On July 4, 2023, the NOVUM team received the Saxon Innovation Award, which is endowed with 30,000 euros. The significance of the award for our company and what happens next is reported by NOVUM CEO Mandy Schipke in an interview.
Mandy, congratulations once again! Did you yourself expect us to win the Saxon Innovation Award, or was it a bit of a surprise for you?
In fact, I already had a pretty good feeling after the presentation to the jury in June. Nevertheless, it was really exciting until the last moment!
What do you think ultimately convinced the jury members?
To drive innovation, it’s not enough to have good ideas. You also have to be able to implement them and ultimately win over customers to whom your own product offers real added value.
After a long period of development work, we were able to convince numerous large companies of our merits, especially last year. I think these successful customer projects have helped to make it understandable how much potential there really is in our AI-based technology for battery diagnostics and battery storage monitoring.
Last but not least, through our cooperation with JT Energy Systems and TRICERA on Saxony’s largest battery storage facility in Freiberg, we have also realized a true lighthouse project for our region. I think that speaks for itself.
Do you think it also played a role that AI is on everyone’s lips this year anyway due to ChatGPT and Co.?
In fact, no one can avoid the topic of AI anymore. Many people who could hardly imagine it before now use AI on a daily basis. That in itself is positive at first, especially if it makes everyday work easier.
For us, however, the current hype has two sides. Because in dealing with technologies such as ChatGPT, weaknesses of AIs also become apparent — and these sometimes lead to generalizations and prejudices. Without background knowledge, for example, it is not easy to understand why ChatGPT gives inadequate or even incorrect answers to certain questions.
Our AI works quite differently and is not comparable to ChatGPT and Co. at all.
During talks and interviews, you often emphasize that AI, despite all its advantages, is not the holy grail. Why is that so important to you?
One of the most important unique selling points compared to our competitors is the fact that we do not limit ourselves to the pure AI analysis of battery data, but can collect this data ourselves with the help of our test systems. The quality of the battery data is quite crucial for the results of the AI analysis. If one relies on the data of a conventional battery management system, one wrong sensor is enough to falsify the result. With our non-invasive method, we examine the condition of batteries at many different measuring points and can thus offer our customers accurate results and safety.
What consequences does the award have for NOVUM?
When using new technologies like NOVUM’s AI, trust is a key factor. For outsiders, it can be very difficult to assess which provider is the best for them, because it requires a deeper dive into the different solutions.
The Saxon Innovation Award has confirmed for us that we are on the right track and for our customers that they can rely on our technology. At this point, once again, many thanks to all who have contributed to this!
How do you use the prize money?
The 30,000 euros will be used to further develop our technology. We are currently working, for example, on further expanding the security monitoring of storage facilities and adding new early warning factors. Some of the money will also go towards our tree planting campaign next spring.