New Industry Lab powers utility innovation

Oracle recently opened the doors on a new 30,000-square-foot Oracle Industry Lab just outside of Chicago, Illinois. The working lab provides customers a hands-on environment to develop new ideas and create solutions leveraging technology from Oracle and more than 30 industry partners. Supported by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, the lab will first focus on the energy and water, construction and engineering, communications, and manufacturing industries.

“The core technology used in the world’s most essential industries doesn’t run in an office, it runs on a construction site, in the utility operations center, on the manufacturing floor,” said Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle’s vertical industries. “So, why not let customers develop, test, and validate technology in similar environments? The lab brings these scenarios to life so that collectively, customers, partners, and Oracle can create solutions to fuel opportunity and solve the really tough problems these industries are facing.”

Utilities

Water, gas, and electric utilities are facing unprecedented regulatory, environmental, and customer-driven demands. Technology will play a critical role in helping them navigate these challenges and continue to deliver the safe, reliable, and clean water and energy resources that power our world. With simulated environments including a connected neighborhood and smart studio apartment, the lab will enable customers to experiment with technologies such as sensors to help relieve stress on the electric grid, drones and augmented reality to improve safety and efficiency in field work, and AI and behavioral science to guide households to be more energy efficient. Collaborators include Copper Labs, EDX Technologies, Inc., Constellation Clearsight, Micatu Inc., and Samsung SmartThings, Inc. 

“For those of us who are passionate about the energy and water industries, the lab is a hands-on playground designed for us – with space to not only dream up new ideas and possibilities, but to bring them to life,” noted Oracle Energy and Water senior vice president and general manager, Rodger Smith. “For utilities seeking to tap into new funding sources such as those made possible by the US infrastructure bill, the Oracle Industry Lab can serve as vital proving ground for projects and a space to explore pathways to access that funding.”

Communications

For service providers, 5G represents an opportunity to not only bring new, more reliable services and products to consumers, but also drive new revenue streams in the enterprise. These can range from powering robotic surgeries to smart factories. At the lab, visitors can experiment with how cloud native communications technologies are enabling automation and scaling to meet expected growth in 5G subscribers, connected devices, and demand for rapid service innovation. They will also be able to explore how service providers can partner with other industries to co-create B2B2X (business-to-business-to-X) offers and business models. For example, visitors will be able to use VR smart city scenarios to demonstrate how to engage residents using a cloud-based immersive gaming experience enabled by a service provider and ecosystem of partners. Coupled with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and Oracle’s communications 5G core network technology, visitors will be able to see the power of 5G in action across several complex scenarios. Collaborators include EDX Technologies, Inc., ESRI, and Verizon.

“In 5G Innovation Hubs across the nation, Verizon Business has been working alongside startups, universities, and large enterprises, like Oracle, to help our partners develop and test solutions that can transform various industries — all powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “The state-of-the-art Oracle Industry Lab is the perfect testing ground for this kind of next-level innovation. By uniting Oracle’s deep suite of vertical and horizontal technology with partner solutions and Verizon 5G, we will be able to help our joint customers reimagine the future of their enterprises.”

Construction and Engineering

The construction and engineering industry is rethinking every aspect of project delivery for both owners and builders as they confront material constraints, rising costs, shifting project types, and a retiring labor force. At the lab, Oracle and partners will explore the power of a connected ecosystem leveraging technologies such as visual progress monitoring, sensor-based tracking, digital twins, autonomous laser scanning, augmented reality, IoT, and more. Together with Oracle’s portfolio of construction and engineering solutions, these offerings will enable visitors to test and validate new solutions to inform predictive decision-making, reduce inefficiency, mitigate risk, and foster better outcomes. Collaborators include CAXperts, ESRI, FARO Technologies, Inc., Hilti, Intelliwave Technologies, Milwaukee Tool, Newmetrix, OpenSpace, Reconstruct, Skydio, Inc., Triax Technologies, VREX, and WakeCap Technologies.

“We see huge value in a facility like the Oracle Industry Lab where we can test and validate new technologies in a simulated worksite environment,” said John Jurewicz, senior director of technology at Walbridge. “Once we prove the value and approach, it’s much easier to take them out to our own worksites and quickly scale them up.”

Manufacturing

A global pandemic, extreme supply chain and labor shortages, and increasing customer expectations are forcing manufacturers to adapt faster than ever. To compete, companies need to digitize their businesses and increase connectivity throughout their operations by embedding technologies such as IoT, AI, augmented reality, digital twins, predictive analytics, and factory automation. The smart manufacturing lab enables customers to experiment with these technologies to demonstrate their impact on efficiency, quality control, customer satisfaction, and sustainability. Collaborators include Anark, DiCentral, Festo, KanbanBox, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Omron, RFSmart, Skydio andTaqtile.

To learn more about the lab or to schedule a visit, click here.

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