Story | 10/13/2017 13:08:00

Hack the Flexible Energy

UPM Energy has launched an innovation challenge by recruiting leading teams in service design and data science to design novel digital user experiences and data exploration tools. The aim is to support UPMers in increasing flexibility in the energy consumption.

UPM Energy is a pioneer in optimizing production processes according to energy markets. As renewable energy production is growing fast and changing the very set-up of the electricity market, we are interested in new viewpoints in our digitalization projects. Designing digital user experiences for mill staff as well as increasing the level of production data analysis tools are essential drivers in enabling flexibility in energy production.In cooperation with Industryhack, we are now looking for innovative software developers and tech startups to tackle two challenges: First, to Improve daily operations by engaging and improving digital experiences. Second, to Analyze industrial processes by data exploration tools.

Looking for visual and engaging interfaces

Traditional electricity production can be steered according to the need. Renewable electricity on the other hand is produced only when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Together with the closure of coal-fired power plants this presents new challenges to the whole electricity system. For the industry to be able to support the transfer to the sustainable energy system, more flexibility in energy consumption is required. Industrial processes need to be more responsive to the signals from different energy markets – consumption has to increase when the price is low and decrease when the price is high.In order to support our staff in reaching these goals, data needs to be made as visual, actionable and engaging as possible. We also need a scalable, modular tool for analyzing large amounts of industrial process data. For this, we are inviting all tech-savvy innovators of the world to hack on two new product concepts.“New challenges require new ways of working. That’s why we have chosen to test a new type of development model with Industryhack. In addition to a new and innovative prototype to work on, we also gain experience on how this kind of working method fits our purposes in the future”, says Energy Service Project Lead and jury member Jukka-Pekka Häkli from UPM Energy.

The Industryhack challenge has begun

With more than 200 hack experiments already, Finnish Industryhack is an open innovation platform that brings hackers and the world’s most innovative companies together to set new rules for industries and their digitalization projects. The innovation challenge is now open for applications at https://industryhack.com/challenges/flexible-energy/ until October 27th 2017.

A co-development event called hackaton will take place in Jämsänkoski, Finland on Nov 21st - Nov 23rd. Only 6-8 teams of 2-3 people will be chosen to join the challenge. Participants will have UPM’s key people and resources at their disposal to develop their proof-of-concepts. They will also have a chance to visit Jämsänkoski paper mill and meet the staff.

The jury consists of:

Mikko Vuori – Director, Energy Finland and investments, UPM Paper Europe & North America Oy

Jukka-Pekka Häkli – Energy Service Project Lead, UPM Energy Oy

Anne Särkilahti – Director, Business Services and Initiatives, UPM Energy Oy

Esa Laurinsilta – Director, Strategic partnerships/Technology function, UPM-Kymmene Oyj


Minea Hara