Speeding innovation for industry
1) How did you come up with the idea for SEED-Energy?
It started in 2010 with the PhD research I was doing at Liten. I was working on methods to assess the technical and economic performance of energy systems. The result was the Odyssey simulator. At first, Odyssey was used to test energy storage systems. It was later expanded to deliver a broader, multi-criteria assessment of energy systems—including production, transformation, and storage—as a whole. The idea of turning Odyssey into a service for the energy industry gradually took shape, and we created SEED-Energy in August 2017.
2) What kind of support did you receive?
In 2016 I entered the Challenge First Step competition, organized by the CEA's Technology Research Division each year, and I won! I got entrepreneurship training from a consulting firm, which ultimately helped me and other candidates improve our projects. The jury then allowed me to work one day per week on my project and gave me funding for a prototype, which, in our case, was a graphical user interface for Odyssey, and for more in-depth market research. The simulator is currently the cornerstone of the services offered by SEED-Energy.
3) What is next for SEED-Energy?
The company was officially established in early August. However, we have been in incubation at the CEA since July and will be until the end of the year. So, the pressure is on to make our first sales by then, but I am confident. We are unique in that we offer virtual representations of multi-energy systems and deliver technical and economic performance assessments based on reliable inputs. Our services help energy professionals design energy systems by giving them a preconfigured software application that is flexible enough to adapt to their unique needs.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.