Multiplying the chances to meet demand for effective technological solutions and the innovation supply in one of the world’s most fertile and innovative ecosystems.
In this spirit, in July 2016, Enel chose the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv, to set up the first Enel Innovation Hub: a space in which the Open Innovation approach and the decision to place digitisation among the Enel Group’s strategic pillars takes the form of the business accelerator. The most effective way to promote the continuous research for technologies ensuring a sustainable energy business, in a context of fast and continuous transformation.
In fact, the Israeli high tech startups tissue is one of the most vibrant in the world, with such a concentration of innovative companies that it was renamed Silicon Wadi (valley in Hebrew), after the American Silicon Valley.
“Since our launch six months ago, a lot of interest and traction has evolved around the Enel Innovation Hub, both in Israel and abroad”, emphasised Eran Levy, who runs the startup scouting in Tel Aviv. “By now we have been talking to hundreds of startups, introducing the 50 most relevant, innovative and interesting to our business champions in Enel. Global ICT, our first internal partner, is already in project evaluation process with selected cyber security startups, in particular production and distribution, with a focus on drone startups” and Market Italy for smart home and family care solutions.
The fields in which the scouting activities should focus are defined following the ongoing meetings with the various Group business units. Among the technological priorities identified so far: cyber security, industrial Internet of Things, drones, smart home technologies and family care.
“There are 2 main keys to success in Open Innovation which we have adopted very quickly and strongly: a strong business engagement and an open, continues communication between the hub and the business units. To ensure keeping and executing these principles, we built a practice that include 8-10 bootcamps each year, in which delegations from Enel are coming to Israel for intensive 2-3 days, to meet with selected 15-25 startups on each visit. As far as I know, this is the highest ratio of startups-champions introductions and follow-ups in the industry. The expected result is to eventually have high ratio of commercial partnerships between Enel and the startups”.
In the first six months of activity, the Tel Aviv Enel Innovation Hub has already established its first partnership: Aperio System, the startup that won the Enel Cyber Security Hackathon, from December operates in the Hub, hosted in the offices of SOSA, the innovation platform that collaborates at the Open innovation project.
Between February and April four other camps are scheduled. They will focus on Agritech, renewable energies, electric mobility and blockchain technologies (a data mining technology, introduced by electric Bitcoin currency, which uses cryptocurrency systems and distributed databases).