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New Innovation Hub Launched at UC Berkeley
By Brett Israel | Media Relations | Berkeley News | March 7, 2017
The UC Berkeley campus has a new innovation hub that is the result of a partnership between Enel, a multinational power company, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute.
“Together with these public and private partners, we are shaping the future of technology transfer in ways that cross traditional boundaries,” said Costas Spanos, the director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute.
Ernesto Ciorra, the Enel Group’s head of innovation and sustainability, said launching this innovation hub in a place with such a high concentration of companies looking to disrupt and innovate, begins the next stage of an exciting journey for Enel. “The group has long been pushing collaboration with forward-looking startups, not only as a way of exposing the group to cutting-edge technology and ideas, but also by bringing our own technology and engineering expertise to help these companies develop ways to integrate their tech innovations into the fabric of our business.”
The Enel Innovation Hub will scout startups to work with the Enel Group; selected startups will receive technical and business support so that they can go to market in the shortest time possible. Enel experts will mentor the fledgling companies, helping them develop business projects both in the United States and internationally, providing them with access to a potential market of more than 30 countries. One of the hub's goals is to provide U.S. customers with energy management and storage solutions that maintain the country’s grid stability and make it less prone to outages.
Henry Chesbrough, professor at the Haas School of Business and executive director of the Center for Open Innovation, speaks at the ceremony. (Photo by Adriel Olmos, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute)
The innovation hub’s ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at CITRIS’s Sutardja Dai Hall. In addition to Spanos, at the ceremony were Ernesto Ciorra, the Enel Group’s head of innovation and sustainability; Francesco Venturini, head of Enel’s global renewable energies division, Enel Green Power; and Henry Chesbrough, a professor at the Haas School of Business and executive director of the Center for Open Innovation.
An innovation manager from Enel will oversee the hub and will be a point of contact between all the startups working at the hub and Enel’s startup networks in Israel, Brazil, Chile and Europe.
Inside the Enel Innovation Hub at the CITRIS Foundry. (Photo by Adriel Olmos, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute)