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05/04/14 15:41

Smarter Grid Solutions open in New York

Renewables technology company takes Scottish expertise to the US.

First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened Scottish company Smarter Grid Solutions’ first American office in New York today (April 5, 2014) a part of his Scotland Week programme.

Smarter Grid Solutions, headquartered in Glasgow, is at the forefront of smart grid technology. The company creates products that enable power companies and utilities to increase their existing grid capacity in order to connect more renewable energy and respond to the global rise in demand for electricity.

Smarter Grid Solutions has already won a contract to model and simulate microgrid applications for the New York metro area.

Speaking at the opening in Brooklyn, New York, the First Minister said:

“Scots are well known for pioneering research in many sectors, especially in technology and renewable energy. Smarter Grid Solutions is an excellent example of how a Scottish company can take this research and create a successful, growing business overseas - with Scottish university research at its core.

“Decarbonising our energy, while maintaining the resilience of our power grid, is a challenge for communities across the world. In Scotland, we are already leading the way with our ambitious climate change targets. 2013 was a record year for Scottish renewables, with 46.5 per cent of our electricity needs coming from renewable sources.

“Smarter Grid Solutions is working to prepare the grid for important changes, like the growth in electric vehicles and new ways to store greener energy.

“It’s fantastic to see Scottish companies take their knowledge and expertise around the globe. Today I witnessed Smarter Grid Solutions signing new deals and developing relationships with new customers. I wish them the best of luck as they continue to grow and expand.”

While visiting the offices in Brooklyn, the First Minister witnessed the signing of new agreements with US-based smart grid companies that will contribute to their North American growth plans. The First Minister also met the company’s New York based staff before holding a round-table meeting with senior representatives from New York’s smart grid sector.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said:

“It’s estimated that the smart grid technology market will be worth more than $56billion globally by 2020, and as an innovative company with strong international growth ambitions Smarter Grid Solutions is in an ideal position to capture a slice of this.

“We’ve worked closely with the company to support its plans for growth, and are delighted to see this latest success at it starts exporting its technologies to the key US market.”

Dr Bob Currie, Smarter Grid Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, added:

“In the short time we have been operating in New York, we have identified significant opportunities to accelerate our growth and have already started work with a number of prominent organisations in the smart grid sector. Our technology and solutions are being well received and leading to important new business relationships, some of which we are announcing today. We are looking forward to growing our presence in North America and applying our knowledge and experience to create a smarter grid.”

Notes to editors

Smarter Grid Solutions’ new office is situated within New York City’s Urban Future Lab, the city's premiere clean and resilient technology incubator. It is the product of a partnership between NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and The City and State of New York. Smarter Grid Solutions is the Lab’s first international tenant.

Scottish Government’s key actions in this area include:

Establishing four Enterprise Areas in Scotland - including sites with a particular focus on low carbon manufacturing opportunities

Providing advice and support to help SMEs grow, to hire staff and take on apprentices

Promoting Scottish exports to capitalise on the significant opportunities in growth markets; with an ambitious target to deliver a 50% increase in exports by 2017

Continuing to deliver the Small Business Bonus Scheme

Strengthening levels of innovation and commercialisation, including improving the links between our universities and private sector companies

Using the Scottish Investment Bank to support early stage innovative technology based businesses, and growth and exporting companies

To date, as part of his Scotland Week programme, the First Minister has:

As well as a programme of trade meetings to further the successful engagement with North America’s business community, the First Minister will:

  • Deliver the inaugural Caledonian Lecture at Glasgow Caledonian University’s new New York City campus (Monday)
  • Participate in an audience interview and Q&A session with the Wall Street Journal
  • Deliver a keynote address at the annual Bloomberg Energy Investment Summit (Tuesday)

The First Minister is in New York to take part in the annual Scotland Week programme. This visit formed part of Scottish Development International’s trade and investment programme to support Scottish businesses and develop new opportunities.

Get news from Scotland Week as it happens by following the new First Minister feed @ScotGovFM and @AlexSalmond on twitter. Images will be available for use from the Scottish Government flickr channel – www.flickr.com/scottishgovernment. When available, audio can be found at www.audioboo.fm/FirstMinister