Thanks to our Israeli partners, Startup Nation Central and Grove Ventures, I recently took part in the 3-day Industry 4.0 Global Leaders’ Summit. Local entrepreneurs and the innovation ecosystem discussed the most promising developments in the field. Schneider Electric colleagues joined me in sharing insights into innovation and technology trends.
The importance of the Israeli ecosystem for open innovation
Our Chief Innovation Officer, Emmanuel Lagarrigue and Lior Handelsman, General Partner at Grove Ventures, discussed how open innovation was key to embrace current transformations in the Industry 4.0 field. Emmanuel explained his work on Innovation at the Edge as “we need the entrepreneurs, the universities and the VCs to help us build the future […] and work on disruptive innovation.”
Schneider’s customers face two major disruptions: driving their digital transformation and defining their role in the energy transition. So partnerships with world-class startups on new software-defined solutions are key in the all-digital and all-electric world. Emmanuel highlighted Schneider’s commitment to this innovation ecosystem: “Israel has the highest density of entrepreneurs on the planet, especially when it comes to Industry 4.0.”
“We need the entrepreneurs, the universities and the VCs to help us build the future […] and work on disruptive innovation.” – Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Innovation Officer at Schneider Electric.
Partnering to redefine global supply chains
Mourad Tamoud, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Schneider Electric, spoke about testing new technologies in Schneider’s premises. The pandemic has been redefining supply chains to embed resiliency with Industry 4.0 technologies, 3D printing, automated vehicles, AI, robotic process automation, touchless operations and additive manufacturing. Brian Tessier, our SVP Innovation Global Supply Chain Transformation, emphasized the testing capabilities Schneider offers to startups working in these fields: “I have 200 factories, 100 warehouses, in 43 countries. We qualify the [startup’s] application, take it to the floor, see how well it works. If it works, it goes to scale in the supply chain.”
Inspekto, is a great example of a disruptive startup partner stemming from the Israeli innovation ecosystem. They work on AI-powered video and recognition to improve quality inspections. Mourad explained that these types of long-term relationships built on trust help us collaborate “as partners, customers and users of the technology”. He even encouraged entrepreneurs to be more demanding when partnering. “We want startups to challenge us and challenge the status quo. We learn as much from them as they learn from us.”
“We want startups to challenge us and challenge the status quo. We learn as much from them as they learn from us.” Mourad Tamoud, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Schneider Electric
The resilience of the Industry 4.0 innovation ecosystem
Heriberto Diarte, the head of the SE Ventures’ fund described his investments strategy in light of the pandemic. He confirmed that the fund is resilient in times of crisis and remained committed to Industry 4.0 startups. In fact, as a strategic investor, SE Ventures supports portfolio companies with long sales cycles and complex product development plans. They do so by leveraging Schneider’s testing capabilities, deep engineering knowledge and wide market access.
On a personal note, I was delighted to share a discussion with Eran Inbar, the CEO of Prisma Photonics. They developed a fiber sensing technology to monitor long infrastructures that we have been testing on pipeline leakages. Eran emphasized our strong relationship enabling us to be creative and maintain our POC, even during this year of crisis. Over time, we will further co-market this “proof of concept”, fine tune its “value proposition” and integrate our technologies.
We are so proud to be partners of so many exciting Israeli startups, like Claroty, eVolution networks, Quality Line, and more. All our partners in our hubs around the world are contributing to a uniquely local and global innovation ecosystem. Together, from across the globe, we innovate to solve the most important problems of our times.
Read more about our partnership with eVolution networks in my previous blog post.