Italian Shipyard Fincantieri Invites Academia Input
Monday, September 23, 2013
Fincantieri CNI Yard: Photo courtesy of the shipbuiliders

Fincantieri together with Genoa University's Polytechnic School, is promoting 'Innovation Challenge', with a large investment as the Italian shipbuilder seeks new shipbuilding ideas with a cost-efficiency focus.

The initiative, arising from a well-established collaboration between the company and Genoa University, will be financed by Fincantieri with a total investment of up to Euro 500,000. It will seek to capitalize 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 maximization: in other words all those factors that provide shipping companies with a financial return.

The first phase of the tender involves a "call for ideas" from the 5 departments in Genoa University's Polytechnic School, taking the areas indicated by Fincantieri as the starting point. Six proposals will then be selected to receive funding of Euro 15,000 each in order to conduct further research in the following three months. The two projects judged most interesting in terms of innovation will be supported and funded up to Euro 200 thousand each, allowing them to reach the industrialization phase.

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, characterized by a highly specialized production system. We are confident that this initiative will strengthen our ties with the world of higher education and enhance the spread of a more conscious corporate culture even in the academic sphere, both of which are key factors for making the most of the wealth of knowledge and know-how available in our country." Bono concluded: "This is why we are ready to extend this collaboration to other universities."

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