ABB Electrification Startup Challenge 2023


Presented by Eric Deschenes
Global Electrification Services, Sales & Marketing Lead

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Winner award: collaboration project worth 30,000 USD

Cyber Security Assessor for electrical substations to manage increasing cyber risks

Global cybercrime costs from theft of intellectual property, disrupted operations and damage to physical assets are expected to grow by 15 percent annually over the next five years.

For electrical substations, which include critical electronic devices, cyber security is a significant threat
  • Attacks can be deliberate but also non-intentional
  • People and systems can generate them
  • Entry points can be the equipment user interface, the configuration tool, and the communication bus to higher level systems
  • We have a need today to support our customers to identify and manage the increasing cyber risks on their electrical equipment and wider operations
Cyber Security Assessor – smart, user-friendly decision-making tool to prevent cyber issues

Recent or new electrical equipment is certified from a cyber security standpoint, however:

  • their combination into a system can result in an unsecured set-up
  • the custom engineering can add specific additional risks
  • their integration with outdated devices can also make them vulnerable.

The purpose of the Cyber Security Assessor is to offer customers an assessment tool that identifies critical risks in electrical substations and provides clear, corrective actions in easy-to-understand language.

The Challenge

What we are looking for is a framework for cyber security assessment in electrical substations that:

  • makes cyber security information more accessible and clearer to understand and manage for engineers and operators, so they can implement corrective actions against cyber risks more easily
  • guides customers on the potential cyber security risks of their electrical equipment.

Startup challengers have the freedom to suggest the most suitable technology platform for building the Cyber Security Assessor, based on what we are trying to achieve and in line with relevant standards and trends.

To help with developing the tool, ABB will provide:

  • datasheets and user manuals of electronic equipment used in electrical substations (such as relays, metering devices, gateways, data concentrators)
  • ABB cyber security deployment guidelines as available for external use
What outcomes we want for customers
  • Customer profiling with respect to their risk attitude and preparedness
  • Guide to avoid unintentional violations by operators
  • Risk assessment report that is easily understood with clear corrective actions to prevent cyber issues
Key technologies & applications knowledge required
  • Cyber security
  • Gateways and Windows workstations
  • Networking, including Ethernet and TCP/IP with its concept of ports and services
  • Security policies
  • Firewalls and antivirus protection
  • Secure remote communication


The Startup Challenge Awards
  • The winner of the challenge will be able to show and share the solution in a pilot or customer testcase.
  • The winner will have the opportunity to access lab environments we jointly use with customers, allowing ABB customers to actively experience the solution and share their feedback.
  • $30,000 for a collaboration with ABB Electrification to develop the solution.
  • 6-month free SynerLeap membership, ABB’s startup accelerator, which will boost your growth and visibility across ABB, our partners, and customers (value $10,000).
  • Exclusive mentoring sessions with Microsoft startup advisors.
Ready to shape future user experience together?

We invite you to Download the ABB application Powerpoint template for ABB Electrification’s Service Startup Challenge 2023!

Download template

Apply today or latest by February 21 – we evaluate the applications continuously

If you have any questions about your application, please contact

Apply here

ABB Expert Collaboration

You will receive dedicated support from ABB during the 10 days of the challenge from the following global Service division experts:

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    Lee Todd

    Services Product Line Manager

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    Jan Lipponen

    R&D Project Manager

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    Callisto Gatti

    Technology Manager, Service Division

About Electrification Service

ABB Electrification’s Service division plays a proactive role in generating value for our customers, across all segments, keeping their assets reliable, and protecting their investments through an extended life cycle management program.

With an unwavering focus on safety, sustainability and integrity, our skilled and certified team provides services for both ABB and non-ABB electrification products to include life cycle services, access to ABB Ability™ digital technology as well as start-up and maintenance services.

Service covers both low- and medium-voltage products and equipment from ABB Electrification’s portfolio, as well as third party products coming from other brands, to provide a complete solution for our global customer base. Service operates in more than 50 counties, has approximately 2,500 employees and enjoys an annual revenue in the region of $1 billion USD.

Introduction to the Electrification Service challenge

ABB Electrification Startup Challenge 2023



Let’s write the future. Together. ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.


SynerLeap powered by ABB

By bringing startups, ABB, industrial partners and our customers together through our innovation growth hub SynerLeap, we ignite innovation transfer across industries, ranging from industrial automation, and robotics to grid technologies, smart cities, buildings and transportation technologies. So far we have created more than 200 collaborations, together with our 160 startup members from 24 countries. SynerLeap brings in up to 4 new members monthly, and one new ABB collaboration is starting every week. Sandvik, Westinghouse, Microsoft, Intertek, and Hitachi Energy are just a few examples of our partners that together bring value into our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are open to international members


Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft)

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With the dedicated Microsoft for Startups Program, Microsoft helps cloudbased startups with a B2B focus grow and scale through a global ecosystem of customers and partners. The focus is on building a long-term partnership with the startup, while ensuring that intellectual property is always owned by the inventors and founders