E.ON is inviting proposals for research projects, making a sum of one million euro available for this purpose. With "Smart Home a new customer relationship with energy" as the general theme, they are to examine the impact of smart home systems on the future relationship between utilities and customers. Energy supply, home appliances, mobility, security and consumer electronics will increasingly become integrated in smart homes.
E.ON is therefore preparing itself for these challenges in numerous pilot projects. For example, the company is testing new kinds of digital grid systems, developing and already marketing recharging systems for electric cars and working together with partners like Deutsche Telekom on a common technical platform for new products. These activities are to be backed up by scientific research as part of the E.ON Research Award. This research is to identify the economic potential that this trend offers for international energy companies like E.ON. After all, developments revolving around smart homes will have a significant impact on E.ONís grid and sales business in coming years.
"We regard the research initiative not only as a means of promoting science and research. We also expect it to provide important external stimuli for the development of new business areas," said Urban Keussen, responsible for Technology & Innovation at E.ON.
Researchers can submit proposals for research projects, which have to be executed within one year, to E.ON by 30 November (www.eon.com/research_initiative). A team of experts from the companyís Technology & Innovation sector decides on the award of the funds to one or more applicants. The results of the projects supported remain the property of the researchers and are thus available to the public. The E.ON Research Award is already being presented for the fourth time. In preceding years the focus was on energy storage, application of nanotechnology in the energy business and heat storage for concentrated solar power.