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Aleksandar Selakov Ph.D., Gray Cell CEO; Professor At The University Of Novi Sad Faculty Of Technical Sciences

Ready For A Global Breakthrough

Gray Cell is a software company that strives to satisfy all the technological needs of its clients. It is dedicated in particular to energy transformation and solutions that contribute to the advancement of the AgTech industry

The IT sector is among the world’s fastest growing industries, one that requires lifelong learning, specialization training and the monitoring of trends. It is precisely this approach that forms the core of the company of our interlocutor, Mr. Selakov, who considers that science and technology should be used in the service of the economy.

Do you offer your numerous clients universal software solutions or do you tailor bespoke solutions for each client?

We strive, as a software company, to satisfy all our clients’ technological requirements. We offer a flexible approach, because we understand that every organization has specific demands. We start from our universal modules that have been verified by industry, and this results in us delivering solutions that are tailor-made to suit the company and project.

The world was recently hit by one of the worst energy crises, and that will continue to pose a threat if no energy transition is forthcoming. How do you view this? How can energy transition be implemented?

Energy transition refers to the shift from traditional sources of energy that have a negative impact on the environment, such as fossil fuels, to sustainable sources of energy like solar, wind, hydropower, hydrogen and other renewable sources. In the context of our company and the projects that we implement in California, there are several ways in which we contribute to this transition.

We firstly develop software platforms and tools for the optimization and management of electricity infrastructure. This encompasses systems for supervising and managing the power transmission and distribution grid, software for optimizing electricity production, electric vehicle charging systems, solutions for managing small systems that are referred to as microgrids, as well as other technology platforms that facilitate the efficient management of electricity.

We also contribute to this transition by using the technologies of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, by participating in energy transition through the optimization of power systems, predicting energy consumption levels and identifying areas to improve energy efficiency, and alongside that we also write scientific papers, present our research at conferences and organize seminars via digital platforms. In order for us to succeed in the energy transition process, future power systems must conform to the 3 Ds of energy: digitization, decentralization, and decarbonization.

Smart agriculture is one of the areas you’re especially committed to advancing. What kind of role does the IT sector play in this branch of the economy? Can IT companies place themselves at the service of small manufacturers and industries?

Software companies can play a significant role in advancing the AgTech industry. Our company is engaged in this area in two ways, both independently and through collaboration with our partner company from Kentucky. Our software system for optimal animal feed formulation enables farmers and the industry to precisely tailor nutrition to the needs of their animals and the market.

By using data on animal genetics, metabolism and needs, the software generates optimal diets and feeding recommendations, alongside reducing CO2 emissions during the production of animal feed. We do this by working in cooperation with partners to glean information on how many kilograms of CO2 are emitted during the production of a single ton of animal feed raw materials. Our dual optimization system results in improved feed efficiency, better animal health, and a reduced negative environmental impact.

In order for us to succeed in the energy transition process, future power systems must conform to the 3 Ds of energy: digitization, decentralization, and decarbonization

We have begun developing a technology platform for the production of protein from insects and reducing biowaste. This system comprises intelligent software for managing insect breeding, monitoring environmental parameters and controlling substrate quality, as well as physical breeding chambers.

We can’t overlook the fact that you are also a professor at the Novi Sad Faculty of Technical Sciences and head of the ASE study program… How are your students; What kind of engineers do they mature into?

The Applied Software Engineering study program, and the Faculty of Technical Sciences as a whole, are extremely agile, which means that they constantly upgrade their plans and programs in line with the advancement of science and industry trends. In order for our students to also be adaptable to the world market to the greatest possible extent, we maintain three pillars of academic work: teaching, science, cooperation with the industry.

Considering Gray Cell’s results, one would say that you have a fantastic team. There can be no success without that.

In these dynamic surroundings, lifelong learning, specialization training and the monitoring of trends are critical success factors. That’s precisely why we insist on employing and retaining experts and dedicated professionals who are ready to constantly improve their skills and knowledge. Through regular training participation in conferences, workshops, and studying the latest technologies, our team is oriented towards constant development. Alongside lifelong learning, it is also important to promote teamwork, communication, creativity and a commitment to problem solving. These characteristics are all of equal importance when it comes to achieving success in the IT industry.

Early this year, you made your debut appearance at the DistribuTECH Conference, which is held in Sand Diego and represents one of the world’s most prestigious events of its kind. What were your impressions? Was it a useful experience?

DistribuTECH is a really exceptional conference that represents the pinnacle of events in the Smart Grid industry. The organization and content on offer at the conference were outstanding, with an emphasis on key topics: energy transition, electromobility, smart grids, energy security and resistance to attacks, both physical and cyber. Viewed overall, our debut at #distributech23 was an extremely useful and inspiring event for us. Gaining new insights, establishing contacts and presenting our company at the global level has had a positive impact on our further strategy and development. And San Diego is also a fantastic city.

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