Open innovation

The innovative driving force of the Acea Group  

In the 2019-2022 Business Plan, Acea has envisaged € 500 million for investments in innovation, with projects involving all of the Group’s sectors.

Innovation thus becomes a vital, constituent part of the Acea Group strategy: not just in technological evolution and development, but also in the adopting of a new culture in which innovation is a value shared at every company level. Because we believe that all our people can contribute to the innovation of our company and our services if they are motivated, involved and furnished with the right tools.

The driving force behind this new culture is the Open Innovation unit, a young team created specifically for entering the outside ecosystem and promoting the culture of innovation.

Open Innovation in numbers

startups analized
experiments begun

Open Innovation ensures the development of innovation “as a service”. What does that mean? The logic behind the unit’s guiding principle is to serve the Group in order to promote innovation activities.

From the defining of strategies to project pipeline management, listening to staff, defining priorities, monitoring and using the tools most suitable for supporting innovation processes, the Open Innovation unit coordinates all actions for identifying, testing and carrying out important and valuable projects for the Acea Group through the involvement of both in-house staff and outside.

Two cornerstones of the Open Innovation mission are in fact openness and contamination.
Acea opens itself to the world of innovation outside the company, creating a network of relationships with universities, research centers, technological partners, startups and SMEs. At the same time it wants to create a fertile ecosystem for collaboration and the development of ideas, promoting workshops and contests that encourage the contamination of skills and the exchanging of knowledge.

Acea’s innovation process

The results?

  • 1,000 startups analyzed and various events organized for stimulating the producing of ideas: Lumina Challenge, Acea Challenge Prize, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, Future Challenge.
  • The creation of the new Innovation Community within Acea. 
  • But above all, more than 20 experiments begun, leading to the birth of projects in which to invest concretely for the Group’s future.