FS’ business entrepreneurship programme

The FS Group’s Innovate Corporate Entrepreneurship Programme aims to stimulate business entrepreneurship through multidisciplinary teams composed of employees hailing from various FS Italiane companies. The intention is to develop, promote and launch new business ideas. In line with the FS Italiane Group’s Industrial Plan, the 2020 edition was focused on the theme of “For safe and sustainable mobility”, with the aim of identifying innovative sustainability solutions split into the themes of mobility, safety, energy and emissions.

The winning idea was awarded in the presence of CEO Gianfranco Battisti

More than 13,000 employees from all FS Group companies had access to the FS Group’s innovation platform in support of the programme.

After a very stringent selection and the Bootcamp challenge, five teams entered a 16-week acceleration pathway

During this period, the teams tested their business theories and consolidated the business case of the project, demonstrating its validity and financial sustainability.

On 26 February 2021, the second edition of Innovate came to an end at the FS Italiane Group headquarters of Villa Patrizi in Rome. The five finalist teams were called upon to present their projects in the presence of an internal jury. The winning team received its award from FS Group CEO, Gianfranco Battisti. The project that took out first place is safeME, a project in line with the priorities of the FS Group’s business plan of which sustainability and innovation are the fundamental pillars.

Specifically, in the context of the award ceremony, CEO Gianfranco Battisti wanted us to reiterate that: “Innovation is the driver of industrial growth for companies. The FS Group has invested a lot of resources in innovation and we are counting on increasing those investments.” He goes on to say, “We must think laterally, being able to reason differently. This is the secret that all young people need to work on. The ability to create innovation is the driver of development and of personal growth for all of us.”  

The five finalist teams 

SPGR – SECURITY POWER AUGMENTED RAILWAYS

The project consists in the use of augmented reality at the service of maintenance activities, in order to guarantee timely and contextualised access to all technical information, by simply having the operator align the device.

TaBii - BATTERY-POWERED TRAINS ON HYBRID INFRASTRUCTURE

The TaBii project aims to construct hybrid infrastructure by installing a line for electric traction near the railway stations, to allow battery-run trains to partially recharge at each stop during operation.

SafeME. REMOTE SMART BADGE HOLDER

The project consists in equipping the personnel aboard the train with a smart badge holder bearing GSM technology. The device is designed to allow workers who find themselves in a situation of danger to establish an immediate connection with the relevant operating room (or emergency manager).

SMART RAILWAY WITH IoT

The purpose of the project is to monitor the state of railway infrastructure (especially bridges, viaducts, tunnels, and the like) using a network of IoT (Internet of Things) devices able to detect oscillations, structural subsidence and variations in the work in real time.

VIRTUAL WAREHOUSE

The project consists in creating a virtual warehouse that contains 3D models of spare parts, in order to revolutionise supply times, producing spare parts only when actually needed and in the exact quantities, thus avoiding waste.

The startup Crain Mobility also received an award 

At the end of Innovate, the startup Crain Mobility was also announced winner of the Challenge towards startups, launched by the FS Group in collaboration with Le Village on the same themes as Innovate. The panel, composed of FS Group Managers, wanted to reward the innovation of the solution presented by the startup, focused on the use of electric vehicles both as means of transport and as modules inside railway wagons. Being extremely challenging, the solution manages to solve various issues such as door-to-door, the use of collective transport and low-emission modal integration.

An edition in digital mode 

Due to the coronavirus emergency, the FS Group entrepreneurship development programme also sees the support of the Teams digital platform during the acceleration pathway of the five finalist teams. Together with their respective mentors, as external facilitators and project team, they are the protagonists of this phase of Innovate.

Interaction through chat, video calls and applications for collaborative document management have guided the teams towards the realisation of a business case together with a prototype on which the projects have then been evaluated during the Bootcamp phase.