Torino City Lab celebrates its second year of activity

23 December 2020
We participated in the online event for the second birthday of the City of Turin's innovation lab.

On December 17th the second anniversary of Torino City Lab, the innovation laboratory of the City of Turin that connects the Public Administration with several public and private partners to implement activities of experimentation on the city territory of pre-commercial solutions of different nature, was celebrated online.

During the initiative, were illustrated the results achieved, in six different project areas, during the last year:

  • Smart city and attraction of startups;
  • Urban Air Mobility;
  • Space Technologies;
  • SocialTech;
  • Torino City Love and beyond;
  • Torino Reshoring.

We have summarized, below, the contents of the event.

Motivational speech by Vittorio Viarengo

(VMware Vice President of Cloud Marketing)

Vittorio Viarengo is a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur and manager from Genoa. He landed in the States following the acquisition of his first startup ViVi Sofware. He has worked with successful companies such as Oracle, VMware, MobileIron and his latest startup, Skyhigh Networks, was acquired by McAfee where he is now Vice President of Marketing in the Cloud Division. Vittorio does mentoring outreach on innovation and startups for Italians in Silicon Valley.

During his speech he stressed the importance of teamwork and work evaluation. The competition strategies must be based on people before technologies, the pandemic has helped because working from home is an advantage that must be exploited in an intelligent way to get rid of the logic that leads to evaluate and measure the work done by someone on the basis of hours worked. Trust in a team is the first way to achieve the real empowerment of those who are part of it, it is necessary to take into account the human dimension when evaluating the goals achieved by a working group. Technology must be an ally, and never make the mistake of being in a hurry to underestimate the real impact that innovation can have on work, or to postpone their adoption.

Speech by Paola Pisano

(Minister of Digital Innovation)

Turin is a cutting-edge technology city, Torino City Lab was launched to make the city the ideal place to experiment the solutions of the future and the technologies chosen for the Lab's path are those that aim to improve the quality of life of citizens. This laboratory of innovation and experimentation must become a point of entry on a national and international level: an example is the Torino Reshoring project designed for the return to the territory of companies that have been outsourcing abroad and created with the intention of bringing entire sectors together.

Turin must increasingly become the city of innovation: sustainable mobility models are needed, traffic flows must be redesigned to make the city more people-friendly and environmentally friendly, and the creation of ecosystems of innovation and collaboration must be encouraged, whose added value is the generation of widespread benefits.

Speech by Marco Pironti

(Councilor for Innovation of the Municipality of Turin)

The city's innovation in this 2020 has been consistent and continuous even if reshaped by pandemic circumstances:

·      January: autonomous driving tests with the Olli bus;

·      March: Torino City Love, a project of solidarity and innovation to help those most at risk, weakest and most affected by the pandemic;

·      June: St. John's Day x3 with a drone show in streaming and live TV at the same time as the cities of Genoa and Florence;

·      July: Turin applies to host the House of Emerging Technologies at the CSI Next;

·      September: I3A, the national reference centre for Artificial Intelligence, arrives in Turin;

·      November: presentation of the Torino Reshoring project.

Speech by Chiara Appendino

(Mayor of Turin)

The achievements of technology and innovation have an increasing impact on the quality of life. In our city, with great work and a lot of courage, a link between public and private sectors is becoming more and more structured in order to generate an ecosystem and to design, together, winning strategies. Turin is becoming an example at the national level, there are many companies and businesses that have wanted to invest money, time, resources, personnel and energy in experimentation and innovation in our city. The path is traced and shows the enormous potential of a city that wants to ride the great opportunities of technological innovation. Cities are transforming dramatically and are facing epochal challenges: administrations must play a role of maximizing utility and minimizing risks, in this perspective the birth of Torino City Lab has allowed the creation of a "laboratory city" where those who wanted to innovate could find the perfect ground to test their solutions.

Speech by Claudio Casetti

(DAUIN - Department of Automatics and Informatics of the Polytechnic of Turin)

The Politecnico di Torino is part of the Torino Smart Road working table that involves TIM, FCA, Daimler, Links Foundation, Swarco, Ital Design, City of Torino, Luxoft, Intel and 5T. The projects are divided into two verticals, one for digital mobility and the other for road safety.

In 2020, new road ideas have been realized, the presence and use of e-mobility has increased and new bike lanes have been delivered in several districts of Turin, both central and peripheral.

The demos realized in 2020 concern:

- 5G for smart cities: algorithm that promptly detects the risk of collision between cars and vulnerable users that could be scooters, cyclists or frail people;

- Piazza Statuto underpass mapped with a 3-level 5G architecture: vehicles and cameras send information to a cloud that processes the mass of data and identifies messages to be sent back to vehicles to report any dangers (obstacles in the roadway, flooding of the underpass, wrong-way vehicles, etc.).

The 2021 objectives regarding digital mobility concern the reliability and IT security of the proposed solutions. The Safety area is instead developing intelligent Road Side Units able to detect the presence of vulnerable users on the road, platforms connected to 5G networks and new features for centrally managed on-board vehicle units.

Speech by Vincenzo Antonetti

(Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center)

One of the indispensable functions of a smart city is the attraction of startups.

A smart city must go hand in hand with the concept of ecosystem and must offer a network of conditions, players and infrastructures capable of supporting the development of activities in the area that benefit innovation in that given territory. The dialogue between the economic system, governments, financial institutions, universities and innovative players is fundamental to create a virtuous circle that allows the birth and development of innovative business projects.

In this regard, Techstars with Torino City Lab and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center has created a Smart Mobility Acceleration Program, guaranteeing Torino exclusivity on programs in this sector for the next 3 years. The numbers are definitely encouraging: 120 mentors, 1250 mentor meetings, 22 workshops, 11 startups that have participated in the program, 10 prototypes of which 2 are already generating revenues. Most of the projects have already obtained at least one round of investment and among these there is Sheeva, a startup born in the United States, which has chosen Turin as the headquarters of its Italian branch and is looking for new people for its team to build here its hub from which to attack the European market.

From 2021 Torino City Lab will be part of the Screening Committee, the committee that deals with the selection of startups that will participate in the Techstars program.

Finally, a joint working table for Torino Reshoring has been created between Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Torino City Lab to develop soft landing services regarding legal, bureaucratic, financial and go-to-market support for the realities that will return from abroad with this project.

Speech by Giuseppe Santangelo

(Founder and CEO of Skypersonic)

Skypersonic is a company based in the United States that has designed a particular type of drone that can fly inside buildings, plants, factories to carry out security inspections: with Torino City Lab have been created important experiments and through the project Torino Reshoring it was decided to create a center of R&D in Italy, transferring in Italy the research on artificial intelligence.

Through a transoceanic platform of remote guidance, activities have been carried out with drones piloted from Turin but flying in Detroit and vice versa. For example, remote inspections have been tested to measure the toxicity or structural stability of industrial environments to prevent personnel from exposure to radiation, poisoning, accidents, and collapses. The drone can do inspections in total autonomy thanks to AI that can automatically recognize defects in the structure being examined. The 5G connectivity allows the personal-drone communication to happen in real time, thanks to the very low latency.

Skypersonic carries out some activities also at Leonardo Company's headquarters in Turin, with which it shares a training area for drones.

Speech by Rita Rinaldo

(ESA European space agency)

ESA has started a strategic program line focused on 5G, in partnership with various municipalities to bring benefits to citizens and the economy of municipalities. Thus was born 5G for L'ART (L'Aquila Roma Torino) to develop services that show the benefits of combining space technologies and 5G with urban applications.

In the smart cities sector Turin has opened several calls for opportunities, based on the needs identified as high priority.

  1. Law enforcement and emergency response:
  • Imagine project of the company Regola: focused on fire prevention and law enforcement to demonstrate how space technologies and 5G can contribute to responding to the needs of those who work to guarantee security;
  • S-EDGE project: information from drones to provide information on public safety;

2. Cultural heritage:

  • Studio Inventa with Links Foundation: use of AR and VR to increase accessibility to cultural sites by citizens
  • Vadus project: digitization of cultural heritage in unreachable sites
  • Space2Tree Project: monitoring the historical green area thanks to the re-elaboration of data obtained from Earth observation by satellites to monitor the conditions of the land;

3. Intelligent transport (in project selection phase): investigating solutions based on space assets and 5G applied to mobility and traffic.

Speech by Mirko Berlier

(CISCO)

In this year in which connectivity has really become the center of everyone's life, Cisco Systems, a multinational company specializing in networking equipment and services, has made available to Torino City Lab its technical expertise as well as IoT, Edge computing and cybersecurity technologies.

For Torino City Love, one of the Lab's projects, thanks to the partnership with Cisco it was possible to activate a video-visiting system for 15 RSAs that allowed a total of 1200 virtual visits. As a collaboration with the administrative side, 50 press conferences, 2500 Webex meetings, 330 hours of municipal commissions and 70 meetings of the City Council have been streamed.

Cisco has also contributed to the realization of the Covid Hospital of OGR and Valentino by providing technology, systems infrastructure and networks.

Speech by Giulio di Giacomo

(TIM)

Covid asked us to be ready for a revolution in 24 hours, if we have really started the digital transformation process we need to structure it more and more also outside the emergency: for this reason TIM has provided enabling technologies for the evolution of the smart city, to support distance learning and smart working and useful to improve connectivity. For the digital transition, TIM has also created a system to spread digital skills through free training classes.

Speech by Nicola Farronato

(Head of Innovation Team of the Municipality of Turin)

Torino Reshoring was the first experience of brain return for an Italian Public Administration. The project was born from a convergence between Torino City Lab and an idea of a smart city that every day wants to become better connected and more inclusive.

In Turin there are 885,094 citizens, 102,000 students, 2 public universities, 329 startups, 74,000 companies. Why Torino Reshoring? Because the city wants to become a home for emerging technologies with the involvement of institutions, universities, research centers and the entire entrepreneurial network of the city.

Covid has caused travel restrictions and the difficulty of staying in some countries, many workers and companies have had trouble obtaining work visa renewals, so the greater challenge of staying abroad has led to a tendency to return. This project is an opportunity to position Torino at the crossroads between talents and companies around the world, in order not to disperse the demand and supply of work and R&D activities.

Conclusions by Marco Pironti

(Councilor for Innovation of the Municipality of Turin)

The next path of Torino City Lab will focus on the following macro-themes:

  • strengthen the role and involvement of startups and scale ups and which is based on the skill city project;
  • new technologies and new industries for the Turin of the future on which to bet, on all the new 4.0 manufacturing and aerospace;
  • Circular Turin: project concerning hydrogen, a circular business model that connects private and public to represent circular energies in Turin and open a new thematic laboratory in the city;
  • Torino Social Innovation / Torino Social Impact: candidacy for the first European competence center in the field of social innovation has been launched;
  • Torino Reshoring: starting a transformation into an attraction program also for companies that have never been to Italy, with the aim of bringing the project to a national level.

Author

Luca Coppolella
Head of Content

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