The Enel Group (Endesa) has inaugurated its tenth Innovation Hub worldwide in Barcelona. The objective of this center is to stimulate and strengthen the relationship with the Catalan entrepreneurship ecosystem. The center is the result of the desire for collaboration between the group Enel, Endesa and Barcelona City Council.
The initiative will take place within the Barcelona Innovation Coast (BIC), a public-private platform that wants to promote and consolidate the innovative role of the city and that has set itself the goal of contributing to the generation of 40,000 jobs during this decade in the Catalan capital.
With the opening of this hub, the Enel group and Endesa have the objective of strengthening relations and collaboration opportunities with the innovation ecosystem, startups and innovative SMEs in the Catalan territory. It is an initiative aimed at finding solutions throughout the energy value chain, from the reduction of greenhouse gases, to the impact of electrical infrastructures on the environment or energy storage systems. The Catalan territory, for Endesa and the Enel group, is a benchmark and test bench in hydraulic distribution and production infrastructures. It is for this reason, and for the relevance of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Barcelona, that the Enel Group has chosen Barcelona to continue growing and strengthening its network of hubs around the world: San Francisco, Boston, Tel Aviv, São Paulo, Santiago from Chile, Catania, Pisa, Milan, Madrid, and now, Barcelona.
The Chief Innovability Officer of the Enel group, Ernest Ciorra; the CEO of EndesaJose Bogas; the general director of Endesa in Catalonia, Isabel Buesa; and the manager of the Enel Innovation Hub Europe, Fernando Sandoval. On behalf of Barcelona City Council, the Commissioner for City Promotion, Pablo Ángel Solanilla, and the Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Bàrbara Pons, attended. Finally, the CTO of Bamboo Energy, Cristina Colchero, and the technical director of Dinnteco, Javier Maldonado, shared their Open Innovation experience with the Enel Group.
The Barcelona Hub is located at the Endesa headquarters in Catalonia, located on Avenida Vilanova number 12, and consists of a space in which activities will be carried out that favor interaction between entrepreneurs and the Group’s innovation teams, as well as the development of the culture of innovation in the Company. It will also have the capacity to host startups with solutions aimed at the energy transition and the electrification of demand. Likewise, the modernist room that the building has, the Espai Endesa, will host Innovation events.
The hubs are elements that stimulate innovation in the ecosystems in which Enel is present for the resolution of technological challenges innovation-oriented in the energy sector. It is about moving collectively towards a just and sustainable energy transition. The energy sector is one of those that currently poses the greatest challenges to be more efficient in the development of renewables, reduce the environmental and visual impact of its facilities and accelerate decarbonisation.
The company works on an open innovation model to address the challenges of the different areas of the business, distribution, generation or customer relations, collaborative and innovative model that brings together suppliers, technology and research centers, universities and emerging companies in the territory, among others.
The open innovation of the Enel group offers innovative startups and SMEs a model to develop specific innovation projects or proofs of concept that allow their solutions to be incorporated into the business. For this they put disposition of entrepreneurial companies its infrastructures and network of laboratories to test its developments, the knowledge and experience of experts, and access to the markets in which the Enel Group is located, with more than 70 million customers, in addition to contact with the entrepreneurship network developed by the Group worldwide.
Ultimately, if the development of the project is as expected, the startup or SME can become a supplier to the Enel Group.
Currently, the Enel Group has launched and has open challenges worldwide such as the design of sustainable and integrated substations in rural and urban environments or the technological improvement for the generation of renewable energy. Any startup can apply for these programs. All these challenges are related to the sustainable development goals (SDG) and with a remuneration of up to 40,000 euros.
To date, the Enel group’s innovation program has analyzed the solutions of 13,650 startups and SMEs from around the world and has developed projects with 545 of these companies, of which some 125 have become Group suppliers. Furthermore, any start-up company interested in presenting a project can do so through the openinnovability.com platform.