10,000 startups selected, a global network of a half million solvers, 10 tech innovation hubs to drive sustainable development in seven countries ranging from the Americas to the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe: these are the results delivered as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the foundation of the first Enel Innovation Hub (EIH) today.
That adventure began on July 12th 2016 in Tel Aviv, the living, beating heart of an ecosystem spanning cutting-edge institutes, companies and startups. Since then, Enel Innovation Hubs have sprung up in Brazil, Chile, Italy, Russia, Spain and the US: a global network of research, collaboration and sharing dedicated to transforming revolutionary tech ideas into practical solutions that will accelerate the energy transition towards a more sustainable development model.
An ecosystem for sustainable innovation
The aim is to foster new ideas with innovative potential, by discovering talented people, startups and SMEs, advanced products and solutions in sectors ranging from mobility to renewable energies, digitalization of services and infrastructure, energy efficiency and virtuous waste management.
The Catania EIH, for instance, is located in an area where our Group has tested out technologies designed to boost the efficiency and reliability of solar and storage systems. In Milan, our Innovation Hub is entirely devoted to the creating a better future for power distribution networks and is working to develop new technologies in automation, digitalization and industry 4.0 in order to do so. The EIH in Pisa, on the other hand, plays hosts to startups and partners collaborating with us in the area of thermal generation.
“It is impossible to deal with the way the world and energy sector are evolving so rapidly, alone. Delivering successful innovative projects is only possible if we share know-how and skills between the Hubs and external partners.”
Open, borderless innovation
Through the Enel Innovation Hubs, we are making our network of laboratories, competencies, investors, financial resources, industrial plant and data available to startups and SMEs. “This approach – says Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s Chief Innovability® Officer– means we can establish mutually beneficial relationships that create shared value for all the stakeholders involved,” thereby proving that innovation has no borders.
“The more open you are, the more opportunities you can embrace and the more value you can create for your company,” as Fabio Tentori, Head of Enel Innovation Hubs, succinctly puts it. Over the last five years, we have shown that by combining open innovation and sustainability, we can build a better world – together.