Enel launches innovation hub with UC Berkeley accelerator in its first parntership with a major multinational corporation

Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017

“The launch of our Innovation Hub in a place with such a high concentration of companies looking to disrupt and innovate is the next stage of an exciting journey for Enel. The Group has long been pushing collaboration with forward-looking start-ups, not only as a way of exposing the Group to cutting-edge technology and ideas, but also by bringing our own technology and engineering expertise to help these companies develop finding ways to integrate their tech innovations into the fabric of our business”

– Ernesto Ciorra, Group’s Head of Innovation and Sustainability

“Enel’s already strong presence in the United States can only be bolstered by working in close contact with an academic institution as important as UC Berkeley. The Enel Innovation Hub will bring the Group into even closer contact with some of the world’s most innovative start-ups, boosting our industry-leading efforts in the spread of renewable energy not just in the United States but across the globe”

– Francesco Venturini, Head of Enel’s Global Renewable Energies Division, Enel Green Power

“Together with these public and private partners, we are shaping the future of technology transfer in ways that cross traditional boundaries”

– Costas Spanos, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Professor

The Enel Innovation Hub will scout start-ups to work with the Group, developing business projects with the fledgling companies both in the US and internationally while also providing them with an acceleration programme and access to people, tech resources, test laboratories, a network of venture capital funds and a potential market of more than 30 countries. One of the aims of the Hub is to provide US customers with energy management and storage solutions that maintain the country’s grid stability and make it less prone to outages.

Start-ups working at the Hub will be identified based on the current technological and business priorities of Enel, and selected with the help of the CITRIS Foundry. The selected startups will receive technical and business support so that they can go to market in the shortest time possible and will be mentored by Enel experts. An innovation manager from Enel will oversee the Hub and will be a broader point of contact between all the start-ups working at the Hub and Enel’s start-up networks based in Israel, Brazil, Chile and Europe.

The Enel Innovation Hub is the Enel Group’s latest move in the United States, where through its subsidiary Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) it operates in excess of 3 GW of renewable energy capacity spread across around 100 plants in 23 states. In January EGPNA bought 100% of Demand Energy Networks (Demand Energy), a US-based company specialised in intelligent software and energy storage systems, whose DEN.OSTM software enables real-time optimisation of energy management and revolutionises the way electricity is generated, stored and consumed.