What will the plant of the future look like? The answer to that question will come from the green shoots selected for Total’s new incubator, dubbed Plant 4.0. The aim is to identify around ten start-ups offering innovative solutions in two strategic areas: asset optimization and augmented operators. “These are two areas where we know that digital can deliver value for our industrial activities, help us reduce costs and enhance our safety," explains Juliette de Maupeou, Digital Officer Industry at Total. The potential range of applications is vast, spanning energy efficiency, cybersecurity, asset safety and integrity, automation-based assistance and even more.
To be eligible for the selection phase, which runs from January to April 2016, candidate start-ups must have successfully negotiated the early stages of their development and be ready to embark on proof of concept. The six months of incubation that will follow will aim to facilitate testing of their solutions at different Total sites.
“Until now, start-ups came to us on their own, without really knowing what we needed,” continues Juliette de Maupeou. “The incubator will make our interaction with start-ups more efficient and focused on clearly defined topics that interest us. We’re doing this to accelerate the construction of pilots that could meet our needs and create value.”
On the organization side, Total is being assisted by Impulse Labs, which has already set up several incubators, in the construction and aerospace sectors in particular. The Group has also arranged for each start-up to be coached and supported by a mentor from the company. These sponsors will be chosen in January and will act as facilitators, as well as sharing their business experience and networks with the start-ups.
In creating the first digital incubator for industry, Total is clearly displaying its commitment to becoming a leader in this field.