Johnson Controls and Accenture join forces on new AI-enabled OpenBlue Innovation Centers

  • Johnson Controls and Accenture will deliver two new Johnson Controls OpenBlue Innovation Centers seeding further development of AI-enabled building control system products and services.
  • The focus will be on developing new hardware and software built around 5G and IoT, adding greater system connectivity, control, and visualization for building environments.
  • The new solutions will accelerate carbon reduction in buildings as part of ongoing investment by Johnson Controls in net-zero buildings to promote better occupant health, safety and security.

Accenture and Johnson Controls, the global provider of smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, are collaborating to deliver and operate two new OpenBlue Innovation Centers. The centers will drive Johnson Controls’ rollout of building control system products and services using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital twins, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and the cloud. The goal is to accelerate advanced automation in building operations to achieve greater sustainability, safety, security, and user experiences.

Johnson Controls OpenBlue is an AI-enabled suite of connected solutions and services that integrates with customers’ operational technology. The system collects and primes data from buildings and applies machine learning at the edge and in the cloud—comparing the data against optimized AI performance models. The result is the ability to micro-manage real-time building performance, saving cost and energy as well as enhancing environments.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to accelerate carbon reduction in buildings by weaving in new features built on advanced technology into OpenBlue, further enabling our customers to achieve their sustainability targets,” says Vijay Sankaran, Johnson Controls chief technology officer. “Accenture’s expertise in platform engineering, integration, and sustainability will help us to deliver these enhanced capabilities faster—accelerating how quickly we can cut emissions, energy, and cost out of projects and helping our customers to reduce their operational costs sooner.”

Accenture will assist Johnson Controls by implementing leading-edge technologies on the OpenBlue platform. This includes AI-driven analytics to optimize space utilization, O2 vs. CO2 saturation in airflows, as well as infectious disease risks and other environmental information. Digital twins will be used to enable Johnson Controls to model, analyze, and make decisions on maintenance, upgrades, and sustainability—replacing physical prototypes to help reduce resource use, carbon emissions, cost, and time to market. 5G and IoT will also be used for faster and higher capacity data transmission, with remote management and control of connected devices.

“The better and more sustainable we can make buildings—the smarter, more attractive, healthier and efficient they will become—and the better they will be for people and our planet,” said Peter Lacy, Accenture’s global Sustainability Services lead and chief responsibility officer. “It’s about creating environments focused on well-being and productivity of occupants while protecting the environment of our planet. Digitizing building operations is an essential first step toward these goals.”

With around 40 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally generated by the building sector, research from Accenture found that technology such as digital twins, digital replicas of physical assets or processes, can cut energy use and carbon emissions in half. Further evidence from Accenture research found that companies with a higher sustainability performance—across environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators—perform better financially.

“Companies should not have to make trade-offs between their business and sustainability goals, and an effective technology strategy can address this,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s group chief executive—Technology and chief technology officer. “Together with Johnson Controls, we will harness technology in new ways, use effective ESG measurement tools and engage the power of ecosystems to solve environmental problems within the building environment.”

The new OpenBlue Innovation Centers, opening in Bangalore and Hyderabad, are aligned with Johnson Controls’ innovation in building technology and the strong Johnson Controls network of OpenBlue Innovation Centers across the globe.

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