ERG and Innovation

Our Group has always been attentive to the research and development of new technologies in the Energy world.

Since 2016 we have "opened" our business to the innovation generated by the world of start-ups with the aim of finding solutions that make it possible to assist in the management and operations of our assets and to embrace disruptive ideas that can give us a competitive advantage over other operators in the energy sector.

This process is known as Open Innovation, i.e. the outsourcing of technological innovation to bring specialist skills already developed by other new businesses into the company and to jointly develop the most interesting solutions through technology, commercial and/or financial partnerships.

XEI (Extended Enterprise Innovation)

Promoted by SAFM, the Scuola di Alta Formazione al Management (established by the Garrone Foundation, Pirelli Foundation, Agnelli Foundation, Association du Collège des Ingénieurs of Paris) with headquarters in Turin, Paris, Munich and Tel Aviv, XEI is an international project that aims at keeping well-established European companies and innovative "marketready" start-ups in touch.

Europe and Israel, which in terms of innovative entrepreneurial initiatives is second only to the Silicon Valley, are the two main scouting areas for start-ups participating in the project. Thanks to the activities implemented during the year, we had the chance to meet about 50 startups.

They all suggested innovative solutions for the whole energetic value chain: out of these, nine got to meet our Business supervisors for further assessment.

Out of nine, two were selected to evaluate the possibility to develop a trial phase and to verify the actual value of their proposed solutions. The first start-up developed a structural
monitoring system for wind turbines based on the use of optic-fibre sensors. The second implemented a web platform that allows end-users to source their supplies from the producers of renewable energy located on their territory.

At the end of the trial stage, we will assess the possibility to develop a stable commercial and technological relationship with the selected start-ups.
The project is divided into three annual cycles characterised by the repetition of scouting, selection and trial activities for each year.

Matchmaking Day

Matchmaking Day
The first "Matchmaking Day" was held on 6 October 2016, at the Castello del Valentino in Turin. The idea for the initiative, organised by XEI Labs, came from the  SAFM (Scuola di Alta Formazione al Management di Torino), with the cooperation of the CDI (Collège des Ingénieurs), and seeks to promote meetings between technological start-ups and major industrial groups (ERG, Atlantia, CLN and FCA).

The companies, who have worked with XEI Labs over the last few months to implement this new and original Open Innovation formula, thus had an opportunity to learn first-hand about 25 structured and established start-ups, seeking to offer innovative products and services.

The 25 start-ups, from 10 European countries and Israel and selected by XEI Labs to meet the innovation needs expressed by the four industrial groups, had the chance to describe their offers, illustrating the characteristics of their products and the range of applications developed in the fields of energy, cyber security, mobility, geolocation and industry 4.0.

Over the next few months, XEI Labs will assist the companies involved in establishing commercial and operating relationships with those start-ups considered of particular interest for meeting their respective development strategies.