New technologies across competitiveness, sustainability among winning projects of 2017 Innovation Award
- An investment of 10,000 employees and €1.4 billion each year in research and development
- Profumo: “Open innovation is central to sustainable business”
- Inauguration of the interactive mathematics laboratory sponsored by Leonardo in partnership with the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan
With the goal of investing in youth and research, rewarding the ideas and creativity of scholars and Leonardo employees, and an opportunity to highlight the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities, Leonardo announces the 13th annual presentation of its Innovation Awards. Since its inception, the initiative has created more than 9,000 projects, involving over 25,000 employees, and within the last two years has been open to participation by students from scientific programs of all Italian universities.
This year, 700 projects were received from Leonardo sites in Italy, the UK and around the world. More than 7,800 registrations for the Youth Award were received, as students were invited to present their innovative ideas in business-related research (image intelligence, quantum technologies for sensors, and technologies and innovative solutions for the protection of cultural heritage). Winners will be awarded with training courses and financial prizes.
“Developing and promoting the culture of innovation is crucial for a company like Leonardo, as our work focuses on areas where technological advancement is essential,” said Alessandro Profumo, Chief Executive Officer of Leonardo. “Knowledge sharing, paying constant attention to customers, and collaborating with universities and research centers are factors that contribute to developing skills and competences that will bring sustainable innovation to the future. At the heart of this process are people, including employees of the Group with professionalism and experience, or young students, with passion, creativity and courage to embrace the value of innovation as a winning idea.”
Among the winners were Tony Kinghorn and Robert Longmuir Sinclare from the company's Edinburgh site, who were awarded with the Best Patent prize for their innovation improving maritime radar surveillance capabilities.
Also taking place during the course of the event was a roundtable on “Numbers of Innovation,” featuring Ferruccio Resta, Dean of the Politecnico di Milano, Alfio Quarteroni, mathematician, Fiorenzo Galli the General Director of the Museum of Science and Technology of Milan, and Luciano Marcocci, Chief Technology Officer of Leonardo.
Beginning this year, Leonardo intends to engage more widely in the promotion of scientific disciplines, not just among technical specialists, but also young people. This goal is pursued through the new interactive Mathematics Lab in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, the partnership between the museum and Leonardo. A place of experimentation and dissemination of scientific ideas, the lab focuses on fluid dynamics and mathematic models applied to flight, where Leonardo's technological soul rises again.
The opportunity to highlight both Leonardo’s Innovation Award and the inauguration of the Mathematics Lab are aligned with the promotion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, endorsed by the UN Global Agenda to support quality education and to foster innovation, as well as equitable, responsible and sustainable industrialization.
Quantifying innovation at Leonardo
The resources invested in research and development in 2016 amounted to €1.4 billion, totaling 11 percent of revenues, with 10,000 employees assigned to these initiatives. Leonardo's diversified portfolio of patents shows a growth rate of 6.4 percent since 2006, with around 23 percent of patents in the company’s portfolio deriving from the Innovation Award, and 97 percent of them applied to the company’s systems, products and services. These results have been achieved on a model of open innovation aimed at fostering knowledge and sharing opportunities, with the awareness that talent, ideas and solutions from the outside of the company are key to innovation.