mPrest, the Israeli company whose software underpins Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interception system, has entered the Australian energy market in partnership with New Zealand power distributor, Vector. The partnership promises to help local power companies migrate towards a more intelligent grid.

The two companies are demonstrating their applications at the 2018 Energy Networks Conference and Exhibition in Sydney from June 5-7.

mPrest describes itself as “a global provider of mission-critical 'Internet of Energy' software,” saying its smart utility applications are “based on dynamic and flexible micro-services architecture, combining artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess and predict utility loads, customer demand, capacity, and market dynamics in real time.”

mPrest's applications are claimed to “address critical areas such as asset management, distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS), virtual distribution automation, and critical event management. It says these applications will assist Australian utilities in realising their renewable energy and grid modernisation strategies.

Vector a mPrest shareholder

Vector invested in mPrest in late 2017 and announced plans to be a reseller of the technology throughout Oceania. Earlier, in May 2017, it announced that it had secured exclusive Australasian rights to mPrest’s energy network monitoring, control and data analytics software, saying this was able to use self-learning techniques to assess and predict a range of network variables including loads, market dynamics, storage, customer demand and capacity.

mPrest said the investment followed its successful collaboration with Vector to develop the mDERMS application, described as a vendor agnostic ‘system of systems’ that “unifies and optimises network assets and enables new and emerging customer needs and generation sources to be integrated into the way a network operates.”

Also, in late 2017, Vector announced that its smart metering arm, Vector Advanced Metering Services, had secured a three-year contract to provide metering services to Australian power generator EnergyAustralia. It said the contract would see it deploying advanced meters on behalf of at least four electricity retailers in 2018 across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.

Cyber security ambitions

The two companies’ joint ambitions extend beyond smart grids and smart metering. mPrest cofounder and CEO Natan Barak told the writer in May 2017 that the two were looking at opportunities well beyond the utilities sector, in particular cyber security. “This is definitely one of the verticals we will focus on and it may be that Vector will start a cyber security business,” he said.

“We don't have a schedule yet. We are working on a business plan and a go to market strategy but I believe that over the next two years you will see subsidiary companies dealing with the IoT business.” 

He said Vector would be sending its “best people” to Israel for cyber security training. “We have a lot of knowledge in Israel and we will have an incubator that will include those capabilities and they will sell this in Australia and New Zealand.”