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Impact innovation program goes digital

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  • Apr 20, 2020

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After four years of collaboration Enel Foundation has reinforced its support to Innovation for Change (I4C), becoming the first Knowledge Partner of the Italian impact innovation program based on the collaboration between companies, institutions and non-profit organizations.

Following the February launch, the 53 talents divided in 8 teams started working on specific challenges presented by the partners of the fifth edition of I4C, aiming to produce innovative and scalable business ideas and practical solutions. The areas covered include food industry, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, fake news and occupational health and safety.

As the program evolved its format to adapt to the current scenario, the participants attending the MBA at the Collège des Ingénieurs Italia (CDI) and the Doctoral School of Politecnico di Torino convened in a first-of-its-kind virtual meeting on April 8. This was the first digital plenary in the program’s history and on this occasion, the participants shared updates on the development of their projects, from the initial research to the ideation phase, while also receiving feedback from mentors and industry experts. The digital encounter provided a great opportunity to openly discuss what the participants gathered so far and take stock of the program’s progress, in preparation of the next phase, i.e. the validation of plausible solutions.

Enel Foundation joined the meeting alongside Enel X experts who launched this year’s challenge around the application of circular economy to energy services. The challenge is being addressed by a team of 7 talents with academic backgrounds and interests that range from nanotechnology to robotics, environmental issues and innovative start-ups. The students are currently trying to find a way around the lack of people’s willingness to change their habits in order to have a serious and positive environmental impact. More specifically, they are looking for solutions to offset industrial emissions while rewarding people's circular behaviors.

Other sustainable development challenges were presented by Scuola Italiana di Ospitalità (CDP), Autostrade per l’ItaliaCNH IndustrialDSMIrenRegione Puglia and the United Nations International Institute for Crime and Justice Research (UNICRI) are being addressed by the other teams.

In the coming weeks, until the final presentation in June, all the teams will work on their prototypes, supported by their mentors through online workshops and weekly touchpoints. They will later showcase their solutions in front of a jury of investors and experts from the technological and industrial sectors.

The program has proven the potential to develop successful projects over the years, such as SoundBubble. Born out of the 2017 edition of I4C as a response to an Enel challenge on improving the wellbeing at the workplace, the business idea has grown to a real venture. Vincenzo Randazzo, CEO of SoundBubble, explains that the idea was born out during the initial brainstorming with his team. As everyone struggled to be heard because of the noise pollution of the open space, they decided to build something that could grant the power to decide what to listen to. Stay tuned to discover more great ideas coming out of this year’s edition.

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