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Tackling challenges that can change the world


Turin, 23rd February 2018

The third edition of the Innovation for Change program, which engages high potential students in tackling challenges that can change the world, has just been presented at Talent Garden - Fondazione Agnelli in Turin. The initiative is promoted by Collège des Ingénieurs ItaliaPolitecnico di Torino and IdeaSquare, a dedicated facility for experimental innovation at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

This year’s edition features a big novelty brought by Enel Foundation. For the first time participants in the Innovation for Change Program were able to choose the challenge they want to tackle  in the energy domain thanks to the Enel openinnovability crowdsourcing platform, presented by Enel Foundation’s Christian Zulberti, Head of Relations with Universities and Research Centers, and Sarah Rossini from the Innovation and Sustainability Area of the Enel Group. After selecting their challenge at the Innovation for Change presentation day, students will now start their path to develop a solution and present it at the final event of 2018 edition, in June.

Innovation for Change, Zulberti explains “is a joint collaboration between Politecnico di Torino, CERN and Collège des Ingénieurs Italia (SAFM) aimed at bringing together their respective expertise in engineering, fundamental research and management towards the common goals of educating future change makers and enabling technology for a positive global impact”. Within the framework of the partnership between Enel and Politecnico di Torino, Enel Foundation has been a partner of this initiative for the last two years, launching specific challenges from within the Enel Group to students.

Open Innovation with concrete results

Every year a group of 50 young students from different backgrounds including MBA, PhD, Designers, and Architects experiments open innovation in practice, by tackling challenges presented by companies and institutions. Thirty MBA fellows from SAFM and twenty PhD candidates from Politecnico di Torino, with scientific and engineering backgrounds, work together during five months between Geneva and Turin. Split into several groups, they share however a common goal: to apply the most advanced technologies in facing global social challenges defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Students then enter a collaborative competition in which eight new startup projects develop an innovative product or service. In addressing their challenges, the groups are supported by the owners: partner companies, organizations and mentors who are entrepreneurs or work in big industrial groups. This method facilitates the spin-off potential of technologies, patents and research while enabling network and partnerships with companies and sponsors, also through unique opportunities for on-field training.

In addition to the Enel challenge, participants of the 2018 edition of Innovation for Change will address challenges presented by Unicredit, Comune di Torino, Fondazione Agnelli and Gellify.

Last year the challenge launched by Enel Foundation generated the winning project among the eight participants of the Innovation for Change competition. Sound Bubble, an idea on workplace psychophysical wellbeing, was the winner of the 2017 edition, and is currently conducting the first trials in real workspaces in collaboration with Enel Health, Safety, Quality and Environment Area.