2021 Ashden Awards promotes innovation in the energy sector

After four years of collaboration, Enel Foundation hereby announces that from 2020 it will become the first Knowledge Partner of Innovation4Change (I4C), a graduate programme affiliated with Politecnico di Milano (PoliMI), Collège des Ingénieurs Italia (CdI) and CERN IdeaSquare

Enel Foundation will thus reinforce the engagement with the program and offer I4C alumni additional learning and networking opportunities in growing their ideas to address impactful business challenges.  

The announcement was made by Christian Zulberti, Head of Relations with Universities and Research Centers at Enel Foundation, during “Demo Day”, the closing event of the fourth edition of I4C, which took place at the TAG Foundation Agnelli in Turin in late June.

The event gathered the different academic teams involved in addressing real business challenges, including a team of six MBA fellows and PhD students who developed a project tackling a challenge on “Turning the tide on Climate Change”, presented by Enel Foundation last February at the opening session of the programme.

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Over the past few years, Innovation4Change has gained prominence at an international level as a hub where theory and practice, academia and business meet to tackle the world’s greatest innovation issues.

Based on the so-called “action learning”, it unfolds as a 5-month programme opened to PhD candidates at Politecnico di Torino and to the fellows of the MBA of the CdI. Every year 50 students, grouped in different teams, focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, benefiting from the technologies of PoliTO and CERN.

This year’s edition saw the design of eight sustainable business projects ranging from circular economy in fashion to life without plastic, from smart mobility to evaporative technology, from water purification systems to the creation of resources for isolated communities.

The 2019 challenge launched by Enel Foundation was undertaken by Andon Bano, Gabriele Luca Basso, Alice Franca, Dilmi Kolamunnage, Luca Pasqualone and Giulia Zoppi. They addressed the scope and magnitude of geological, economic and social consequences of climate change, proposing solutions to mitigate human activities that increase these phenomena through greenhouse gas emissions and working to define a more sustainable use of resources in order to reduce the carbon footprint of human activities. 

More specifically, their project presented at the “Demo Day” was HUBVANCE, an integrated plug-and-play solution for the production of food, water and electricity for isolated communities. 

The I4C “Demo Day” was organised as part of the official programme of the Italian Tech Week, one of the largest Italian non-profit initiatives dedicated to technology and innovation. It’s made of over 50 events, all free, animated by 65 companies, institutions and organisations of national and international level.

Action learning at the Digital Business Innovation Lab

Another example of connecting students from Academic Partner institutions with concrete business challenges comes from Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi), where Enel Foundation has involved students with the transformations brought by digitalisation to the energy space.   

Enel Foundation presented to PoliMI students of the MSc course on “Designing Digital Business Innovation Lab” two challenges that resulted in two technological solutions elaborated by a team of students each: “Zeus” and “Elios” platforms.