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Digital Open Innovation

Digital solutions resulting from our meetings with startups, companies and research centres.

An open window on the world, to look to the future together

Open Innovation allows us to strengthen our competitiveness by identifying the best digital solutions at a global level, focusing particularly on best practice in other sectors, and by building collaborations with universities, research centres and high-performing networks. At the same time, we aim to enhance the value of the ideas, projects and technologies that arise from our internal expertise and research, by implementing them in countries where they are most useful. In order to see change from a global perspective, we have a presence in the world’s major innovation ecosystems, so we can identify and integrate future innovation trends and engage with those who experience the future every day. We take part in tech events such as roadshows, meet-ups and roundtables on key innovation themes – a continuous and constantly evolving activity we call Innovation Discovery. Finally, one of the fields in the digital realm that we take the greatest interest in is data analysis and application. With the creation of a Hidden Data Lab, we are able to interpret complexity and let data drive exploration and value generated for our business through a highly agile and multidisciplinary approach.

Areas in which we operate

Our Digital Open Innovation activities comprise: safety at work and the integrity of operational assets, innovative technologies for the energy transition and climate change challenges, plus the implementation of advanced tools and processes to provide increasingly accurate services to consumers.

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Our Digital Open Innovation methodology

Taking into account our evolution and the business models of our production units, we draw inspiration from a Digital Open Innovation methodology which includes steps aimed at promoting and strengthening our capacity for innovation:

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Innovation Discovery: discover, experiment and become known

Participation in events related to technological innovation plays a significant role in our strategy: a new trend or a new solution can be found at any time. Likewise, the importance of networking and scouting startups is enhanced through events such as SMAU, one of the most prominent innovation events in Italy – where we also received an award for our work in the project with startup Nuvap. ScaleUp Summits are also essential for getting in touch with the most promising startups and other innovation players, as is participation in research projects, such as the Digital Innovation Observatories of the Politecnico di Milano, which present opportunities to increase the knowledge and skills useful to our business. Finally, partnerships such as that with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have great strategic value because they allow us to connect with startups in one of the most important innovation ecosystems in the world, thus laying the foundations for collaborations in cutting-edge research projects.

Eni is a partner of Federated Innovation, which is part of the MIND (Milan Innovation District) project, conceived with the aim of regenerating the former Expo area in Milan and creating a sustainable innovation ecosystem to act as a catalyst for technological development opportunities combining scientific, academic and environmental aspects. The model aims to develop an innovation ecosystem through a new approach to intellectual property. Based on contamination of ideas, good practices and original thinking, this will lead to the rapid development of new projects, with the ecosystem playing the role of “innovation developer” through collaboration and cooperation with competitors and startups. The 36 participating companies will be grouped into 11 themed areas (Greentech, Urban Digital Tech, Fintech, Agrifood Tech & Wellbeing, Retail Tech, Life Sciences & Health Care, Proptech & Smart Spaces, Security & Defense, Mobility & Logistics, Energy & Construction Tech) and will work within the district with their own innovation and research teams, thus creating a real community of innovators. This will be aided by the presence of major research centres such as the State University of Milan, the IRCCS Galeazzi Institute and the Human Technopole Foundation. Eni contributes to the development of new ideas and innovative projects in the Digital Open Innovation, Joule, and upcoming initiatives, testifying to the union present in Eni's DNA between research, development and innovation, today even more priority in the transition path energy.  

Hidden Data Lab, a new frontier in data analysis

Data plays an increasingly important role: it enables companies to make better decisions, gain a comprehensive view of their performance, solve complex problems, enhance processes and understand customer behaviour. The goal of our Hidden Data Lab is to experiment with a new approach to innovation and data, not only to meet known needs but also to provide answers to as yet concealed ones. This represents a paradigm shift as, unlike the usual Data Science approach, which provides a methodology for finding the solution to a known problem, the nature of our technique is more “exploratory”, staking success on the idea that understanding, studying and listening to data, in all its forms, can lead to the discovery of the real questions we should be asking ourselves. This represents a new frontier in data-related innovation, as it embraces its complexity while letting data drive exploration and the value generated for our business.