Fincantieri looks to academia for energy savings

23 Sep 2013
Bono: "This collaboration represents a very important step for Fincantieri"

Bono: "This collaboration represents a very important step for Fincantieri"

Fincantieri and Genoa University's Polytechnic School are jointly behind the Innovation Challenge scheme, described as an invitation to tender aimed at selecting projects in the field of shipbuilding technology innovation for subsequent industrialisation.

The initiative, arising from the existing collaboration between the state-owned Italian shipbuilder and Genoa University, will be financed by Fincantieri to the tune of up to €500,000. Fincantieri says it will seek to capitalise on, and develop, the best ideas originating from the university in order to translate them into product innovations in areas most critical to competitive advantage, such as product cost and weight reductions, quality perceptions, greater energy efficiency and payload maximisation, in other words factors that provide shipping companies with a financial return.

The first phase of the tender involves a ‘call for ideas’ from five departments in Genoa University's Polytechnic School. Six proposals will then be selected to receive funding of €15,000 each to cover three months’ further research. The two projects then judged most innovative will be supported up to €200,000 each, in order to reach industrialisation potential.

Fincantieri’s research subsidiary Cetena, will help evaluate proposals and oversee the industrialisation phase. Key criteria will include the quality of science and technology (solidity and quality of objectives, effectiveness of the methodology) and results (impact on Fincantieri's manufacturing model, applicability to the product).

The Genoa University's Polytechnic School will act as the reservoir of ideas and will be involved through its departments in implementing the chosen projects.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "This collaboration represents a very important step for strengthening and revitalizing Fincantieri's technological leadership. We are the first in Italy to adopt the Open Innovation model in a traditional industry like shipbuilding." He added that the company is ready to extend this collaboration to other universities.

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