Innovation is all about challenging the status quo, says John McSweeney, head of Innovation at ESB, speaking ahead of the Innovation Ireland Forum on Friday in Dublin, in which he will be taking part.
“Particularly in an industry like energy where it hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years, someone has to challenge the status quo,” he says. According to McSweeney, it is the reason ESB’s CEO Pat O’Doherty set up the ESB Innovation division back in 2012.
The business unit is “dedicated to harnessing the ideas from across the company and fostering partnerships with high-tech companies and research institutes”. It includes ESB’s international consultancy business, ESB International, the wholesale telecoms business, ESB Telecoms, its clean-tech fund, ESB Novusmodus, and its electric-vehicle initiative, ecars, as well as ESB’s ocean-energy and fibre-broadband projects.
McSweeney is very interested in how disruptive technologies are forcing large energy companies to rethink their strategies and he cites, in particular, the example of photovoltaic solar, a method of generating electric power by converting solar radiation, but which depends more on daylight than on the heat of the sun – significant when it comes to countries like Ireland.
For more, watch our interview with John McSweeney here:
John McSweeney will be a panelist at the Innovation Ireland Forum in Dublin on 11 October