The Nordex Group is an internationally leading on-shore wind turbine manufacturer with more than 10.000 employees worldwide and its main production sites in Germany, Spain, Brazil, USA an India. There are a main supporter of the green energy revolution and provide the hardware for wind parks and act as project developer for wind parks. They are working both for regional partners and big international energy companies, for which they are not only producing the wind turbines but also offer additional services on site. Therefore, they help in the provision of cheap and green electricity.

The digitalisation plays a prominent role for the next development steps of wind energy and the green energy market as a whole. Here digital means can be used to reduce costs, increase performance and make operations safer. Already in the construction phase of the wind turbines digital tools such as digital twins can be used to optimize the product development and improve the performance of the end products. But the main improvements lie in the services sector with digitally enabled services such as, predictive maintenance of the turbines, digital safety assessments, monitoring and optimization of the wind parks. This is enabled through the key enabling technologies of the digital transformation and the increased connectivity, which becomes available.

Teresa Arlabán Gabeiras, Director Intellectual Property and Processes of the Nordex Group, invited Prof. Dr. Alexander Wurzer to give a keynote presentation about IP-Design and the role of IP in the digital transformation at Nordex. The presentation dealt with the following points:

  • The number of patents, which protect digital services in the shape of use cases, business models, apps, customer journeys and their technical implementation, are rising worldwide.
  • The complexity of digital technologies, business models and use cases is constantly becoming greater. At the same time, business models are changing from simple transactions and to more and more complex relationships offering services in business ecosystems. This complexity, including the enormous degrees of freedom that digital solutions entail, requires a value-driven patent approach, not an invention-driven one.
  • This development can be seen in many industries, e.g. at Sonos, Spotify, Siemens, Philipps Signify, Vorwerk and Hilti.
  • The skill required for protecting this new set of services is IP design, i.e. the application of standard-compliant IP management and the PDCA cycle described therein: Plan, Do, Check and Act. The main aim is to identify the need for IP for a business model and then to meet it in a targeted manner. The consistent implementation of this approach often requires a change process in the company, as IP must be integrated very early in the development of new products and services.

Here are the slides of this keynote: