TechCrunch Disrupt London Gets to #PowerUpp with Intelligent Energy

While we had a blast helping TechCrunch Disrupt SF live life unplugged a few weeks ago, we wanted to bring some of that great buzz closer to home. Fortunately, we got the chance to do just that this week at TechCrunch Disrupt in London. There are no shortage of bright minds and great ideas on our side of the pond, and so it was great to show off Upp amongst more local peers.

How did we fare on our home turf?  Better than ever! Once again, it turns out there’s nothing like wandering around a conference all day and draining your phone battery by noon to make you appreciate when someone hands you a portable hydrogen fuel cell. By 11 am both days, we had desperate attendees swarming the booth, many of them notified of our presence by the groundswell of enthusiasm for Upp on social media.

Tweet 1The TechCrunch attendees were not only incredibly appreciative of the convenience of getting to borrow a portable charger, but they were also completely wowed by the technology itself. Given the technical background of many of the attendees, they were fascinated by the sophisticated fuel cell technology compressed into Upp, and truly amazed that this kind of product will soon be available for them to purchase and use on a daily basis. The crew from ITProPortal even stopped by, and were so impressed by our demo that they featured Upp as one of the most exciting finds at the conference in their roundup of the action.

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Favourite moment? When a conference goer arrived at our stand with another battery pack, which he’d unfortunately forgotten to charge before heading out to TechCrunch, thus rendering it useless. It really brought home the benefits of Upp versus other portable chargers – why live your life attached to wall charging but just with a longer tether when you could abandon the socket altogether and live life unplugged? Upp saved the day, and we charged not just his depleted phone, but his battery as well. Needless to say, we can now count him as one of our successful converts.

It was another great event, and the buzz about Upp is only continuing to grow. Luckily, all of our devotees won’t have much longer to wait!

London conference highlights hydrogen’s potential to investor audience

On 1 October, hydrogen specialists from some of the world’s biggest industrial companies assembled in London to address an audience of investors and City analysts on the potential of hydrogen to meet our energy requirements and transform how we consume energy.

The half-day conference – ‘Hydrogen: the new energy landscape’ – was organised by financial services firm Canaccord Genuity, and featured speakers from French industrial gases group Air Liquide, Japanese carmaker Honda, and German industrial giant Siemens.

Together they gave a fascinating insight into the potential of hydrogen as a source of energy, in sectors such as automotive, and as a vital ingredient to turn renewable energy into stored power through the application of electrolysis.

Attendees at the event were left in no doubt about the investment potential in the sector, with Canaccord technology analyst Bob Liao highlighting the pace of change in the hydrogen space and the capacity of market participants to roll out ‘disruptive’ hydrogen technology at an industrial scale.

Among the first to take the podium was Dr Henri Winand: the chief executive of Intelligent Energy told a packed room how the need for greater efficiency in power generation and transmission, coupled with the rise in personal mobile devices, would see a return from Alternative Current (AC), or grid-generated, power to more localised Direct Current (DC)-generated power consumption – benefiting hydrogen-fuelled distributed power generation.

Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse, an enthusiastic advocate of hydrogen, illustrated Londoners’ lukewarm interest in electric cars with a startling fact:  68 percent of charging points in the capital were not used at all between April and June 2014. This he attributed to the significant time taken to recharge an electric car. By comparison, the fact that there was no ‘behavioural change’ required to refuel a hydrogen electric vehicle – because of the speed of refuelling – meant they had the potential to be far more popular.

On the same day that Toyota announced at the Paris Motor Show that its hydrogen-powered vehicle would go on sale next summer in Germany and the UK, Honda’s Thomas Brachmann told the conference that the company would also start selling hydrogen cars next year in Europe, and was working on a second-generation vehicle for 2019. Both Brachmann and Pierre Etienne Franc of Air Liquide spoke about the benefits of the European-funded HyFIVE project which will deploy hydrogen vehicles across Europe and thus help nurture clusters of refuelling stations.

Other speakers included Duncan Macleod, a consultant and former Shell executive, who explained how hydrogen was already a part of the world of Big Oil and had formed part of the oil and gas business for decades. While Gaelle Hotellier, head of hydrogen solutions at Siemens, spoke about how the German company was marketing its own PEM electrolysis system to industrial customers as it moves towards commercialisation of its hydrogen technologies.

The hydrogen landscape is certainly moving from theory to reality!

London Tourists and Shoppers Seize the Chance to ‘Live Life Unplugged’

With the launch of Upp growing ever closer, we thought that we’d give the British public a taste of life free from the grid. For one week, beginning 22nd September we set up a sneak preview booth in London’s Covent Garden that gave many people their first chance to get ‘hands-on’ with Upp – hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Shoppers and tourists were able to give their smart devices a quick top-up (a godsend in one of the Capital’s biggest tourist hotspots!) or even borrow an Upp while they took in the shopping and sights that London has to offer – simply swipe their card and take the opportunity to live life unplugged for a day. Visitors to the booth were also invited to take an Instagram picture of themselves at the stand, tagged with the hashtag #powerupp which would be insta-printed at the stand.

Alongside our many activities for Upp, we also had the hydrogen-powered fuel cell London Taxi on display. For many people, hydrogen power is something they usually associate with cars and we felt this was a great way to show the versatility of hydrogen fuel cells. What’s more, it perfectly illustrated how Intelligent Energy has miniaturised a technology synonymous with powering vehicles into a handheld consumer product that can be used to power your phone, tablet or camera.

The taxi also served as a handy booth where people could come and share how they feel when their phone battery dies; it’s fair to say that the frustration felt is universal! In fact, here are a few of the responses we received:

  • “Amazing getting the idea from a taxi, Great for the environment, everyone should have one.”
  • “Great that its clean energy, Lots of potential, it can charge more than one variant of devices.”
  • “Very robust, the reversible case is great, the rate of charge is phenomenal.”
  • “Great that its clean energy, Lots of potential, it can charge more than one variant of  devices.”

The response received over the week was genuinely encouraging and only served to reinforce our belief that the world is ready for fuel cell technology – it won’t be long now before it’s in their hands.

Toyota Bringing Hydrogen FCEVs to UK in Summer 2015

The Paris Motor Show began this week with news of Toyota’s intention to bring its Fuel Cell Sedan to Britain, Germany, Denmark and US in summer 2015. This announcement from the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer demonstrates that the imminent roll-out of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to the consumer is now a reality and will give a welcome boost to efforts elsewhere to introduce these clean but practical electric vehicles.

The UK’s commitment to low emission vehicles is something we experienced first-hand at CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle 2014 last month and has been cited as a major factor as to why Toyota has chosen the UK as one of its ‘test bed’ markets. Already we’re seeing the UK invest in infrastructure to support FCEVs in the shape of the HyFive Project which is bringing refuelling stations to the Capital, also slated for arrival next year.

In Toyota’s own words hydrogen has great potential as an alternative fuel. It can be produced from a wide variety of primary energy sources, including solar and wind power; it is easy to store and transport; and when compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries.” Moreover, refuelling times, performance and range for FCEVs are all comparable to that of traditional combustion engine vehicles

A landmark announcement from Toyota, but expect to see more from others as the momentum builds towards the widespread roll out FCEVs and the fuelling infrastructure to support them.

Intelligent Energy Powers TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco with Upp Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Where can you go to find all of Silicon Valley’s early adopters, reigning royalty and foremost tech journalists under one roof? TechCrunch Disrupt would be a good place to start. On September 8-10, Intelligent Energy joined the global tech vanguard at Pier 48 in San Francisco. Disrupt brings together a legion of emerging startups, larger companies and industry thought leaders for three days of pitching, networking and brainstorming rounded off by an all-star line-up of speakers. Highlights from this year’s agenda included Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Airbnb founder Brian Chesky and highly regarded entrepreneur Peter Thiel.

It’s in this setting that Intelligent Energy chose to showcase Upp™ to the US market. Upp incorporates Intelligent Energy’s innovative fuel cell technology into a personal, portable energy source that charges compatible handheld devices via a USB cord. Upp frees users from the stress of constantly having to seek out a wall socket for charging, granting smart phone users the ability to live completely independently of the energy grid. At Disrupt, we were not only showcasing Upp’s breakthrough technology, but renting out Upp devices to conference goers to better the convenience which they provide to users.

Given the scarcity of wall sockets at the TechCrunch Disrupt venue – a converted Pier warehouse—the rental Upp devices were incredibly well received by users. Both stations received a steady flow of visitors requesting demos and explanations of Upp’s hydrogen cell technology, and everyone was extremely effusive in praise. In fact, most immediately requested to try out Upp, and by midday each day when phone batteries started to lag, Upp devices could be spotted in hands of attendees around the conference.  Upp renters also took to social media to express their praise, capitalizing on the great word of mouth attention Intelligent Energy was receiving on the floor itself.

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By the end of the first day alone, people coming up to the stations mentioned seeing them all over the place. Particularly helpful were the Upp stands’ proximity to the Johnnie Walker lounge and bar area; the Johnnie Walker organizers ran out of battery early on the first day, and spent the rest of the conference using Upp at the bar and recommending all patrons do the same.  It was a very good pairing!

We will also be showcasing Upp at TechCrunch Disrupt in London so hope to see you there!

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Upp at TechCrunch Disrupt

Cenex Low Carbon Event 2014 reflects the market opportunities for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

On 10th & 11th September, Intelligent Energy exhibited at one of the largest low carbon events in the automotive industry, the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2014 at Millbrook.

Millbrook, one of Europe’s leading locations for the development and demonstration of vehicles of every kind, played host to a showcase of technologies, vehicles, presentations and seminar sessions all in the name of reducing tailpipe emissions.

This year LCV provided a series of seminars, delivered by key industry figures including Katsuhiko Hirose, General Manager of Toyota’s Fuel Cell Engineering Division and Energy Research Department on the topic of his company’s perspective on sustainable mobility. Intelligent Energy’s Dennis Hayter  gave a presentation on the progress of H2 Mobility initiatives around the world, and the implications for the imminent role out fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Other speakers at the event included Jaguar Land Rover’s Head of Research and Advanced Systems Engineering Tony Harper, Dr Thomas Becker, Vice President of Government Affairs at the BMW Group, Richard Bruges, CEO of Productiv and Tony Pixton, Chief Executive of the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Sustainability and the part that low carbon mobility has to play were at the heart of the event, with industry experts highlighting the real momentum and market opportunity for low carbon vehicles, including fuel cell electric, battery and hybrids.

We exhibited a range of our systems including the Gen4 air-cooled fuel cell power unit making its UK display debut,  Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell motorbike, the ENV, and the Zero Emissions Hydrogen Fuel Cell London Taxi. We noted real excitement around fuel cells with many of those we spoke to seeing them as a viable and clean long-term solution for the automotive industry. We also had a high level of interest in our Upp personal energy device and we were able to help many visitors with a top up to their USB compatible smart devices while they visited our stand.


(From left to right: Upp personal fuel cell device, Intelligent Energy ENV, Gen4 fuel cell power unit)

Intelligent Energy Commitment to Innovation Reflected in Standing as British Patent Leader

According to the UK government ‘Energy and storage’ is one of ‘eight great technologies’ that will underpin future economic growth. This reflects what David Cameron said at the International Festival of Business in June where he spoke about the need to balance the British economy across multiple sectors like engineering and manufacturing, not just finance.

For any technology business, particularly one working in the fast-moving energy sector, intellectual property is what sets you apart from the crowd; it’s the fuel of our business. As such it’s reassuring to know that a report compiled by the UK Intellectual property Office found Intelligent Energy to be the top British patent applicant for ‘energy and storage’ technologies in 2013.

We value innovation at Intelligent Energy and this is evidenced by the volume of patents granted and pending to our name. We have filed over 80 patents for ‘energy and storage technology’ in the UK alone, almost thirty more than the next company. Combine this with over 350 granted patents globally and more than 450 patents pending across 250 patent families and you can get a picture of our commitment to ensuring that the technology we produce is the best and most advanced it can be.

Top UK Applicants


Source: Eight Great Technologies, Energy Storage, A Patent Overview. Intellectual Property Office 2014.

While Intelligent Energy is well known for our power dense, proprietary fuel cell power technologies, it is perhaps less know quite how broad our technology portfolio is. We also develop the wider components necessary to turn those fuel cell technologies into systems and products as well as the software capabilities to manage and optimise their performance and functionality. Intelligent Energy’s IP goes deeper still, encompassing fuel cell related manufacture and the generation of hydrogen fuel.

We at Intelligent Energy understand that intellectual property is the lifeblood of our business. As such, we will continue to invest in R&D so as to develop market-leading fuel cell solutions for the automotive, consumer electronic and distributed power sectors. By doing this we will maintain our position as an industry pioneer, making hydrogen fuel cells a commercial reality.

FCH 2 JU to accelerate commercial deployment of hydrogen-based energy and transport solutions

On July 9th Intelligent Energy’s CEO, Henri Winand, attended the official launch of the next phase of the EU’s research programme, Horizon 2020, where the invitation went out for funding proposals as seven public-private partnerships were launched including the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU). Out of Horizon 2020’s €80bn R&D programme, €1.33bn has been allocated to the FCH JU to further develop and implement hydrogen-based energy and transport across Europe.

Dr Winand said: “This funding programme is helping to boost investment in the fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) sector. The new ring-fenced budget will help accelerate the commercial deployment of FCH applications and has a very strong potential to address energy security and climate change. This programme’s ultimate ambition is clear – getting fuel cells and hydrogen to the market, at scale.”

In his capacity as Treasurer of The New Energy World Industry Grouping (NEW-IG) and board member of FCH2 JU, Dr Winand outlined how the sector will focus on technologies for both clean transport and energy storage and security. In attendance at the launch were three hundred delegates and senior EU leaders including Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, as well as European Commissioners for Transport and Innovation.
President Barroso said: “Only if the best brains from academia, industry, SMEs, research institutes and other organisations come together can we successfully tackle the huge challenges that we are facing. This is what public-private partnerships are about, the joining of forces to make the lives of Europeans better, create jobs and boost our competitiveness.”

Being part of the FCH2 JU public-private partnership/joint technology initiative (JTI) has a number of benefits. It means the company can help set the priorities and shape the strategic programme in order to enable private investments. “Fuel cells and hydrogen can help Europe address some of its biggest challenges: cut carbon dioxide emissions, deliver large scale energy storage, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and create jobs and growth. Our objective is to unleash this great potential. The financial support from Horizon 2020 and the new investment we secure will help fuel cell and hydrogen based products and services become an everyday reality sooner rather than later,” said Dr Henri Winand.

Intelligent Energy Wins Most Successful Company at UKSPA Anniversary Awards

The UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Over that period, the UKSPA has encouraged the growth of Science Parks, Innovation Centres and Incubators up and down the country, fostering an ecosystem to encourage innovation and the growth of businesses like Intelligent Energy.

As part of the celebrations the Association held the UKSPA 30th Anniversary Summit over two days in the International Conference Centre in Birmingham. This included a gala Awards Dinner on 10th July to recognise the achievements of all those who have been involved with Science Parks and contributed to the innovation movement in the UK over the past 30 years.

At Intelligent Energy we’re delighted not just to have been nominated for, but to win the most coveted award of the night: ‘Most Successful Company’. The companies shortlisted were judged on a number of criteria including: innovative thinking, creation of new employment opportunities, development of new technology, application of funding and exploitation of new markets.

From left, Lesley Evans, Chief Executive of award sponsor, Haseltine Lake; Andy Spooner (Intelligent Energy); host for the evening, the BBC’s Michael Mosley; Anna Leather (Loughborough University Enterprise Office) and Dr Jon Moore (Intelligent Energy).

Intelligent Energy Brings Hydrogen Fuel Cells to the International Festival of Business 2014

On Monday 9th June, we joined some of the brightest lights from UK industry in Liverpool’s St George’s Hall as Prime Minister David Cameron took centre stage at the UKTI’s British Business Embassy (BBE). Described by Cameron in his opening address as “the biggest showcase of British industry since 1951,” the invitation-only event marked the launch of the International Festival of Business 2014. The event allowed British movers and shakers from across British industry – including the advanced engineering, automotive, aerospace and manufacturing industry sectors – to come together and show why the UK continues to be a hotbed of innovation.

DC at BBE

Intelligent Energy was invited to exhibit at the event where we took the opportunity to introduce delegates to a range of our advanced hydrogen fuel cell systems.

The first of our three showcases was the Upp™: a personal energy device incorporating Intelligent Energy’s innovative fuel cell technology in to a portable device which charges compatible handheld devices via USB. Upp allows users to power a range of portable electronic equipment such as smartphones, portable speakers, eReaders and digital cameras quickly, in fact as fast as the mains, –independently from the grid!

Upp

The automotive industry was one area of focus at the BBE, with some of the most impressive feats of British automotive engineering on display including the Mono single seater supercar, a Formula E racing car, and a McClaren racing car. We exhibited our own Intelligent Energy fuel cell taxi, a zero-emission vehicle which was used as a VIP carrier at the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as the world’s first purpose-built hydrogen fuel-cell motorbike, the Intelligent Energy ENV. These two very different vehicles, and indeed the Upp device, all serve to demonstrate the wide range of applications that Intelligent Energy’s scalable fuel cell technologies are now ready to address.

In addition to high level representatives from both Government and industry, a wide range of national and regional news also attended, with Steph McGovern interviewing Dennis Hayter, our Vice President of Business Development, live on BBC Breakfast News.

IE And BBC

One thing that was inescapable throughout the event was the importance of science and engineering to industry. David Cameron highlighted the need to balance the economy across multiple industries, not just financial services, with multiple speakers through the day reiterating the need to foster engineering talent from as young an age as possible.

The International Festival for Business 2014 continues apace and will run for 50 days across June and July with over 250 business events covering almost every industry sector. It is expected to generate £1.7bn worth of business with over 250,000 delegates arriving from over 125 countries.

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