Smart Buildings

Neuron Digital Gains Momentum in Meeting Hong Kong’s Building Digitalization Demand

In this Research Note, we explore one of China’s emerging startups in the smart buildings space. Incubated by Arup and with seed investment from Venturous Group, Neuron Digital is gaining momentum as it meets Hong Kong’s demand for building digitalization. Neuron Digital Established Neuron Digital is a joint venture between Arup, a leading built environment consultant, and Venturous Group, a Chinese investor, business builder, and operator of smart city technology and infrastructure companies. In 2021, Venturous Group invested in a Neuron Digital seed round, after being incubated by Arup. Neuron continues to work in close collaboration with Arup to broaden its service offerings for the built environment. The company was launched and fully operational in April 2022. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Neuron offers a full-stack digital platform optimized for buildings. The open cloud-based integrated technology platform with digital twin, AI, and big data capabilities aims to reduce energy costs by up to 15% to 30% […]

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In this Research Note, we explore one of China’s emerging startups in the smart buildings space. Incubated by Arup and with seed investment from Venturous Group, Neuron Digital is gaining momentum as it meets Hong Kong’s demand for building digitalization.

Neuron Digital Established

Neuron Digital is a joint venture between Arup, a leading built environment consultant, and Venturous Group, a Chinese investor, business builder, and operator of smart city technology and infrastructure companies.

In 2021, Venturous Group invested in a Neuron Digital seed round, after being incubated by Arup. Neuron continues to work in close collaboration with Arup to broaden its service offerings for the built environment. The company was launched and fully operational in April 2022.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Neuron offers a full-stack digital platform optimized for buildings. The open cloud-based integrated technology platform with digital twin, AI, and big data capabilities aims to reduce energy costs by up to 15% to 30% and other operating costs, while improving occupant comfort, allowing building operators to make data-driven building optimization decisions.

Mr Benson Tam, Co-Chairman of Neuron and Founder & Chairman of Venturous Group,said: “Neuron is proudly a ‘child of Hong Kong’. We are so excited to launch it here. Neuron is an infrastructure key to Smart Cities, which is at the core of our firm’s mission. At Venturous Group we not only invest, but also build and operate Citytech. Neuron is a perfect example of what we can achieve together with best-in-class, long-term strategic partners such as Arup.”

Neuron Digital Group

Strategic Partnership with Cisco

In January 2023, Cisco Hong Kong and Neuron Digital announced a strategic partnership to accelerate smart buildings in Hong Kong. This cooperation combines Cisco’s smart building solutions with Neuron’s open data cloud platform.

Through the environmental data collected by Cisco Meraki’s smart devices, such as smart sensors and cameras, Neuron’s cloud platform will analyze the data and visualize the analysis results.

The analysis provides optimization suggestions for property management and operation teams, including energy management, indoor air quality, space utilization, and workplace safety, enabling enterprises to reduce operating costs, utilize spaces and resources, and reduce carbon emissions, thus creating a sustainable working and operating model.

Deployments

The company has installed its digital technology in more than 100 buildings in Hong Kong.

In September 2023, Neuron Digital officially launched its building digitalization offering in Hong Kong. After 18 months of development, Neuron solutions and packaged products enable buildings, old and new, to undergo digital transformation at their own pace and at affordable costs.

One of its first landmark projects in Quarry Bay claims to be Hong Kong’s first AI-enabled smart building. Neuron was the Smart Building consultant and implementer of the digital platform to enable BIM Asset Management, big data analysis, and AI model development for energy savings and predictive maintenance.

One Taikoo Place, a triple Grade A 41-storey office tower in Hong Kong developed by Swire Properties, has deployed Neuron Digital solutions. Neuron’s cooling load predictions are within 5% of actual use, supporting a reduction in energy use by 15%.

Apart from energy saving through advanced data analytic capabilities, machine learning and predictive maintenance, Neuron also helps create a better indoor environment that focuses on the health and wellbeing of the occupants, delivering the best value to the tenants.

Neuron provides a foundational data platform to connect and converge data sources from disparate building systems, equipment and devices (e.g. HVAC) into a central repository or common data model. Through the BIM-enabled asset management (AM) system, the platform can improve operation workflows and replace manual processes via digitalization and automation.

Two Taikoo Place, the latest addition to Swire Properties’ HK$15 billion (US$1.9 billion) Taikoo Place Redevelopment Project, has also adopted the Neuron solution.

Expansion Plans

The company is focused on capturing the Hong Kong market, but discussions are ongoing with interested parties in mainland China, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and other countries.

The market potential is significant since the Neuron platform can be applied to all commercial, industrial, and government real estate sectors, be it office buildings, industrial buildings, hospitals, schools, theme parks, and infrastructure projects.

This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.

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