time opening up the project to include other industry partners, on the narrower theme of innovative solutions offered by the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

This open innovation approach aims to identify the start-ups that offer practical, relatively mature industrial solutions to meet specialised operational requirements. The fledgling companies can test their technology, product or service directly with their potential customers and are put in contact with the incubator’s manufacturing partners and their start-up ecosystems. Total and the other partners will also share their expertise with the successful candidates.

With the spread of sensors and new developments in data collection and management, innovative solutions can improve the efficiency and boost the performance of plants and different industries. This international call for projects focuses on connected objects in industry in four areas:

  • Acoustic detection of leaks or anomalies.
  • Corrosion monitoring.
  • Non-invasive flow measurement.
  • Manual valve position displays.

“Total works in an open innovation process with start-ups and manufacturing partners because we all face the same challenges. Building digital solutions together speeds up their deployment in our plants and industrial facilities,” says Gilles Cochevelou, Chief Digital Officer at Total. “Digital tech improves safety and efficiency, while reducing costs. It offers a world of opportunities and could increase competitiveness in industry and for start-ups.”

For the first incubator, all industrial digital tech fields were covered by Total, from robotics, transportation, IoT, cybersecurity and remote diagnostics to augmented reality, drones and artificial intelligence. Out of 150 submissions, 24 start-ups were shortlisted and 9 selected for incubation periods of about 6 months. Total introduced streamlined processes for collaboration with the start-ups, for example by having a single contact person. Proofs of concept (pilots) were conducted at production facilities and some of the start-ups continue to work with Total today.

Tags: Air Liquide, AREVA, Eiffage, Solvay, Total, VINCI Energies


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