The Innovation Challenge, an open innovation initiative promoted by Fincantieri along with the Polytechnic Institute of Genoa University, were presented recently the six projects selected from the over forty ideas submitted, just two months after the launch of the initiative.
The results of the evaluation phase were illustrated by Aristide Massardo, director of the Polytechnic Institute, for Fincantieri Alberto Maestrini, executive senior vice president of Naval Vessels, and Massimo Debenedetti, head of research and innovation, and Sandro Scarrone, chairman and CEO of CETENA – Centre for the Study of Marine engineering research.
The Innovation Challenge is the first example of its kind in Italy, highly innovative as regards both the plan of the process and its objectives. Fincantieri’s investment, totalling more than 500,000 euro, is aimed at lecturers and researchers at the University Polytechnic Institute and focuses on the selection of innovative naval technology projects to be industrialised.
CETENA, Fincantieri’s subsidiary company, acting in its habitual role as a “bridge” between the industrial and the academic world, collaborated in the evaluation of the projects on this occasion, coordinated the many activities of the process, and will be in charge of the industrialisation phase.
The evaluation of the proposals focused on the quality of science and technology, the validity of the objectives, and the impact of the results in terms of their future applicability to Fincantieri products and processes. After a "call for ideas" from the 5 departments of the Polytechnic institute of Genoa University, the operational phase of the initiative began. The six proposals chosen will each receive funding for 15,000 euro from Fincantieri to be devoted to industrial research projects within the next three months. Out of these six projects, the two deemed most interesting from the point of view of innovation will be further supported and funded with 200,000 euro each, allowing them to reach the industrialisation phase.
The cooperation between the company and the university is focussed on the development of the best ideas coming from the University, in order to achieve product innovations on key issues for the competitiveness of Fincantieri. The main fields in which the selected proposals were developed were in fact: environmental impact, energy efficiency, reduced operating costs, comfort, perceived quality, and reduction of construction costs.
Innovation Challenge is part of a series of initiatives promoted by Fincantieri in the field of Open Innovation, a model of collaboration between companies and research facilities that has emerged in recent years, especially in areas with the highest rate of innovation, such as ICT and Biotech, and in the most advanced countries in terms of technology.
As further demonstration of the commitment to strengthen its competitive position on the market through constant innovation in product and process, in 2012 the Group invested 62 million euro - 2.6% of its revenue - in research, innovation and development.
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