Enel Group
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| DMA EU (former EU8) |

Innovation is a key element of Enel’s strategy and plays a major role in creating shared value with different stakeholders, opening new horizons together with employees and partners for the benefit of customers, the community and the environment. A key factor in a resilient and sustainable future energy system is the development and deployment of new technologies, solutions and models that meet the criteria of sustainability, economic competitiveness, environmental protection, safety and security.
Priorities and the portfolio of innovation projects have been reshaped to support the new Group strategy; a new, simpler organizational structure has also been set up to ensure operational effectiveness and to focus on the priorities of the business areas: increased efficiency, flexibility and resilience of operating assets, improved safety of people, new energy storage technologies, reduced impacts on the environment and biodiversity of assets both in operation and under construction, electrification of customers, and innovative supply models to unlock new opportunities for the Group. 
This is a process that leverages cutting-edge innovation, passion and ideas, not only internally through upskilling and reskilling strategies, but also outside of the Company.

Enel’s Open Innovability® to change the future of energy

Enel’s open innovation model leverages several tools to f ind solutions to business needs. The Company’s crowdsourcing activity consists of publishing online – through the openinnovability.com platform – specific challenges addressed to audiences both external and internal to Enel, with the aim of attracting the best talents, ideas and technologies, to provide new solutions that will evolve within the Group. This way, all areas of the Company come into contact with startups, industrial partners, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research centers, universities, and entrepreneurs. Launched in 2017, the openinnovability.com platform brought together more than 220 challenges, including over 40 in the past 2 years, and over 15,000 evaluated opportunities. In the past year, public challenges for which the most solutions were proposed include: innovative ways to improve albedo in solar generation plants, sustainable approaches for reusing concrete, a new design for primary and secondary substations. Those who put forward solutions can win monetary awards or start collaborations with the Group.
Enel has a global network of Innovation Hubs and Labs to expand the Group’s vision, promoting innovation and sustainability. The Hubs are located in some of the Group’s key innovation ecosystems, such as the United States and Europe. They manage a network of relationships with all stakeholders involved in innovation activities, serving as the main source of scouting for startups and SMEs, and fostering financially, environmentally and socially sustainable solutions. The Labs (located mainly in Italy and Israel) make it possible for startups to work alongside the technicians and experts of Enel’s Business Lines to develop and test solutions in the most fertile environment possible.
Open innovation also means creating partnerships with key players. Enel is currently engaged in 35 innovation collaborations covering the most strategic areas for the Group; these focus on cutting-edge topics such as promoting space applications in the energy sector (ESA and Thales Alenia Space) and co-developing innovative digital solutions (Cisco and Microsoft). Co-development with suppliers and industrial partners is one of the most interesting approaches in the Group’s strategy, making it possible to develop innovative initiatives and services by quickly and effectively targeting industrial implementation and leveraging existing skills and structures. It is a win-win approach where Enel works with large industrial partners by harnessing its resources to achieve a shared goal. Dedicated cross-functional work groups (Innovation Communities) have been set up, which take an innovative approach to tackling key topics for business and new technologies and to create value. Active communities cover the following topics: blockchain, drones, energy storage, metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, sensors, 3D printing, hydrogen, generative design, wearables, materials and quantum computing. Other working groups are dedicated to additive manufacturing, data monetization and machine learning. The Communities continuously monitor potential technological improvements and share new useful business models, added value services and use cases for types of technologies that could be adopted in various Group areas.
Enel constantly promotes and spreads the culture, knowledge and practices of open innovation in the countries where it operates, fostering a “learning by doing” approach which allows people to think and act differently and disseminate methods and tools that generate new ideas and support their development. There are many tools and initiatives for innovation that are useful for the dissemination of the open innovation culture. In addition to the recurring newsletters, surveys and webinars, periodic meetings are held with all Business Lines on many levels, not just managerial, but also with the non-hierarchical communities.
The necessary resources are made available for promoting a culture of knowledge and enhancing its value at all levels, increasing awareness among people also thanks to training courses, events and meetings.

A new practice for sustainable innovation management

A critical success factor is the ability to manage innovation as a system (a strategic topic for organizations and businesses) and to organize all stages of the process. In 2022, Enel voluntarily adopted the ISO 56002 standard, which governs all aspects of innovation management, from the inception of an idea through to its implementation on a global scale.

In December 2023, UNI/PdR Practice 155 “Sustainable innovation management – Guidelines for the management of sustainable innovation processes in companies through open innovation” was published, which was developed by Enel experts in collaboration with the Italian standards body UNI. This (pre-regulatory) document aims to provide practical support for all organizations that wish to address the organizational and production changes necessary to implement an effective sustainable innovation management process internally. Based on the principles and framework provided by the ISO 56000 series of standards (in particular UNI EN ISO 56000:2021, UNI EN ISO 56002:2021, UNI EN ISO 56003:2021, UNI EN ISO 56005:2021 and UNI ISO 56006:2022), the document offers guidance with establishing a sustainable innovation plan, identifying specific needs and areas of opportunity, as well as with researching, validating, and developing industry-scale solutions. A specific chapter of the document is devoted to research solutions tools and methods, including crowdsourcing, startups, innovation events, cross-functional working groups, corporate entrepreneurship programs, and more.

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