Italgas and I3P launch "NewGen Construction Site": a call for start-ups for innovative sustainability

I3P Network

The initiative looks for new solutions and technologies to accelerate the transformation of work on construction sites and the transition towards a new sustainable way of building.

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Italgas, leading Network Tech Company in the sectors of gas distribution, water, energy efficiency and IT, launched a new call for start-ups in collaboration with I3P, the Innovative Companies Incubator of Politecnico di Torino.

The call is aimed at seeking innovative solutions and technologies for the "NewGen Construction Site" and falls within the scope of "Ideas 4 Italgas": an open innovation program launched by the Italgas Group in 2020 to select the best start-ups and SMEs to support the digital transformation of networks and the sustainability of the Group's activities.

More specifically, this call aims to explore existing innovations both domestically and internationally that can contribute to shaping the profile of sustainable construction sites. This initiative aims to accelerate the transition process towards a new way of building energy infrastructure and working safely on construction sites of the future.

The call is open to proposals from start-ups and SMEs offering innovative solutions and technologies aimed at reducing environmental impact, facilitating early detection of anomalies, and optimizing operational costs associated with construction activities. Italgas has identified five main areas of interest in this regard:

  • Design of gas networks: for example, tools for preliminary analysis, fluid-dynamic calculation, georeferenced identification of networks, digital mapping, soil scanning or assessment of the state of underwater lines. 
  • Construction site monitoring and safety: for example, systems and tools to ensure the safety of operators in the field or surveillance, for real-time detection of anomalies, verification of compliance with the work plan, management of costs and consumption of resources or documentation management. 
  • Network construction: for example, advanced methods and technologies to reduce construction time and costs during excavation, laying, backfilling or underwater installation. 
  • End of works and waste management: for example, waste management and disposal tools, circular economy solutions to give waste a second life. 
  • Network maintenance: for example, preventive and predictive strategies for remote inspection, monitoring and pipeline rehabilitation, data analysis and processing solutions, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) for network digitisation.

Participation in the initiative is free, and applications can be submitted in either Italian or English.

Who is eligible to respond to Italgas and I3P's call? Companies established in Italy or abroad, preferably with teams, resources, and assets dedicated to the project being proposed, as well as working groups composed of two or more individuals who are striving to develop technological innovations stemming from research activities. Projects can be at various stages of development: from the conceptual stage to translating an idea into a prototype within the year, from having a prototype already developed and validated or awaiting validation in the market, to having a product/service already commercialized or about to be. 

Applications are open until May 6th, 2024, on the website ideas4italgas.italgas.it, which also contains the full announcement and regulations. Subsequently, Italgas and I3P will evaluate the received proposals and announce the winning projects during a final event within the month of June.

The selected projects will have the opportunity to develop a Proof-of-Concept with Italgas, collaborating directly with the group to field-test their technological proposal and assess the feasibility of the presented use case. Additionally, teams chosen from the call will have free access to both mentorship and Italgas laboratories to explore how to integrate innovative projects into the group's processes. They will also have access to a six-month incubation program at I3P, which will provide strategic consultancy and entrepreneurial training to maximize start-up growth.

"Open innovation for Italgas - explained Raffaella Marcuccio, Italgas Procurement and Material Management Director - is not only an endless source of innovation and a driver of the future, but also a continuous platform for dialogue that allows the Group to grow and foster growth in the communities where it operates. With this new call, we aim to continue the virtuous path that has allowed us to select over 500 start-ups, test their respective technologies, and collaborate in the development of new prototypes, which in some cases have contributed to transforming our daily operations in terms of innovation and sustainability. This is precisely what we aim to achieve with this new call dedicated to the development of a new green paradigm for our construction sites”.

"We are proud to continue the Open Innovation activities initiated with the Italgas group in the previous years and to offer all start-ups, not just those in our network, a new tangible opportunity for collaboration with a world-class corporate entity,” commented Giuseppe Scellato, President of I3P. “The Ideas 4 Italgas program and its new call focused on construction sites of the future represent the ideal meeting point between the evolving needs of a significant market sector and the technological inventiveness of young enterprises. The role of the incubator will be to facilitate the meeting between the demand and supply of innovation, generating value for all actors involved in the process".