The last three months for us at i4SEE have been sort of a roadshow. Several of us have left our respective homebases and travelled to industry events for some packed days of energizing conversations and to keep our finger on the pulse of everything that has been happening in our fast-moving industry. Here are some highlights and impressions.
In March, we travelled to Berlin Germany to act as the conference chair for the Wind Power Data and Digital Innovation event. As the name indicates, this was all about digitalization in the wind industry, primarily focused on Europe. Digitalization is a priority for most companies in the wind industry and market dynamics are evolving rapidly. On top of that, portfolios are growing and new talent is joining, whilst at the same time the constraints of limited time, increased cybersecurity concerns and the push-pull of contract management continue to apply increasing pressure. The room was full of genuine industry experts with centuries of combined experience, and it was encouraging to hear open and honest discussions about not only the successes but also the challenges that these companies face on a daily basis. Digitalization is a journey, not a destination, and a lot of low hanging fruits have already been picked, meaning that further gains are more challenging to achieve. Rewriting of contracts to include upside sharing is happening to a greater extent and will hopefully nudge interests to align.
In April, we visited Copenhagen for the WindEurope annual event, their largest ever annual conference with 15,000 people attending. The striking impression was that the offshore industry is here and it is scaling up rapidly. New entrants, GW-scale ambitions in nearly every EU member state with a coastline, and the building blocks taking shape in supply chain, human resources and project planning. Several i4SEE customers were there too and it was a welcome experience to have face to face talks. Video link here.
In May, big news: i4SEE was acquired by US-based SkySpecs (insert sky specs acquisition blog post link) It was a big and exciting step to take and one that will allow i4SEE to continue to bring advanced analytics to the wind industry on an even greater scale and in particular to the huge North American market, where SkySpecs has earned an excellent reputation. The feedback from i4SEE customers has been positive and we are grateful for their trust. Days after the public announcement, we went to Cleanpower in New Orleans, the biggest US wind energy event. Being present on the SkySpecs booth and getting to know the new colleagues was very enjoyable. The US market, with large-sized wind farms and big distances between assets, compared with Europe, has far more companies running self-perform O&M programs and taking greater responsibility for maintenance decisions. The potential for advanced analytics and greater automation of data analytics & inspection campaigns is high.