The protagonists of innovation compare notes on new urban models in name of digitalization and sustainability.
Today, the second edition of Acea Innovation Day, titled “Constructors of future”, was held at Salone delle Fontane in the business district of Eur. The event, conceived by the Group as an opportunity to discuss new ideas on how to combine its industrial and sustainable vocations with the challenges of the future, focused on innovation topics and on how they can drive the Country towards a solid and long-lasting recovery.
The event, opened by the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, consisted of a number of debates held with interventions from Gianmatteo Manghi, CEO of Cisco Italia, Stefano Rebattoni, General Manager of IBM Italia, Massimo Tedeschi, Chief Technology Officer of Leonardo, Fabio Fregi, Country Manager of Google Cloud Italia, Claudio Arcudi, Head of Energy & Utility at Accenture Italia, the President of ACEA Michaela Castelli, and CEO Giuseppe Gola. In the afternoon, Acea managers held debates with Luciano De Propris, Head of Sustainability & Open Innovation at Consorzio ELIS, Stefano Molino, Accelerator Fund Manager of CDP Venture Capital SGR, Davide Dattoli, CEO of Talent Garden, and Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind The Bridge. The event was closed by Ivan Vigolo, Chief Innovation & Information Officer of the Acea Group.
Digitalization, cybersecurity, green energy, electric mobility, circular economy, network resilience to manage the increasing demand for electricity and fight against climate change: these were the topics of the phygital (physical and digital) event to identify the scenarios and new industrial models that are taking shape following the Covid-19 crisis. Utility companies, which offer essential services and have an extensive presence in the community, with the support of technology players can play a significant role in the Country’s growth, aligning with the Green Deal principles and transforming cities into smart cities.
The challenge is to create an ecosystem and a community of innovators who join forces to accelerate the technological evolution process of infrastructures with the objective of increasing the competitiveness of businesses and offer more efficient services. This is the direction taken by the over 50 innovation projects Acea is working on, some of which were explained in more detail during the event. For example, in the case of electricity distribution, the company now uses satellite imaging and drones to monitor networks, and by doing so reduces its CO2 emissions. To identify medium voltage faults, it has adopted a system based on artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. The reference model for water distribution is the Smart Water Company, characterized, thanks to the digitalization of the net, by an even more responsible and sustainable use of water resources. In terms of electric mobility, Acea has started implementing a plan to install 2,200 electric vehicle charging points and launch an App to locate the over 10,000 charging points available across Italy, by 2024. As for circular economy, the company is working on on-site composting, thanks to the use of mini plants that use sensor technology. All these projects are part of the development strategies included in Acea’s 2020-2024 Business Plan, which has set aside 615 million euros for investments in innovation and technology.