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Enel and Italian startups for a sustainable future at CES®


What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas. Unless we are talking about the most important hi-tech trade fair in the world: the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For five decades this event has offered a glimpse into the year’s most innovative new technologies that will impact consumers’ homes and have worldwide significance. With 61% of all Fortune Global 500 brands participating, CES 2020 took place with the aim of transforming industries beyond its traditional field, reinforcing the new paradigm where every company must think and act like a tech company, with a strong focus on a more sustainable society.

Enel was one of the major corporations participating in CES with the objective of putting the spotlight on Italian innovation. As a global energy company with sustainability and innovation at the core of everything we do, we were excited to join the conference’s contingent of exhibitors presenting technologies aimed at building a cleaner and more sustainable future for energy.


A place to spark enriching conversations

The Head of Enel Innovation Hubs, Fabio Tentori, led Enel in this innovation expedition at CES 2020: “Enel is the most innovative energy company and we actively seek innovation in everything we do: it is extremely pervasive in all our business. In this journey it is very important to connect with disruptive startups, because co-creating solutions makes innovation more available to us while also giving them the opportunity to scale up to a global level”.

The Head of Innovation Governance, Intelligence and Partnerships at Enel, Angelo Rigillo, also fruitfully attended the event. “It’s the first time we participate in the Consumer Electronics Show and we are ready to show the world what Enel is doing. We are very open and we are clearly communicating our needs, in order to attract as many people as possible who can collaborate with us for innovation and sustainability”.

At CES, Enel met with Paola Pisano, Italy’s Minister for Technological Innovation. “We had the chance to show her new technologies from Enel X, and to discuss how Enel works with Italian and international startups to scale innovative solutions at the global level”, Tentori explains. “We also had the opportunity to present the Enel Group’s crowdsourcing platform, Open Innovability®, and some of the startups we collaborate with”, Rigillo adds.

Carlo Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency, and Silvia Chiave, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, also attended the event. At our booth, we welcomed startups and organisations who met with our team to talk and share ideas on how to create a greener tomorrow through innovation.

Showcasing the best at CES

Enel Innovation Hub Silicon Valley manager, Milan Poidl, noted, “at CES we are showcasing how the Enel Group’s innovation is leading consumer demand for products and solutions: the work we do with startups has directly enabled the solutions now on display and ready for launch”.

Indeed, from our best-selling electric vehicle chargers to Homix, our newest integrated smart home system, Enel’s innovative solutions are powering sustainable options for homes, transportation, businesses and cities. So are the startups that collaborate with us: in particular, the two Italian companies that came with us to CES, weAR and E- Labos, are examples of successful partnerships in which we can help bring new visions to life.

weAR is an Italian startup offering digital platforms for the creation of innovative user manuals, which can be viewed via smartphones, tablets and smart glasses, offering an advanced user experience by using augmented and mixed reality. “When you launch a startup organisation you have a lot of great ideas. To transform these ideas into real products, however, you need an industrial partner like Enel”, says the founder and CEO of weAR, Emanuele Borasio.

E-Labos, instead, is dedicated to creating tech solutions that allow for the digitalisation and centralisation of content in order to easily manage distribution. “We are looking to bridge the gap that typically exists between customers and committed engineers”, explains the founder of E-Labos, Oscar Cipolla. Their solutions can be adapted and tuned to match different needs related to public utilities, industrial plants and home automation systems.

Our booth at CES showcased these startup solutions and much more. Enel X unveiled its next generation of charging stations for North America. We also featured JuiceAbility, Enel’s smart charging system for electric wheelchairs, comprised of a smart cable and an app that allow individuals with disabilities to connect their wheelchairs to EV charging systems. Homix, mentioned above and currently available in Italy and in Spain, is a smart thermostat with Amazon’s Alexa built in, helping families save energy by making it easier than ever for them to manage heating, security and lighting.

CES 2020 made it clear for everyone that the future of energy is technological and electric – and Enel will be playing an active and central role in this future, thanks to open innovation and our collaboration with the best startups.