Enel and FS Italiane are working together to discover ideas in innovation through Innocentive

Published on Friday, 15 June 2018

The Enel Group continues to lead the way in open innovation and technology through two new partnerships. The first is with InnoCentive and the second is with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group (the Italian national railway company). Through these partnerships, the Enel Group is reinforcing its commitment to innovability® - the practice of uniting innovation and sustainability to develop solutions to the world’s problems.

In a globalised world, collaborations between companies are becoming more prevalent, and the energy sector is no exception. Through proactive partnerships and external collaborations, businesses can gain a fresh perspective and open themselves up to opportunities for innovation. As a global leader in technological innovation, the Enel Group embraces this ideology through its Open Innovability® initiative. Ernesto Ciorra, the Enel Group’s Chief Innovability® Officer, recently tweeted that “the beautiful thing about innovation is that the only hierarchy that exists is that of the ideas themselves.”

In its latest effort to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations, the Enel Group entered into a new partnership with the crowdsourcing platform, InnoCentive in May. Through this agreement, the Enel Group will identify 50 tech-related challenges, and InnoCentive will leverage their dedicated networks to amplify their reach in order to recruit top talent and ideas. The objective of these challenges is to attract the most innovative proposals and solutions that have the potential to be scaled up and become the businesses of the future. Fabio Tentori, Head of Enel Innovation Hubs, explains that “transforming ourselves would enable us to create challenges that are interesting for other people and that they would like to solve.”

In line with its commitment to improve everyday life, the Enel Group also signed an agreement with FS Italiane Group, Italy’s largest railway company. The progressive partnership “between these two big companies not only benefits them, but also the country,” says Franco Stivali, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane’s Head of Innovation.

On May 15, 2018, the three companies – Enel X, InnoCentive, and FS Italiane – came together in San Francisco to launch a new challenge. The mission: to develop a mobile application that combines transportation and virtual assistance in order to create the “perfect trip” for users. The inspiration for this challenge arose after identifying difficulties experienced by travellers. Franco Stivali observed that “sometimes you plan a trip but suddenly there is a strike or bad weather – we want our clients to have good trips in spite of those setbacks.”

While there are several apps available to help users plan a trip, an app that integrates transportation with an intelligent virtual assistant with cognitive and predictive capabilities has yet to be developed. To achieve this goal, the three companies are looking for a solution in the form of a mobile app that combines electric mobility, energy efficiency, and virtual assistance throughout each stage of a journey: trip planning, during travel, and post-trip. The Open Challenge seeks to create a tool that can offer travellers real-time assistance with everything from ticket purchases to directions once they arrive at their destination.

Even in the digital age, seamless and problem-free mobility is a major challenge. These partnerships will add another player to the team in order to create a tool that simplifies journeys and offers travellers maximum flexibility. If you’re a start-up with a solution that has the potential to revolutionise the concept of mobility, you can submit your solution here.

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