Joule Discovery Lab

Human Knowledge Lab becomes Joule Discovery Lab. The idea validation programme that promotes new visions of the future.


Transforming ideas into entrepreneurial projects

Joule’s idea validation programme, Human Knowledge Lab, becomes Joule Discovery Lab. It is a journey of self-discovery and the one’s abilities, that offers  tools to acquire a greater awareness of one’s own entrepreneurial goals   and make them concrete in order to contribute to the energy transition, circular economy and decarbonisation.

The programme includes three different paths:

  • For startups, to support the growth of sustainable enterprises.
  • For corporate, to support companies in their co-innovation process.
  • For Eni people, to work on developing an entrepreneurial mindset to create new innovative in-house projects.

Seven days’ full-time training to launch your startup

Joule Discovery Lab is an idea validation programme for teams of at least two people, designed in partnership with Gellify and Seedble. A full week for learning entrepreneurial skills in the fields of decarbonisation, the circular economy and the fight against climate change. It involves 7 days’ full-time attendance, with an engaging approach alternating theory and practice. During the programme, experts offer their contributions while the participants have mentors and coaches available at supporting them in their growth and development.

The programme focuses on idea validation, a full week of training devoted to the following areas: market analysis and targets identification , value proposition, business model canvas, go to market strategy and prototyping.


Admission requirements

Teams of between two and five people - aspiring innovators or established stratups - aged at least eighteen on the deadline for applications laid down in Regulation can apply. Non-EU applicants must have a residence permit valid in an EU Country. Knowledge of English and perfect knowledge of Italian are also required. 

The prizes

  • A development path for the establishment of a real startup with ELIS Innovation HUB,
  • Participation in exclusive ESG impacts measuring workshops.
  • Soft skills development programme delivered on-line.

January 2023: Joule Discovery Lab in Castel Gandolfo

Joule Discovery Lab, the idea validation process for startups, took place from 23 to 29 January in a new version increasingly focused on the discovery of new projects and talents. The selected teams presented projects with a focus on technological and/or digital applications in the field of sustainable mobility. Seven days, in the splendid location of Villa Montecucco overlooking Lake Albano, to fine-tune one's entrepreneurial project through a validation process, to which Eni mentors and experts contributed. A unique opportunity for teams work on critical issues and be ready to face the challenges of the market.

Among the six teams selected to participate in the week of full immersion, two were awarded:

  • Flofleet: project on pipeline monitoring through airships.
  • Ummy: app that analyzes the daily sentiment of employees to offer customized solutions.

The three editions of Human Knowledge Lab

Joule’s idea validation programme, made its début in 2021, with seven days at the Eni headquarters in Castel Gandolfo. The 2022 editions were held in Bergamo and in Venice. 

July 2022: the Lab in Venice

The third edition of the Joule idea validation programme was held from 11 to 17 July, at the San Giobbe campus of Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. The teams involved studied technological and digital applications in various fields, from sustainable mobility to logistics, decarbonisation, circular economy and the fight against climate change. The participants, with an average age of 25, took part in workshops, one to one meetings and had the chance to study the fundamental aspects of business activities and  startups. From people training and management to idea validation techniques. Each team discussed its own idea with the experts in the classrooms, but the project wasn’t confined to the university premises. Discussions continued through the streets, squares and cafés of Venice, a further aggregator promoting dialogue between the stakeholders of the Joule programme.

February 2022: the Lab in Bergamo

On Sunday 27 February, the second edition of the Human Knowledge Lab programme ended in the Kilometro Rosso Innovation District in Bergamo. During the Idea Validation week, the teams stood out for their business spirit, enterprise, passion and competence.

Of the seven teams selected to participate in the residential programme in Bergamo, two in particular were selected:

  • G.E.V.I.: intelligent vertical wind generator. This team has the chance to take advantage of services in kind provided by Joule, with customised consulting on the basis of the business needs of the team, an incubation programme with the Joule partner PoliHub, and access to the KM Rosso co-working spaces for a period of 3 months following the HKLab.
  • SmartKite: Artificial Intelligence for airborne wind energy has the opportunity to take advantage of services in kind provided Joule, with customised consulting on the basis of the business needs of the team.

September 2021: the first HK Lab call

The first edition of HK Lab came to an end. From 13 to 19 September, the programme of appointments at our headquarters in Villa Montecucco, Castel Gandolfo, ended with the award ceremony for the winning startups. The speeches given by the teams were streamed live.

Discover the programme of past events:

  • 13/09 - Inauguration of the event by Joule and di LVenture Group and presentation of the programme participants
  • 14/09 - Soft Skills with Tiziana Monterisi and Alessio Colombo from Rice House
  • 15/09 - Customer Discovery by LVenture Group on Training
  • 17/09 - Founders of startups tell their experiences
  • 19/09 - Final event 

The Eni-Ita co-innovation programme

Eni and ITA Airways have launched a co-innovation pilot project “Joule Discovery Lab. A possible net zero future for mobility”, through training programmes to build skills on the topics of circular economy and decarbonisation.


Five teams at work

The five teams worked together for 3 days (8-10 November 2022), at the Gazometro area in Roma Ostiense, to design business models, with a focus on the reduction of impacts in the mobility, travel and aviation sectors. Specifically, they focused on the places of travel, vehicles, fuels, path management and multimodal mobility, identifying possible solutions and indicating a development roadmap.

Lots of hard work, translating ideas into concrete proposals, applying design thinking methodologies and building a “future artefact”, i.e., the future version of the solution to be placed in the 2050 scenario.

Environmental impacts

The initiative aims to assess co-development opportunities for new business models between Eni and ITA Airways, to achieve “net zero” for mobility and thus reach the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced by human activity and the quantity removed from the atmosphere at the same time. The main focus is energy transition, using innovative technologies to achieve decarbonisation goals.

The two selected projects

Two projects were selected to access the next steps of the programme:

  • Beemoved: community platform for the generation of a single ticket for a sustainable door2door travel experience.
  • Move2Fly: MaaS platform that connects airports and primary logistics hubs across the Country, minimising environmental impacts.

The Joule co-working incubator

The two selected teams will incubate their idea at the Joule  headquarter facility in Roma Ostiense. Until March 2023, the project involves four days’ work a month, two on site and two on-line, with activities focusing on market validation, the definition of the business plan and the development of an entrepreneurial culture.

At the end of the programme, they will present their own business cases at an Investor Day. The teams will be able to have direct responsibility over the presented project and a week’s exposure at one of the world’s most important entrepreneurial ecosystems.