Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, commenced the grand opening of its new North American research and development (R&D) center in Andover, Massachusetts recently. The Boston One Campus will also serve as the company’s new North America headquarters and is built to house approximately 750 employees across all disciplines of Schneider Electric’s business segments.
Laurent Vernerey, President and CEO of North America Operations for Schneider Electric, speaks to crowd at Influencer’s Summit 2014.
Governor Deval Patrick along with Laurent Vernerey, President and CEO of Schneider Electric’s North American Operations, officially unveiled the Boston One Campus on Wednesday, September 10. The move came as a way for the company to be closer to universities and think tanks that exist in the New England region. Schneider Electric hopes that this move will make a statement that the company wants to invest in the U.S., as well as drive innovation and efficiency in North America.
“I am excited to welcome Schneider Electric’s new R&D Center and North American headquarters to Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick at the opening. “We are committed to making Massachusetts the global hub of technology innovation and companies like Schneider Electric are important to helping the Commonwealth continue its competitive edge.”
The event was partnered with Schneider Electric’s Influencer Summit 2014, which brought together industry analysts, social influencers, academia, and media to discuss the forces driving the next age of change. The Influencer Summit was held throughout the 250,000 square foot headquarters, which saw an addition of 70,000 square feet during the build to create a new headquarters.
Inside the Summit guests were treated to coffee and breakfast before heading into the conference center for the event. Chris Hummel, Chief Marketing Officer for Schneider Electric, welcomed the crowd before presenting Laurent Vernerey to speak about the goals of Schneider Electric moving forward, including moving into diversified markets and geographies, creating solutions, innovations, and interoperability, the convergence of OT and IT, and a sharp focus on each industry sector that they have a hand in.
“We wish to be seen as thought leaders,” said Vernerey. The company hopes that in the future, when enterprises and government bodies have questions, Schneider Electric will be seen as a company that can provide answers and offer aide.
Speakers stood in front of a 6-by-3 screen display system that showed slides augmentingtheir presentations.
The remainder of the morning saw thought leadership seminars from distinguished guests. Todd Isherwood, Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Project Manager for the City of Boston, spoke about his ‘Greenovate Boston‘ initiative, and the steps that the city is trying to take to create new buildings and renovate existing buildings that will run efficiently. Marc Gunther, Editor-at-Large of The Guardian, spoke about modernizing our critical infrastructure in order to drive economic growth, improve the environment, and improve daily lives through the jobs created and money saved from creating a new infrastructure. Clemens Blum, Pascal Brosset, and John Hoekstra of Schneider Electric gave informative presentations about sustainability, operational integrity, and the future of efficiency.
After lunch attendees were encouraged to explore the new facility. A number of innovation stations were set up throughout, with Schneider employees offering insight into some of the projects and plans that the company is currently working on. Tours were given, which allowed groups to view some of the data centers and laboratories that Schneider employees of varying disciplines work within. Included is a small spa area where employees can relax and catch a massage, as well as a gym with workout equipment to keep in shape. A large cafeteria serves food throughout the day.
The afternoon saw a slew of concurrent insider’s view sessions led by Schneider Electric employees. Guests could sign up to attend two of the four 45-minute sessions covering digital services, the changing landscape in utilities, real-time business control, and smart cities. The summit ended with closing words from Vernerey and a panel discussion between Laurent, Hummel, Blum, and Hal Grant, in which attendees were encouraged to voice their questions and concerns about what they had seen and heard through the day. Afterwards, busses shuttled the group to Fenway Park for a tour.
In summation, the Influencer Summit and Schneider’s move to the Boston area highlight the idea that energy efficiency isn’t only a possibility, but a necessity. The Summit educated those in attendance on the need for efficiency moving forward. The move showcases Schneider Electric’s dedication to seeing their initiative to bring energy efficiency to the forefront of consumers’, corporations’, and governments’ minds through. We’ll be excited to see how Schneider delivers on those goals moving forward.