|10 April 2017|

This is becoming the age of collaboration and cooperation where companies increasingly understand they must work together to find solutions to global challenges.

Providing people in developing countries with easier access to electricity is one of those challenges. In a bid to make progress on this energy company Fortum and software agency Futurice are joining forces to use their expertise in solar and tech to develop suitable systems.

In an open innovation process the pair will spearhead the development of a system which can enable local energy providers to offer households flexible options to secure electricity.

The Software-as-a-Service concept could be a pay-as-you-go model where customers who can’t afford panels can still buy electricity. And with a digital solution useable without a smartphone, through texting or similar, it would further democratise the process.

“By combining digital know-how, the Internet of Things and solar energy in an open innovation process, we are aiming for a new solution and business model that would have a concrete impact on sustainable development,” says R&D Manager Catarina Naucler from Fortum.

If the initial development stage and prototyping prove successful a commercial pilot could begin later this year.

“For Futurice, the cooperation represents a new way of working side-by-side with a strategic partner and in selected projects moving from service provider to equal business partner. We want to find new ways of working and create new,
evolving and agile ecosystems. One way to do this is to establish startups with our corporate partners,” Future & startups Principal Anni Harju from Futurice states.