Viboo wins Empa Innovation Award

Dübendorf ZH , October 2022

This year's Innovation Award from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) goes to the Empa spin-off viboo. The young company has developed a self-learning algorithm for the energy-efficient control of the indoor climate in buildings.

Every two years since 2006, Empa has honored in-house innovations or successful technology transfers from science to industry with the Empa Innovation Award. This year, the CHF 5,000 prize went to the Empa spin-off viboo , the research institute said in a statement . The young company based in Dübendorf has developed a self-learning algorithm that uses weather and building data to calculate the optimum energy use of a building several hours in advance.

The algorithm developed by Felix Bünning and Benjamin Huber together with Empa Senior Researcher Matthias Sulzer in Empa's Urban Energy System Lab has already been tested in pilot tests in the NEST innovation building and in an Empa administration building. It has been shown that the approach can save around a quarter of the heating energy, according to the statement.

For the application, only the analogue thermostats have to be replaced by intelligent thermostats. Here, viboo is already working with Danfoss and wants to get other manufacturers of such thermostats, such as ABB and Schneider Electric , on board for further pilot projects. Huber wants to reciprocate the award with a contribution that “empa will get through the coming heating period well”, the viboo co-founder is quoted as saying in the press release.

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