Ideas4Italgas is the Open Innovation initiative promoted by Italgas to find the best national and international startups and SMEs that develop products and services that can help support the transformation of Italy’s gas distribution networks.
Project candidates are evaluated by a committee of experts and the best projects are then presented to Italgas. Following the selection process the startups and SMEs then have the opportunity to work closely in collaboration with the company to start a codesign phase.
For the second year of its project, Italgas was looking for an Innovation Management provider that could help the company manage the project through a digital platform and that could also provide scouting services and facilitate the co-design phase for the end stage of the project.
As a leading provider of innovation management platforms and advisory services, Italgas turned to Skipso to help the company support it during all phases of the project.
Skipso activated two of its key offerings to help manage the program:
The Co-Innovation Hub: The Co-Innovation Hub allowed the client to activate a network of national and international incubators and accelerators through which the best startups could be identified for the Open Call.
The Innovation Platform: The main features enabled on the platform included the Challenge Portal, Program Workflow, KPIs Tracking, Judging Functionality, Evaluation
The Focus Phase:
The first phase of the project involved defining the focus areas, configuring the platform, and employing a communication plan.
FOCUS AREAS: During a kick-off meeting with Italgas, Skipso's team helped define the areas of innovation on which to focus the startup search;
PLATFORM: The platform was designed with highly customized features, and it allowed for the full management of the project, from startup search to selection;
COMMUNICATION: Marketing campaigns and PR activities allowed for the project to be promoted on an international level, obtaining high media coverage among the major innovation-related newspapers.
The Open Call Phase
During the Open Call phase, the objective was to identify the best national and international startups within the previously identified key innovation focus areas.
SCOUTING: Thanks to targeted scouting activities and Skipso’s Co-Innovation Hub, a network of incubators and international accelerators have been identified with more than 180 startups in line with the project areas;
ONE-TO-ONE MEETINGS: To better understand services or products offered by startups, Skipso and Italgas organized one to one meetings with the startups;
REPORT: As a result of the KPIs provided by Skipso's platform, a weekly report was provided to the customer showing key numbers related to the development of the project.
The selection phase was aimed at identifying the best innovative startups among those registered on the Call.
EVALUATION: Following an internal pre-selection of startups in line with the requirements of the project, the Italgas jury had the opportunity to carry out an evaluation on Skipso’s platform based on five criteria linked to the innovativeness of the services proposed by startups;
SELECTION: From the evaluation conducted on the platform, metrics snapshots were obtained that helped identify the best eight startups;
PITCH DAY: On Pitch Day, selected startups presented their proposals to Italgas' top management and its jury. Afterwards, 4 startups were chosen for the Co-Design phase based on internal assessments.
As part of the Co-Design phase, selected Italgas teams and startups had the opportunity to outline a Proof of Concept - POC - during four workshops.
VALIDATION: In order to validate POCs, startups and specialized Italgas teams worked together on testing solutions. The platform made it possible to load documentation related to each phase of the Co-Design throughout the project;
INNOVATION DAY: During the Innovation Day, Italgas' team accepted the startup's solutions and agreed on an experimentation budget.
“We stand out on the market for our long tradition and ability to innovate: the digitization of networks and business processes is the our challenge today"
Using Skipso's methodology, the company developed an external innovation process that resulted in concrete results in a short amount of time.
Through the Co-Innovation Hub, the best startups within the innovative landscape were identified and have allowed the customer to find new strategic solutions.
Skipso’s platform, with its highly customized configuration, made it possible to complete the entire startup scouting process by simplifying the path of each user, allowing the team to monitor the project, and managing all data in one place.
In total 88 startups registered for the project and 64 made submissions. 7 startups went through the judging phase, while 4 startups were selected to participate in the final Co-Design phase of the project.
The identified solutions will help the company respond to the challenges of the market and drive the energy transformation of the industry.
Italgas continues to work with Skipso on both external and internal innovation projects as part of our non-stop scouting services.