TORONTO—Energy entrepreneur Ron Dizy has been named managing director of the soon-to-be-launched Advanced Energy Centre (AEC) public-private partnership at the MaRS Discovery District.
Dizy, who MaRS described as an “experienced entrepreneur and early-stage technology investor, with deep industry expertise in energy,” takes on the top job at the AEC after seven years leading smart grid technology firm ENBALA Power Networks.
“I am delighted that Ron has decided to join the Advanced Energy Centre,” MaRS chief executive Ilse Treurnicht said in a statement. “As an entrepreneur, Ron has been passionate about bringing new technologies and approaches to the energy sector. I know that with his drive, experience and pragmatism, he will find ways to help this key sector increase its impact.”
Announced in February, the AEC will bring the public and private sectors around the same table to develop next-generation technologies.
According to MaRS, the innovation centre “will catalyze the creation of ‘whole solutions’ that drive faster, lower-risk adoption of Canadian energy innovation.”
The AEC will work with utilities in the province to identify “high-priority, cost-effective opportunities for improved solutions, ensure that the innovation community is addressing the needs of the system, and will support the adoption of standards-based programs” in Ontario.
Dizy will work closely with former Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) president and CEO Paul Murphy, who will act as founding chair of the centre’s advisory board.
“I worked with Ron when I was at the IESO, where he helped us to see some innovative alternatives to balancing the grid,” Murphy said. “I really look forward to working with Ron and his team at the Advanced Energy Centre to find ways to deliver a wide range of relevant and cost-effective innovations to the Ontario energy sector.”
Founding partners Capgemini Canada Inc., a Toronto-based consulting firm, and Siemens Canada Ltd. will both play a role in the centre, along with two organizations in the MaRS cleantech cluster: MaRS Cleantech Venture Services and ArcTern Ventures.
“I’m convinced that Canadian energy innovation is among the best in the world and that we have many of the winning conditions in place,” said Dizy. “However, as I have been involved as an entrepreneur in delivering innovation to the energy sector, I have observed the structural challenges that tend to slow the rate of adoption and scaling.
“I think the Advanced Energy Centre has the right structure and partners to break down these barriers and create tremendous economic and environmental value.”