Enel named among Europe’s top innovation champions at Corporate Startup Stars awards 2020

Published on Tuesday, 22 December 2020

“We are always seeking to expand the search for innovative solutions that can promote sustainable development and this award is a confirmation of our efforts. Startups are an important source of innovation for Enel and that is why, in the last four years, we carried out more than 320 projects with them and have managed to scale more than 60 solutions on our businesses at global level. In order to get the best results, we are constantly working on the procurement process and will continue to invest in our ability to fast track solutions, so that those which have been tested successfully can be easily implemented at a larger scale.”

– Francesca Di Carlo, Head of Global Procurement at Enel

Enel has created a global network of 10 Innovation Hubs located in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Chile (Santiago), Israel (Tel Aviv), Italy (Milan, Catania, Pisa), Russia (Moscow), Spain (Madrid), and the United States (Boston, San Francisco), to scout for startups with significant potential in terms of technologies and business models relevant to Enel’s work. Since 2015, when Enel first implemented its “Open Innovation” approach, leveraging on innovation from external sources, the company has received more than 9,000 proposals from startups, and implementing around 320 of them. The Group offers startups the possibility of working in their Innovation labs along with business and technical specialists from Enel, thus enabling a contamination of culture and creating the right space for development of solutions. In addition, Enel is constantly working on the Procurement ecosystem, adding new layers of support (from mentoring, to incubation, and financial guidance). Once an idea is tested and validated, Enel offers startups the possibility to scale their solution on its business lines at global level.

The main areas of the company’s work with startups include, among others, energy storage, big data, energy management, smart home, electric mobility, IoT, predictive maintenance, artificial intelligence, smart technologies and robotics.

“This is a very important recognition for us. We are accelerating the transition towards a fully sustainable business model, this means we need more than ever new technologies and new solutions that support and drive this change. At Enel, we are constantly seeking innovations that promote sustainable development, startups, independent innovators, universities and research centers, potential partner companies, NGOs and associations. To succeed, we must forge relationships that are mutually beneficial, that create shared value for all the stakeholders. This award is a recognition to our efforts in this direction.”

– Ernesto Ciorra, Chief Innovability® Officer at Enel

The companies that received the Corporate Startup Stars awards are those that have established the most successful, mutually-beneficial partnerships with startups, whether through procurement, licensing, partnerships, accelerators, direct investment, acquisitions or other dedicated programs. The other awards presented during the event include, in addition to the abovementioned Corporate Startup Procurement award, again won by Enel, the Corporate Startup Accelerator Award, the Corporate Startup M&A Award, the Corporate Startup Investment Award, Innovative Programme Award and the Best New Entrant Award. 

Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce consolidated a partnership at a global level to gather applications from all over the world, and to stimulate the growth of corporate-startup collaboration globally, by showcasing success stories and awarding the best-in-class, thus stimulating a virtuous cycle where every actor positively influences the others.