Redevelopment for innovation. Futur-e at the PoliHub in Milan

Published on Monday, 17 October 2016

On September 29, the Milan Polytechnic startup district hosted the presentation of the project to upgrade the plants launched by Enel. The Futur-e model gathered startuppers, design studios and engineering students of the Lombard university

“Futur-e is not only about re-using brownfield sites, but also enhancing an essential industrial patrimony that - we hope – will remain that way in its 'new life”

This is how Alessandro Barducci, Professor of Urban Planning at the Milan Polytechnic, summed goal and peculiarities of the Futur-e project when speaking on 29 September in Milan to the PoliHub community composed of innovators, startuppers, design firms in the smart building and green energy industry.

PoliHub is the incubator of the Milan Polytechnic, born to support highly innovative startups with scalable business models and push the cross-fertilisation process between the Academy, the different startups and companies that focus on innovation.

Second university startup incubator in Europe and fifth in the world, PoliHub is also an innovation district because it is composed of the headquarters of the Campus Bovisa in Milan in connection with ComoNExT, a scientific and technological park in Como, and Cobox, an innovative ICT crowdsourcing space in Cremona.

The Milan Polytechnic is Enel's partner in the ongoing redevelopment contests and procedures for a number of plants involved in Futur-e. The meeting on 29 September with PoliHub was therefore a further stage of this collaboration, involving the community of startups and innovators that gravitates around the university in Milan.
Giuseppe Fumarola, Futur-e Project Coordinator, explained in detail the objectives of the project, starting with Italy’s new energy scenario and the different redevelopment patterns applied to 21 sites involved in Futur-e. A real identikit with the location of the power plants on the map, the reasons for their ever-decreasing competitiveness: factors that define the characteristics of each site and are at the origin of a redevelopment approach based on sustainability values ​​and Innovation.

Maintaining a dialogue, listening and sharing are building blocks of the project. As pointed out by Matteo Bettini, Futur-e Project Project Manager for the Bari and Rossano (CS) power plant, the openness to the local communities is an inescapable constant factor, along with the opening to redevelopment ideas that can come from all over the world. To gather the latter, Enel has launched several initiatives such as the Contest of Ideas for Alessandria and redevelopment procedures.

Innovation and sustainability are at the core of the new course of the entire Group and its Open Power strategy, said Luciano Tommasi, head of Enel’s New Ventures Initiatives. This is why the opening to makers, startuppers and 2.0 entrepreneurs that is characterising the Enel’s presence in the world is also in the DNA of the redevelopment path of the 22 plants involved in the project. Futur-e is in fact an example of openness to new ideas and different points of view to all those who wants to write with Enel a new page in the history of the sites and the local communities that host them.

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