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Open Innovation: Enel and Berkeley University

Innovation Hub: UC Berkeley’s first collaboration with a multinational corporation

This is UC Berkeley’s first collaboration with a multinational corporation: the new Innovation Hub is the result of the partnership between the prestigious University and Enel. The aim is to build a business model that ensures the transformation of an idea into new technology and helps fostering the leadership of the Group internationally, primarily in the renewable energy sector.

The Innovation Hub is part of the strategy outlined by CEO Francesco Starace, who includes 4.7 billion euros investments for the digital transformation of the assets and the creation of a new digital division, out of a total of 21 Billion Euros Capex planned for the 2016-2019 period. This new initiative is in line with the Group innovation strategy which also includes the Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv and the Energy Start Programs in Brazil and Chile. The location chosen is emblematic: Silicon Valley is the "Disneyland of innovation" - as described by Ernesto Ciorra, the Group’s Head of Innovation and Sustainability – it is an obvious step further in the Open Innovation model adopted by Enel and aimed at creating synergies and collaborations with other Italian companies.

The Californian hub provides for the selection of start-ups based on technology and business priorities. These companies will receive support in terms of technology and human resources so that they can go to the market in the shortest time possible, including thanks to a facilitated access to a network of venture capital funds.

Enel editorial staff