Berwick Partners hosts Smart Grid Drinks Party

Published: 24 February 2012

A truly exciting evening took place on the 16th February 2012, when Berwick Partners, an Odgers Berndtson company, hosted their inaugural Smart Grid Networking & Drinks Party.

2012 is set to be a transitional year for the Smart Grid market. As Smart Grid technologies and solutions become increasingly seen as key to addressing the country’s energy challenges, it was a great pleasure to welcome so many leaders and influencers from the sector to discuss the future of this rapidly evolving industry.

The event brought together business leaders and innovators from across the ‘Smart world’ including both established and emerging businesses,  as well as system integrators and consultants who have been delivering much of the advisory work around early Smart Grid projects. The guest list was further emboldened by commercial leaders from all parts of the Utility Providers, Vendors, Regulators, Venture Capitalists and even a Counsellor from the State of Ontario; a world leader in the deployment of Smart devices into the field.

With an audience that simply didn’t exist five years ago, it was extremely interesting to hear so many different definitions of what Smart Grid is; a topic that flowed as freely as the wine!  In its current infancy it makes sense for the market to work collaboratively in order to really maximise the returns from the Smart opportunity. However, there were hints of some players sticking their flags in the ground to claim early territory and market share. It is this tension and friction which creates what can be a rather confusing, but wholly exciting vision for the future evolution of Smart Grid.

Geoff Sarney of O2 Telefonica joined us to share his views on the future of this market. He provided a short presentation which proved to be a candid, thought provoking and logical view of the market. Predominantly focused towards Smart Architecture, Geoff gave a good account of the role a Communication Provider plays in the delivery of the ‘Smart Planet’.

Having such a diverse and well informed audience, this quickly sparked a lively debate which covered a lot of ground. It took in the possible big picture implications of Chinese Smart Grid standards & policies, through to the demands of the domestic infrastructure.

With significant benefits for the UK industry, the evening provided a great opportunity to share thoughts, expand networks and build the collaborative relationships that are needed between stakeholders, customers and policy makers.

Amy Speake, Consultant within Berwick Partners EMI Practice said “It was brilliant to see so many professionals in one room discussing this relatively new space. It was extremely interesting to hear the varied views and opinions on the industry and the opportunities it is creating for the UK market. The evening proved to be a tremendous success; initial guest feedback has been very positive, particularly around the approach to the evening and the diversity of the audience. Overall a good night was had by all’.

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