ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, is investing alongside the European Union to set up a technology park in the Czech Republic for the development and commercialization of direct current (DC) and other energy technologies that have the potential to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.
The Nupharo Park incubator will provide resources, facilities and business advice necessary for successful market entry. Production facilities will offer a unique environment for testing commercial applications and the economic viability of new technologies. The technology park is an innovative collaboration between European authorities, global businesses, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and university researchers, whose goal is to build a strong community of innovators.
“Providing the world with energy that is both affordable and clean will require some creative new solutions,” said Tarak Mehta, head of ABB’s Low Voltage Products division. “Nupharo Park is another innovative way for ABB to drive advances in energy technology, and neatly complements our own R&D, collaboration with universities and investments in start-up businesses. While the LP division is the first to be engaged in the project, it’s a center which all units of ABB can leverage.”
Nupharo Park (nupharo.com) is under construction in Zdarek, near the Czech-German border, and will open in 2014. ABB welcomes the participation of others with an interest in developing new energy technologies, and is in talks with several global companies about a role in the park.
ABB is investing 2.3 million euros ($3 million) in the project, while the EU is contributing 12 million euros. Startups and investments in Nupharo Park will be eligible for more than 800 million euros in EU grants and soft loans for investment, research, labor costs and marketing between now and 2020.
A focus of the park’s activities will be to nurture new power options through DC applications, an area of interest for ABB, which pioneered technologies that made conversion between AC and DC systems possible. ABB was the first to commercialize long distance high-voltage DC power transmission, and is now applying DC to medium- and low-voltage applications in electric vehicle charging, power distribution systems on ships, in buildings and in data centers.
Additional focus areas will be developed based on the commercial interests of ABB and the other partners in the project.
ABB is participating in Nupharo Park through its venture capital unit, ABB Technology Ventures (ATV), established in 2009 to invest in strategically interesting early and growth stage companies. To date, investment areas include smart grid communications, cyber security for utilities, data center power optimization, tidal power and wind farm efficiency.
ABB (abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.