Two innovative firms have joined forces to collaborate on a project which marries energy efficiency and renewables with ‘Internet of Things’-based AI automation technology.

The £2.2 million government-funded R&D project, ENERGY-IQ, is led by Qbots Energy - a Manchester tech start-up with extensive experience in Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and data analytics.

The project will demonstrate smart energy services for office buildings, retail, hospitality, data centres and light industrial sites benefiting at least 35 businesses by 2020.


Along with large project partners such as property company Bruntwood and Manchester Metropolitan University, Qbots was looking for a collaboration partner with expertise in communications and monitoring systems, and found one in Open Control Solutions (OCS) - a Salford based company which designs and installs building energy management systems that monitor, track and control energy use. The two companies are both members of Green Economy's network of green tech firms.

Vijay Natarajan, co-founder and COO of Qbots Energy, said: “This project provides validation for our data-driven digital approach for accelerating carbon emissions reduction in buildings. Open Controls team’s timely support on installation of hardware gateway and integration really helped us, and we have now started working together on more building sites.”

Paul Goucher, managing director at OCS, added: “Qbots is an exciting company developing ground-breaking solutions to some of the UK’s toughest energy challenges, so it’s great that we can lend our expertise as a fellow Greater Manchester business.

“Having seen how we can support Qbots in their project, we’re now keen to continue using our expertise in comms to support other IoT and digital transformation projects.”

‘Perfect example’

Qbots and OCS have both engaged with the Green Economy team to drive their businesses forward.

OCS has benefitted from support to streamline its quoting process, establish a new marketing campaign and implementing a new sales management system, which has led to the creation of two new jobs and £500,000 of new sales in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, Qbots has been able to access a specialist market intelligence report on regional battery storage, commissioned by the Green Economy team.

Amy House, Director of Green Economy said: 

"This partnership is a perfect example of expertise that smaller, specialist firms can bring to an advanced technology project. By bringing in these companies, they've delivered a ground breaking solution to the energy challenge, developing a major project and funding. This demonstrates the spoils on offer for those willing to collaborate."

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