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Intellectual Capital

What is the intellectual capital for A2A?

Intellectual Capital consists of the intangible resources represented by organizational knowledge and intellectual property of the Group.

A2A for Innovation

Innovation continued to be the hallmark in 2020 and covered several areas: smart city networks and services, smart grids, the circular economy, the fight against climate change and business processes. 
2020 was the year of the Challenges launched on open innovation platforms

  • The WtE Challenge aimed to optimize the performance and efficiency of waste-to-energy plants
  • The Networks & District Heating BU Challenge, aimed at finding new projects for the development of compact underground electrical substations for urban areas
  • Call for ideas, created with the aim of accelerating the process of the emergence of ideas and valuable projects in support of the Group's strategic objectives from a Corporate Intrapreneurship perspective

Also in 2020, the Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) initiative was launched, with the aim of fostering the Group’s innovation through investments in high-potential startups. The investments of this year:

  • Greyparrot, a UK start-up, has developed a software automatically identifies different types of waste and also provides information on composition. This software is currently being tested at the A2A plastics sorting and treatment plant in Muggiano (MI)
  • Hades, a Swiss start-up linked to the University of Zurich, has developed a sviluppato an artificial intelligence model, it is able to identify and locate leaks, breaks and cracks along the network, enabling predictive maintenance and savings of up to 40% on repairs and upgrades
  • Circular Materials, an Italian company based in Milan, has patented a technology for the removal of heavy and precious metals from industrial wastewater with a view to the circular economy
  • Siteflow, based in France, has developed software for the digitalization of maintenance processes in large production facilities. The solution improves shared operating standards for managing scheduled maintenance, producing audit documentation and enhancing a centralized digital database

Lastly, in 2020, A2A signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Snam, Ardian and FNM to give further impetus to the development of green hydrogen. The aim is the creation in Valcamonica of the first Italian "Hydrogen Valley", providing it with a fleet of hydrogen trains and related infrastructure.

Some numbers of 2020

540

ideas collected in "A2A Call for ideas"

170

 sensors ("noise loggers") installed for early detection of water leaks (Aquarius Project)

180

start-ups from around the world met to develop solutions in the field of sustainability (Plug&Play - Sustainability batch). 2 ongoing trial start-ups 

4

first start-ups financed thanks to the "Corporate Venture Capital" project

A2A, through A2A Smart City, develops smart, innovative and digital solutions both in the urban sphere, to improve the liveability of neighbourhoods and cities, and in the agricultural sphere, to enable more sustainable production that saves pollutants and resources through the use of technology.
Some of the 2020 projects: 

  • City Life Milano: built a smart security system for common areas based on intelligent video surveillance, SOS stations and Wi-Fi area with the Open Wi-Fi of the Municipality of Milan.
  • Smart District: A2A Smart City will help build a sort of city within the city, which manages resources intelligently, aims to become economically sustainable and energy self-sufficient and careful to the quality of life and the needs of citizens who live daily.
  • Agritech: A2A Smart City, bringing its experience in the field of sensors and the development of Iot of networks, has developed the experimental project “Around the Ground” – awarded by Coldiretti Brescia with the Oscar Green 2020 – in partnership with different entities of the entrepreneurial world of viticulture, oenology and cultivation in Brescia, which guarantees benefits in terms of water saving and management of treatments with fertilizers and pesticides, through technological innovation and digitalization. Or again the Consortium Franciacorta has decided to create a new agrometeorological network much more dense and able to give information on weather events in real time, through sensors that transmit through LoRaWAN® network.

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