Pilot Studies: Industrial Data

Industrial Data
Investigating Availability and Potential Uses in the Southeast, Phase I

Background and Motivation: This pilot study will focus on and explore industrial big data – opportunities, challenges, and threats.  The increased analysis and utilization of data promise to unlock opportunities over the next decade such as reductions in environmental impact, reduction in costs, and increases in the reliability and security of energy infrastructure. Moreover, business models within industrial sectors are undergoing dramatic change as the profit and growth expectations among physical assets, operations, and services will continue to evolve. Data-driven approaches are increasingly valuable, but the promise of big data, machine learning, and data analytics is predicated on access to data.  Issues over data ownership, privacy, and cyber security are major threats to realizing these benefits. There is a critical need to better understand the opportunities in view of the key threats and risks.

This issue is of particular interest for EPICenter because the Southeast has one of the largest global concentration of corporate facilities that are aggregating, analyzing, and remotely monitoring/controlling major energy infrastructure. A few examples include:

  • GE (Atlanta) performs monitoring and analysis of >750 power plants globally, over 330 GW.
  • NextEra Energy (Florida) monitors and manages fleet (110 wind farms with 12 GW of capacity)
  • Siemens Energy (FL), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (AL), EPRI (NC), and several other Utilities (e.g., Southern Company, Duke Energy,) have similar fleet analytics facilities
  • NSF SE Big Data Hub has “spoke” on industrial infrastructure, such as the grid and power plants

These global centers of data aggregation and analysis suggest that the Southeast may be unique and differentiating in this emerging area. Further understanding and discourse of these issues with companies, regional policy makers, and economic development leaders holds possibilities for regional economic development. It will also characterize the national and global distinctiveness of the region, and contribute to the build out of a knowledge economy ecosystem.

Scope, objectives and key elements:

  1. Framing: Industrial Data operating definitions and phase 1 scope
           a. Definitions 
           b. Sectors 
           c. Differentiations 
           d. Scoping and Boundaries

     2. Industrial Data Assessment
               a. Survey of industrial data “hot spots”
               b. Major phases of data acquisition and use.
               c. Status and distinctiveness of this issue in the SE region     

     3. Concerns/Challenges
               a. Ownership 
               b. National Sovereignty 
               c. Privacy

     4. Business Models and Uses of industrial data
               a. Uses
               b. Case studies for companies monetizing industrial data    
               c. Student Engagement  

      5. Policy Implications and Recommendations

     6. Southeastern economic development recommendations


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