degewo netzWerk GmbH, a subsidiary of Berlin's leading residential construction company degewo, and METR, a PropTech startup in the field of smart building automation, have entered into a 2-year research and development partnership for the development of a multifunctional gateway to enable the gradual and scalable digitalization of the housing industry.

The partnership is considered to form an “IoT Backbone for the Berlin Housing Industry.” It includes the joint development of an IoT infrastructure for residential buildings, which enables housing construction companies to work across manufacturers and utilities – such as water, electricity and heating. The partners aim to provide solutions for the lack of IoT infrastructure in such buildings. Three smart building applications will be developed with submetering (the remote reading of heat and water consumption) as the first application.

“Universal communication structures for the Internet of Things, conceived for residential buildings, represent a great need and at the same time an enormous challenge for the housing industry. As a leading housing company, we are happy to take the lead in innovative approaches. The development partnership should not only bring benefits for degewo, but also make a contribution to the entire industry", says degewo CEO Christoph Beck.

Ulrich Jursch, Managing Director of degewo netzWerk GmbH, expresses his expectations for the next two years of the cooperation with METR: "Various IoT applications will be introduced into the properties of housing companies, or are already being introduced today: monitoring of energy generation systems, measuring devices, elevator monitoring, wirelessly maintained or networked smoke media, and various types of sensors. To avoid installing a separate communication system for each application, it makes sense to use a universal communication structure such as METR. Applications tailored to the special requirements of the housing industry are often still in their infancy or only allow applications from individual manufacturers. The development partnership with METR enables us to incorporate our own application requirements into the development process and make them available to other housing companies. This initiative should fuel more competition in the IoT sector, which could have a positive effect on our tenants in terms of lower ancillary costs."

Franka Birke, CEO of METR, commented on the partnership: "In the field of building automation, cross-manufacturer and cross-utility work is still a challenge. This will change with our IoT infrastructure and possible new applications. Our customers will be able to make housing management much more efficient in the future. The partnership with degewo helps us understand where and how IoT solutions can optimize housing association processes."

METR is developing a multifunctional gateway that processes different communication standards and enables new digital applications in the field of smart buildings and smart homes. METR acts as a platform provider, where third-party solutions are also integrated. The long-term goal is to develop an app store for the housing industry. The Berlin-based company is a startup from Next Big Thing AG, a growing company builder in Europe.

degewo brings to the partnership comprehensive insight into the processes, structures, and needs of Berlin's second largest housing construction company. degewo netzWerk GmbH is a pioneer in the field of digitization of the housing industry. It offers state-of-the-art measurement services for over 33,000 buildings in Berlin.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a global infrastructure where ‘things’ including computers, cars, appliances, devices, and equipment are outfitted with sensors or connected via the internet, allowing for increased and autonomous communication between objects, data generation and collection, or remote control or monitoring. This interconnectivity allows for the possibility of increased data insights and improved, real-time, decision-making. The term ‘backbone’ refers to a larger transmission line carrying data gathered from interconnected smaller lines, collectively producing a network.

Next Big Thing AG (NBT) is Europe's leading company builder in the field of Internet of Things and Services (IoT/IoS) and blockchain technology. As operational VC, incubator and accelerator, NBT is uniquely positioned in a constantly expanding ecosystem of corporates, founders, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and politicians. NBT represents the Berlin IoT Hub of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy’s Digital Hub Initiative. Over the past 1.5 years, NBT has successfully launched IoT startups across diverse verticals: energy, supply chain, healthcare, security, and agriculture – in close cooperation with industrial partners.

degewo is the leading residential construction company in Berlin. Managing 67,000 of its own apartments, more than 6,000 apartments of third-parties, and 1,100 employees – we are one of the largest and most efficient housing construction companies in Germany. Our buildings are located in all districts of Berlin and we are focused on growth. We are constantly improving our service to meet the diverse needs of our customers. As a municipal housing construction company, we assume responsibility for the city of Berlin and its inhabitants.

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Press Contacts:

Elisheva Marcus | Next Big Thing AG
Tel: +49 (0) 30 8321-7217
Tempelhofer Ufer 17
10963 Berlin


Regine Zylka  | degewo
Telefon: 030 26485-1500
Telefax: 030 26485-1505