Intel and SAP build smart grid in Ireland

Chipmaker Intel and the maker of business software, which no one is quite sure what it does, SAP are splashing out on a £1.7 million ‘smart grid’ R&D operation.

The big idea is that the pair will discover how smart grids will actually work

The two companies two years ago established a research lab at SAP’s premises in the appropriately named Titanic Quarter of Belfast. It is the first time that Chipzilla has splashed out on research in Northern Ireland.

The director of Intel Labs Europe, Martin Curley, told Silicon Republic that it marks a novel way of how corporations like Intel, SAP and Nokia conduct research.

He said rather than opening its own labs, companies that see common technology ground are investing together in research labs.

It is a win win for Northern Ireland because the outfit will be hunting for graduates.

Curley said there are three major trends in the evolution of electricity ‘smart grids’

He thinks there will be mass collaboration, digital transformation and lots of eco friendly stuff coming from it all.

Intel sees the opportunity to put devices into people’s homes or utilise their smartphones, connect to the back end of utilities and deliver lower prices for consumers, and more efficiencies, Curley said.

Although SAP and Intel have engaged in research together before, this is the first time that they have established a shared physical location with pooled resources.