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Francesco Starace: Italian Industry and Enel’s plan

Francesco Starace’s first article for “The Voice of Business”

Innovation is strictly connected to sustainability: it’s the driving force of our model,” says Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace. He focused on the idea of “Open innovability®” in his first article for “The Voice of Business,” the web channel that gathers together  speeches by American, Italian and European thought  leaders (Chairmen and chairwomen, CEOs, Top Managers, Deans and ONG Chiefs) in order to define (through data, news and comments) a general framework of the Italian and European socio-economic scenario and the investment opportunities for international operators.

The idea of “Open innovability®” embodies the model described by Francesco Starace, which projects Enel towards a future of continuous growth, where decarbonisation and renewable forms of energy will play an increasingly important role. The last few years have been characterised by a series of massive political, economic and social changes. Nevertheless, in this difficult environment Italian companies have shown a great capacity for adaptation. Not only that, it’s also essential to keep on pushing the concept of innovation. This helps define new effective strategies for integrating sustainability and long-term development, by embracing the new technologies, as the Enel CEO points out. He adds: “innovation has always been part of the Italian mentality”: it has helped local companies to grow, to overcome greatly periods of uncertainty, and to look to future possibilities. In this way, Italian companies are seen as “innovation champions.”

Enel’s goal is to get energy to those people who still do not have it, by facilitating universal access. Moreover, the company aims to diversify its use, by collaborating with non-energy industries. Starace says that “The numbers are already impressive: we currently have 103 partnerships regarding innovation with big global companies such as General Electric, BYD, Nissan and LG. We have also launched a crowdsourcing platform (www.openinnovability.com) where we can share our challenges, which are directly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, with an ecosystem of solvers. There’s a total of 400 thousand people in almost 80 Countries.

Indeed Enel can count on a global network of Innovation Hubs which enable it to expand its know-how and to seize the opportunities generated by the energy transition in progress as much as possible. The Group, as Francesco Starace writes, is going to invest €10.6 billion in renewable energy over the next three years, with over one third (37%) of this budget going to solar and wind power in North and Central America: “We already operate in 24 states in the USA through Enel Green Power North America, providing renewable energy to a series of prominent companies, helping them to reach their goals in terms of both business and sustainability”.

Enel editorial staff