Know-how

A move to innovation and better knowledge: our approach

We are enhancing our expertise in three ways: for one, we are integrating our practical expertise into our fields of business by having EWE companies collaborate across disciplines. We are also promoting the emergence of an innovative culture within our company. To this end we are changing existing processes and testing flexible working methods more frequently. In line with our new strategy, we have started to enter into strategic partnerships with other companies. This way we can gain access to external know-how and be ready for the digitised energy landscape.

Data science in the “Enera” project

The joint project “enera” aims to create a model region for the energy transition in districts including Friesland, Aurich and Wittmund, as well as the town of Emden. The consortium of over 30 partners under the leadership of EWE will serve to develop shared and specific expertise in order to drive the energy transition onwards. We expect our in-depth data evaluations and analyses of consumer requirements and energy consumer habits (data science) to produce detailed findings that can be used to develop new business models. The project is due to finish in December 2020.

THE BEST IDEAS AND CONCEPTS FOR THE FUTURE

A project such as “enera” produces creative potential that we will not leave untapped. We are making more and more room for creativity because good ideas need to be able to grow. The introduction of Innovation Friday in autumn 2016 is just one example of a format which enables creative minds from the Group and the “enera” team to put their business model ideas on the Group’s internal innovation development path. The Group’s increasing employment of flexible working methods (hackathons, kanban, scrums etc.) promotes creative thinking. In particular, our subsidiary swb supports start-ups entering the market with “Kraftwerk – City Accelerator Bremen”. We bring together experience and innovation to make our vision a reality and develop successful products and services to meet new requirements.
www.kraftwerk-accelerator.com

Our focus in the future

We will continue to do our utmost to shape the energy transition. Our work focuses on customer value and holistic solutions. We support the continued intertwining of expertise with interdisciplinary collaboration and accelerated communication channels. Our strict information security standards will deliver the necessary basis of trust for us to pursue new strategies in connection with big data and big data analyses. We will also intensify our increasing use and application of flexible working methods (hackathons, kanban, scrums etc.) and roll them out throughout the Group.

Creativity through teamwork: resourceful minds are on the lookout for new business model ideas on Innovation Friday.

Significance

We apply our decades of experience in the fields of energy, telecommunications and information technology. This experience has given us a profound understanding of connections and processes in the energy sector. Our research and development work is focused on innovative, new business models that will increase the potential revenue of EWE and provide our customers with better value. To this end we are steadily pooling our expertise from the fields in which we operate and merging it with what we learn through strategic partnerships. This will enable us to develop holistic solutions in a connected, digital energy landscape.

SELECTED MEASURES IN 2016

In 2016 we implemented a range of measures designed to promote business model innovations:
See PDF Integrated Report 2016, page 39 – 40.

  • The German government has pledged 50 million euros in subsidies to the major project “enera”
    www.energie-vernetzen.de/en
  • Interest in sovanta AG and future strategic collaboration: in 2016 we acquired a stake in sovanta AG, a software specialist. The objective is to simplify business processes and to develop mobile IT applications, digital services and products for EWE.
    see press release from 6. April 2016, www.ewe.com/en/presse
  • Support for EWE’s Next Energy research centre
    www.next-energy.de/en
  • EWE’s innovative portal – an online tool that employees can use to submit suggestions – is due to go online in April 2017; the portal can also be accessed by external users in the medium term.

Value creation

Positioning
New sources of revenue can be generated with innovative business ideas. EWE is increasingly focused on market trends and the opportunities presented by digitisation.
Partnerships
EWE is more actively pooling expertise obtained through strategic partnerships.
Focus on the customer
EWE is boosting customer value with intelligent and holistic solutions.