Maalka, a commercial real estate data technology company and Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) alumnus, has been awarded a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant and has recently partnered with Cushman & Wakefield and Green Schools Alliance, opening an international market for its open sustainability and energy efficiency management platform.
The Maalka software platform enables building portfolio owners and managers to deploy customizable programs for managing energy, water, waste, carbon, health and other dimensions of sustainability. The SBIR grant will enable Maalka to develop technology for automating portfolio-scale energy modeling and simulation that will drive a range of new applications on Maalka’s open platform.
Two Times a Winner
The company’s technical leadership earned SBIR program recognition not once, but twice. In 2018 Maalka won a Phase I SBIR award to integrate OpenStudio energy management software, developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), into its energy analysis framework. This year it was awarded a $1 million Phase II SBIR grant to help bring that technology to market.
The SBIR award will be used to advance KAVA, an application built on OpenStudio and designed to enable rapid, calibrated portfolio-level energy analysis. KAVA allows users to understand disaggregated energy use for buildings across a portfolio to inform highly targeted energy efficiency improvement strategies with accurate investment metrics, such as payback periods. In addition, KAVA will be made available for Maalka partners to power new applications for analyzing everything from portfolio-scale distributed-energy-resources (DER) integration to load demand and carbon emissions forecasting.
According to Maalka CEO Rimas Gulbinas, the goal of KAVA is to aid cities, corporations, and utilities in discovering the most economic and impactful strategies for reaching their energy and carbon reduction goals.
“Based on the work Maalka did through IN2 with the OpenStudio platform developed at NREL,” says Gulbinas, “KAVA allows Maalka to provide remote, accurate, and cost-effective energy modeling and analysis across large portfolios.”
The potential of the Maalka platform caught the attention of Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm. Cushman & Wakefield has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency and has partnered with Maalka to bring data-driven portfolio management to buildings around the world.
“The partnership will allow Maalka to scale services to over 40 countries,” says Gulbinas. “This represents the beginning of our efforts to partner with global leaders to bring optimized sustainability management to clients around the world.”
A Boost from IN2
Maalka received two phases of funding for technical assistance from IN2 and found the program key to its success.
“IN2 was absolutely integral to what we’ve been able to get done,” says Gulbinas. “It provided funding and technical assistance when we needed it most and it gave us the perspective needed to best develop novel energy modeling solutions primed to scale.”
According to IN2 Program Manager Trish Cozart, that is exactly the point. “We are proud of Maalka and also our contributions to its success,” says Cozart. “One of the goals of our program is to help our companies bring their innovations to market. Maalka has done just that and is now improving buildings efficiencies on a global scale.”
For more information on Maalka, see www.maalka.com
About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a $30 million clean-technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 has since expanded its focus to advance technologies that address sustainable production of agriculture and affordable housing. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, technical support and validation from experts at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and ongoing connections to organizations across value chains. For more information, visit in2ecosystem.com.