For many years, Italy has been known for its amazing food and gorgeous scenery, but it’s also important to note that it’s a country at the forefront of technology and innovation. With more than 105,000 high-tech companies, this world-renown location is becoming a leader in pharmaceuticals, robotics and of course, renewable energy.
In order to find these cutting-edge renewable solutions, Enel has set up a process of constant innovation and a search for the best technologies that produce clean energy. For some time now, Catania has been a nucleus for these ground-breaking solutions as it hosts Enel’s Innovation Hub&Lab, where innovation can thrive.
On November 30, Enel partnered with StartupItalia to celebrate a special edition of SIOS22 in Catania. This unique event brought together Enel managers, innovators, startups, mentors, investors, venture capitals and universities in an opportunity to meet and interact with each other, presenting a vision of an ecosystem that is forward-thinking and is constantly investing in new models of collaboration.
Catania, a city of green innovation
“As a company, we want to be economically sustainable, but more importantly, environmentally sustainable,” stated Ernesto Ciorra, Chief Innovability® Officer. He continued: “Everything we do in Catania is aimed at that, and by now Etna Valley is the equivalent to Silicon Valley in terms of the energy revolution.” In order to lead this energy revolution, Enel is collaborating with global startups who are developing trailblazing technologies and implementing them on a global scale.
SIOS22’s main theme for this event was “Reloaded”. Over the last few years, people and companies have had to reinvent themselves and the world around them. The time to review and reload our skillsets is now, and learning about new technologies and prioritizing thought-leadership must become a mantra for individuals as well as startups, SMEs and large companies. SIOS22 challenged participants to question how innovation and education can go hand-in-hand and how technology can become the key to a better future.
The event gave Enel an opportunity to showcase its projects, initiatives, and the impact that has been generated with startups. Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power, emphasized that, “By collaborating with startups, research centers and other innovative entities, we can explore innovative technologies together and become enablers of the new frontiers of sustainable energy.”
Thinking green: A new program to boost renewables
One of the highlights of the event was Enel Green Power’s (EGP) latest initiative, NextHy Booster, a dedicated program specifically designed to test, validate and accelerate startup businesses and technologies to create a long-term partnership with Enel and scale up in the growing green hydrogen market.
Today, the production costs of green hydrogen are still high; nevertheless, it is still the cleanest source of energy available with the potential to become a leading technology in the decarbonization movement. On the whole, the hydrogen business model fully integrates with Enel’s strategy to promote renewables and electrification.
The Nexthy stage welcomed Enel Green Power’s team along with Professor Massimo Santarelli from the Politecnico di Torino, Anthony Delmotte, Innovation Manager at Opinno and Paul Matter, CTO at Power to Hydrogen. This unique program is not an accelerator; it offers the perfect toolkit for startups to develop and scale up their green hydrogen solutions with both technical and business growth support based on their needs.