Open Innovation: Challenge Accepted!

The XFactory Open Innovation Challenge on cybersafety has concluded with the selection of two proposals to be implemented in the Lighthouse Plant of Tenova and ORI Martin.

Safety: an old challenge to be faced with the newest technologies. Tenova and ORI Martin, one of the main European integrated steel groups specialized in high-quality steel, decided to engage start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to design pioneering solutions of cybersafety to be implemented in the steel mill in Brescia, in the framework of the Lighthouse Plant Acciaio_4.0 project.

In 2020, the two companies joined the XFactory Open Innovation Challenge by the Italian National Technology Cluster of Intelligent Factory, with the goal to launch a “Call for Solutions” and find the right partner with the most brilliant ideas.

Innovation conceived exclusively within the company is not enough anymore, especially when it entails specific know-how on advanced technologies that are not part of the core business: Open Innovation is a great opportunity to think out of the box and go beyond our field of expertise. This process is especially valuable in the context of the Lighthouse Plant, which has the ambition to become an innovation model in the sector”, said Enrico Malfa, Tenova R&D Director.

Twenty-four players responded to the challenge and, on March 25 of this year, a committee selected the two most suitable and ground-breaking proposals, those of Modelway, high-technology micro-company, and Smart Track, innovative start-up and spin-off of the University of Genoa.

We looked for sensors technology solutions to be integrated in the plant’s IoT platform, highly reliable and with low to zero energy consumption, to guarantee operators’ safety: the proposals of these two companies are indeed very promising and we are investigating their practical application in ORI Martin’s smart factory. The Open Innovation Challenge has borne fruit and turned out to be very effective”, said Renato Girelli, Tenova Electrical & Automation Engineering Manager, member of the XFactory nominating committee.