Meet the 2021 selected startups: Gilytics

Gilytics is Revolutionizing Linear Infrastructure Planning with the Pathfinder Routing Solution

Helping utilities automate infrastructure routing, saving time, money and CO2 with better data, visuals and communication for better decision making.

Value Proposition
We help planners find the most resilient and sustainable route for linear infrastructure faster, with automation and inclusive design. Our vision is to become the standard software solution for the planning of linear infrastructure. The tool addresses the problem that 50% of projects are delayed and are delivered over budget without resiliency integrated early into design. The need to build new infrastructure to connect renewables and more sustainable transport and trillions to be invested as part of Covid recovery make it the right time for our solution. The tool can be used for more than 32% of infrastructure from planning cable, pipe, powerlines, renewables, roads, oil & gas, telecom, transport, and water projects. It serves overhead, underground, offshore, brownfield and greenfield projects. Our solution is used by utilities and rail providers in Europe, and we have clients in Asia and the Americas. Our clients include transmission and distribution system operators, renewables developers, energy, engineering, and rail companies, as well as ministries responsible for infrastructure.

Pathfinder delivers cost savings for our clients and the governments they serve by reducing project costs, reducing 10 months in the project process, around 10% in costs, with 50% faster results in the pre-design phase and 20% fewer engineering hours among other staffing costs. Users can more accurately calculate project CAPEX and OPEX needed for their business case in greater detail. They can identify the most cost-effective route to better control project costs, helping them to be more competitive. This helps to win tenders and secure investment as well as to save costs in the permitting and design process. They can also use the solution to see how to repair and use existing infrastructure and when to build new lines or to place infrastructure underground or when to bundle projects by for example bundling fiber optic and power cables, helping them to maximize returns on their assets. Integrating data on cadastral data makes it possible to identify potential issues with communities earlier when analytics and 2D, 3D and AR visualization can be used to collect feedback on design earlier from stakeholders, preventing litigation costs later.

Our tool helps to reduce environmental impact and emissions related to new and old transport and energy infrastructure globally making up 60% of all emissions according to the IEA benefitting clients and their communities as pressure to address environmental concerns and climate risk increase. Pathfinder helps utilities plan powerlines with the least environmental impact, giving them a greater level of environmental detail and visualization from how to avoid protected areas to how to limit avalanche, wildfire, and flooding risk. The analysis is used in environmental impact assessments as it quantifies 100+ layers of spatial data related to habitat, species, forests, soil, and protected areas to limit impact. It can also be used to measure CO2 consumption for power and rail projects with scenarios to support reduction. Our 2D, 3D and AR visualization combined with analytics for each route option, helps users develop projects more sustainably. Our analysis helps to connect renewable energy and electric transport projects more quickly being used for example in Germany to build the grid needed to transport wind energy throughout the country. The analysis speeds up the design discussion between utilities with engineering providers, landowners, regulators, communities, and NGOs. Stakeholder communication is accelerated as they can see all options considered and why one option is prioritized in a more accurate, realistic, and quantifiable way. Pathfinder analysis also helps users to reduce Co2 consumed in project materials, transport, damage to trees, power loss, cement and use of commodities, and nitrous oxide as these costs can be quantified in the project model. Visualization in AR of a planned project which we have developed on a mobile phone, can also increase acceptance of renewable energy projects. An initial life cycle analysis completed with environmental NGOs and Swissgrid estimated that Pathfinder could help users to reduce more than 2 million tons of CO2 by 2022. Historical and current weather data can be used to identify risks and plan upgrades needed for resiliency helping to future proof projects. Power flow analysis is also being used to better integrate demand changes that will help to future proof the grid and transport networks among other kinds of linear infrastructure. Pathfinder makes the design process more inclusive to better integrate the needs of communities in design. The tool identifies the most socially acceptable route for new linear infrastructure projects identifying the distance between buildings and new projects and visual impact as well as identifying cultural heritage sites and vulnerable communities among other factors.
Our tool can be easily used and has already been used to plan projects covering 10,000 miles. Spatial data is available at no cost in most markets and where it is not satellite images can be used. Analysis can be done on the cloud and on premise and is interoperable requiring little behavior change. The software applies local costs, technical, engineering, environmental, and regulatory rules based on user feedback to identify routes within spatial constraints. This customization and optimization approach makes implementation across markets straight forward. Gilytics provides data services and yearly licenses. It is becoming the standard for planning powerline and cable projects for our 10+clients. Our investors include the German Government backed HTGF, Swiss Start Up Capital and the Zurich Cantonal Bank.

Track Record
Our technology is based on 10+ years of research from the ETH, a leading technical university and experience working with Swissgrid, the Swiss rail company SBB and Axpo, Switzerland’s largest producer of renewable energy. Our product has been adopted by 10 clients including leading TSOs and proven first for the planning of overhead lines and earth cables and used in the design phase can projects with data sharing possible throughout the project process. Our unique algorithm is very agile and can work on many kinds of linear infrastructure optimization problems. The tool is in use in 7 countries. Customer Feedback: “Pathfinder provides the potential to improve and accelerate planning saving costly time. The more modern 3D visualization is particularly useful for 3rd party communication” Head of Data Analytics, DSO. “Planners use the software as a decision support tool giving them more time to discuss alternatives and less time finding them” Joshu Jullier, Communication Manager, Swissgrid. Our team has extensive experience working in other start-ups and in the energy and infrastructure industry globally. Bringing together a PhD in GIS, and an MBA with infrastructure sales and marketing experience, and a finance and accounting expert, and strong developers, our team has deep international, technical, commercial and industry experience. Our technology was recognized with several awards (Elia innovation challenge, SET 100 top global 100 energy transition start up by the World Energy Council, a Future Grid Start Up by the Energy Tech Challengers, a top ten Swiss Engineering Start Up, Free Electrons top 15 energy start up, Infrachallenge Top 20 Start Up).

Unique Selling Points
Pathfinder is unlike other tools available on the market. The Platform provides a new level of automation with a unique algorithm, greater data customization, faster and easier scenario generation, more precise and transparent analysis with more realistic visuals and metrics. The algorithm provides transparent but accurate results including parameters based on resistance values the client sets including environmental, technical, and regulatory parameters for better data management. Pathfinder is used earlier in the design process for routing and siting. The interface is easier to use as it provides fast integration of GIS data with other tools using easy import and export and data processing that is five times faster. The cloud and Web viewer as well as multi user cloud database and collaboration tools make sharing information with stakeholders easier. Analysis of routing alternatives and validating results is much faster. Combining 100s of layers of spatial data and user data to quantify costs related to risks so easily and accurately is unique.



We are excited to be part of the Free Electrons Community and to have the opportunity to help more utilities optimize their processes to make better, faster decisions in order to accelerate the energy transition and better meet customer needs.
Heather Clark, Co-Founder, Gilytics


Youtube: Gilytics AG Youtube

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