The challenge of developing sustainable finance and open innovation was the focus of the 24th Assiom Forex Congress, the forum at which financial operators, companies and institutions come together to exchange ideas. Enel outlined how the Group is responding to this challenge by introducing its own Open Innovation model.
Enel Group Chairman Patrizia Grieco highlighted the opportunities during the round table discussion “Credit, Enterprises and Innovation,” promoted by the Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor press agency. There was a large audience at the Auditorium of the Cattolica Center in Verona, which hosted the event organised with the support of Banco BPM. Following the opening address by Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister of Economy and Finance, valuable contributions to the debate were made by Vincenzo Boccia, Chairman of Confindustria, and Roberto Gualtieri, Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).
Patrizia Greco underlined a crucial fact: in the current scenario, in which technological advances are being made with increasing frequency and customer habits are changing rapidly, no company can stand on its own in developing an innovative process capable of keeping up with the times. For this reason Enel has adopted an open model (Open Power), centred on collaboration with other companies, suppliers, universities and startups, as well as public and private institutions. Above all, with the support of the seven Enel Innovation Hubs, so far around 200 innovative projects have been developed. In the Open Innovation model, Enel acts as an industrial partner for the startups, also encouraging their growth by helping them obtain greater access to credit.
“The two key words,” Grieco explained, “are innovation and sustainability. In 2017 Enel launched a green bond in support of its sustainable business model. To facilitate access to credit and the financial markets for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) Enel implements the model of a company at the top of the supply chain, also within the framework of internationalising small and medium enterprises.”
During the event Minister Padoan emphasised that the Italian economy is showing positive signs of growth. These can be encouraged by removing obstacles preventing the use of public investment, enabling resources to be deployed more effectively. A fall in public debt, explained Ignazio Visco, governor of the Bank of Italy, in his speech to the congress, combined with the significant development of the infrastructure, partly fuelled by innovation, could guide Italy’s recovery towards an even more inclusive model.
The strategy presented at the ASSIOM FOREX congress shows that Enel is well advanced along this path.