Enel Group
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During 2023, the innovation area was given a new organizational structure that, in line with Group strategy, operates with a view to simplification and focus on the Group’s priorities and promotion of an integrated, efficient and effective approach to innovation.
To address business challenges, we adopt an open innovation model, which enables us to connect all areas of the Company with startups, industrial partners, large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research centers, universities and entrepreneurs – drawing in part on crowdsourcing platforms. The Group’s innovation strategy exploits various tools that enable it to develop innovative and sustainable solutions, such as the online crowdsourcing platform openinnovability.com and a global network of Innovation Hubs and Labs, which forms the foundation of the collaboration model with startups and SMEs. While the latter offer innovative projects and new business models, Enel provides its expertise, facilities for the technical and financial validation of the proposed solutions in an industrial environment, and a global network of partners to support their development and possible scale-up. The Innovation Hubs, located in the most relevant innovation ecosystems for the Group, such as Europe and the United States, manage relationships with all the players involved in their respective areas and constitute the main source of scouting for startups and SMEs, responding to the innovation needs manifested by the business lines.
Collaboration with external players is thus a key element of the Group’s innovation strategy. In fact, the Company has active partnership agreements which cover both the most strategic areas for the Group and those addressing major frontier issues (for example, the promotion of space applications in the energy sector, green hydrogen, and fourth generation nuclear). Through co-development with suppliers, the Group also seeks to implement innovative solutions quickly and effectively at the pre-commercial development level and leverages existing skills and the customization and transfer of solutions already adopted in other productive sectors.
In 2022, we voluntarily adopted the ISO 56002 standard for innovation management. The standard covers all aspects of innovation management, from the birth of an idea to its implementation on a global scale. During 2023, the UNI/PdR 155 practice “Management of sustainable innovation – Guidelines for the management of sustainable innovation processes in companies through open innovation” was developed in collaboration with UNI. The practice was published on the UNI website in December 2023. The document, of a pre-regulatory nature, is intended to offer practical support for any organization that wants to pursue the organizational and production changes necessary to implement an effective internal process of sustainable innovation management.

2023 saw the continuation of the activities of the innovation communities, multidisciplinary working groups created to innovatively address the most relevant new-technology issues for the business in order to create value for the Group (energy storage, blockchain, drones, metaverse, robotics, sensors, 3D printing, quantum computing, wearables, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, materials and hydrogen). The communities also continuously monitor technological improvements and share new business models, value-added services or use cases for types of technology that could be potentially implemented in different areas of the Enel Group.

During 2023, 113 Proofs of Concepts were launched to test new solutions, while 46 innovative solutions were identified by the business for large-scale implementation. Overall, €60 million (including personnel expenses) were invested in innovation.

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