The SYNERGY project: creating a solution-oriented data platform

Ashwinram Meenakshisundaram

The SYNERGY project – a Horizon 2020 initiative building a cutting-edge big data and AI platform for the electricity data value chain – has reached the deployment stage. Its beta version has already been released. The platform was created in response to the need for “end-to-end” coordination between stakeholders in the electricity sector, and designed to offer:

  • Efficient data management of previously dispersed and non-interoperable energy data
  • Data sharing based on trust
  • Actionable data-driven insights by pipelines that are fully configurable

In the energy data value chain, the challenges involve securing data management, making sure data is interoperable, and getting the right analytics skills needed for the execution of a data project. These can be readily tackled in the SYNERGY platform through its data collection, sharing, and analytics functionalities. Moreover, the platform also allows the electricity data value chain stakeholders to share their data assets (either original datasets, derivative data, or pre-trained analytics models) in a reliable manner through the data & AI marketplace. This feature is facilitated by distributed ledger technology. The platform is encompassed by multiple data services that have well-defined interfaces which drive forward seamless integration. The factor which differentiates the SYNERGY platform from other generic-purpose platforms is that this platform brings in a strong domain expertise that is manifested through 2 core features:

  • A common information model effectively models the data requirements and interactions of the electricity data value chain stakeholders and underpins the overall platform operations, and
  • a set of pre-trained analytics essentially offers readily available solutions (in the form of trained models or analytics pipelines) for specific domain-related problems, e.g., demand forecasting, flexibility forecasting, user behaviour, profiling, and predictive and preventive Maintenance. The platform has a strict Know-Your-Customer policy which ensures that only stakeholders of the electricity data value chain are granted access to it.

Currently, the SYNERGY beta platform has been deployed and interested stakeholders can register to it. The next release of the platform is said to bring a set of new functionalities and improvements to the user experience. In the long-run, its aim is to transform into a comprehensive one-stop-shop for electricity data value chain stakeholders.

By linking different companies and organisations that are interested in sharing data, digital platforms like SYNERGY offer a strong business ecosystem where collaboration is stimulated, and the innovation potential of products and services is enhanced. By connecting two or more actors, a platform ecosystem generates network effects whereby the value increases as more members participate. 1

Moreover, the data that will be made available through the platform will help EU policymakers in a multitude of areas, most importantly, devising and transitioning towards sustainable e-mobility solutions – one of the core objectives of the Digital Europe Programme.

From an environmental perspective, a platform like SYNERGY may also eliminate, or at least reduce the need for having multiple data centres for the energy sector, which could mitigate some harmful effects for the climate.

The SYNERGY project: creating a solution-oriented data platform
Image credit:
Nikola Johnny Mirkovic via Unsplash

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