Eleonor Hedström – Powering the Energy Transition Towards a Sustainable Future 

When I hear the word “ecosystem,” I think of the sea and the interconnectedness of life beneath the surface. Elements, animals, and surroundings all influence each other, creating both chaos and harmony.

In a business context, an ecosystem refers to a network of organizations involved in delivering a specific product or service. This network includes suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, agencies, and more. Each entity within the ecosystem affects and is affected by the others, resulting in a constantly evolving relationship where flexibility and adaptability are crucial for survival, similar to a biological ecosystem. Building an ecosystem involves creating partnerships that cater to these specific relationships. I am thrilled to be part of Wärtsilä’s journey in the energy transition, where collaboration and innovation drive us towards a sustainable future within the WISE ecosystem. 

The WISE Ecosystem

We are proud that Wärtsilä has been awarded its second Veturi, the Wide & Intelligent Sustainable Energy (WISE) ecosystem. This ecosystem focuses on Wärtsilä’s energy business and involves a joint investment of 200 million euros with the Finnish industry. Our goal is to develop autonomous zero-emission balancing energy production. With the WISE ecosystem, we aim to offer flexible autonomous power plant concepts that have a 100% e-fuel transition capability by the end of 2028. This ambitious goal aligns with the global shift towards sustainable energy solutions. 

Driving Innovation

To achieve our goals, we have identified research and development (R&D) focus points within the WISE ecosystem. These include autonomous power plant operation, clean energy production through carbon-neutral and e-fuel-based power plants, powertrain optimization for emission reduction and efficient operation, digital infrastructure to enable future energy initiatives, and data-driven maintenance and new services to increase predictability and reliability.

By focusing on these areas, we are actively contributing to the development of sustainable and efficient energy solutions. 

Concrete Example

One concrete example of our innovation efforts is the establishment of standardized monitoring points for holistic plant health. Having a digital visibility of our performance critical auxiliary systems bring us the technical foundation for 360’ view of our power plants. This provides us the baseline to develop new applications and services for component-health based maintenance. By building automated diagnostics and triggering real-time actions based on fault prediction and remaining useful lifetime models, we can optimize operations, improve performance, and make informed decisions. Integrating data from various sources and leveraging advanced analytics allows us to gain valuable insights that drive efficiency and sustainability. 

Measuring Success

The success of the WISE ecosystem is measured through various key performance indicators (KPIs). These include the number of granted Co-Innovation projects, which showcases our commitment to collaboration and innovation. Additionally, the number of applications submitted to European Union (EU) calls demonstrates our engagement with broader energy initiatives. Lastly, the number of ecosystem partners reflects the growth and vibrancy of the WISE ecosystem. As more organizations join, the network of collaboration and knowledge-sharing expands, fostering innovation and driving the energy transition forward. 

Fostering Collaboration

We want to highlight the importance of creating awareness, facilitating matchmaking, and building thought leadership within the WISE ecosystem. Our dedicated team organizes theme-related workshops, ecosystem events, and webinars to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange. We also collaborate and coordinate with other ecosystems, including other Business Finland Veturi ecosystems, to leverage synergies and maximize impact. Through Proof of Concept (POC) projects, such as demos or feasibility studies, we accelerate collaboration with ventures within the ecosystem to explore innovative ideas and solutions. 

Conclusion

I am truly excited about the potential of the WISE ecosystem and the positive impact it can have on the energy industry.

By embracing collaboration and innovation, Wärtsilä and its ecosystem partners are navigating the complexities of the energy transition and working towards a sustainable future. Together, we can make a difference and create a better world for future generations. Stay tuned for more updates on our progress in the WISE ecosystem! 

Eleonor Hedström
Director Next Business Lab & WISE Ecosystem Lead