The on-going transformation of the energy system is affecting every aspect of operation. Particularly interesting is the new role of fast dynamics and the consequences of having fewer large generators connected to the grid. In this new context we need new automation solutions but also new tools and methods to test and validate such solutions. The presentation will describe the experience developed in this area at RWTH Aachen and, in particular, will describe new methods to create collaboration among different research centers by means of simulation. In effect cooperation is key to tackle questions of the complexity currently faced by energy systems.