Enel won the 2016 WAIA Innovation award


An algorithm developed by Bocconi researchers for the Wired Audi Innovation Award acknowledged Enel as the most innovative Italian business in the ‘big company’ category.

In 2016, Enel was Italy’s most innovative ‘big company’. The achievement results from a survey coordinated by Francesco Sacco, fellow at the School of management of the Bocconi University in Milan and conducted by the 2016 Wired Audi Innovation Award (WAIA), assigned jointly by the technology magazine and the German automotive company, now in its third edition.

Bocconi researchers developed a specific algorithm to analyse the quality of the patents filed and the corporate balance sheets. As a result, Enel ranked first in the ‘big company’ category. The other three sections of the 2016 WAIA innovation award targeted entrepreneurs, startups and small and medium enterprises. 

Overall, the survey examined the budgetary data of 250 big companies, 300 small and medium enterprises and 2,500 startups. The system also assessed over 70,000 patents from more than 43,000 inventors.

The outstanding support that Enel grants to renewable energy and digitisation, as highlighted in the 2017-2019 strategic plan presented in London in November, was particularly valued. Specifically, 60% of investments for the next three-year period, roughly equivalent to 21 billion euros, addresses growth and development, the remaining 40% grid maintenance.

The widespread installation of smart meters, remote control and system connectivity has proven to be the main strength of Enel’s offer, achieving great balance on grids and the retail market. The numbers regarding renewable production are equally amazing: in a few years, it leaped to the present 36 GW worldwide, thanks to the great technology diversification.

Other first places in the WAIA 2016 ranking were won, in the ‘People’ category, by Fabio De’ Longhi, son of the founder of the coffee machine industry; in the ‘SME’ category by Carbotech, which patents and manufactures graphite-made brushes; in the ‘Startup’ category Redooc, an online platform which describes itself as ‘Italy’s major math gym’.