SACE together with the School of Management to propose training aimed at businesses and young talents

An agreement has been signed between SACE and the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano to develop a specialized and certified training course on the subject of exports, digitization and green transition.
 

Milano, 28 November 2022

New training opportunities for businesses and young people on the subject of exports, digitization and green transition thanks to the collaboration between SACE and the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano

SACE has signed a memorandum of understanding with the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, expanding and strengthening the activities of its SACE Academy, the branch of SACE Education dedicated to managerial, specialist and certified academic training, which combines the know-how of Export Credit Agency Italiana and the expertise of the most important universities and business schools in the country.

The objective of this collaboration is to create a training offer aimed at young talent and companies, in particular SMEs, who want to acquire technical-specialist skills suitable for facing the complexities and challenges of the current national and international economic context.

Executive courses, scholarships, research projects and joint information-related events: these are some of the activities that SACE Education and SoM will carry out in the coming months, starting with the first edition of the Executive Course in Digital Transformation which will start in November with the aim of investigating all themes related to digital innovation and its effects on the business and the supply chain.

‘This agreement with the Politecnico di Milano strengthens the training offer launched by SACE Education within our Academy’, – declared Alessandra Ricci, Chief Executive Officer of SACE. Collaboration with the academic world is of fundamental importance for us at SACE, to attract new talent, help train our companies in exporting, digitize and green transition and accompany the new generations into the world of work as part of our commitment to support the transition of our country in a digital, green and sustainable way’’.

‘We are very pleased to have entered into this partnership – comments Alessandro Perego, Head of the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering of the Politecnico di Milanowhich has among its main objectives that of promoting the internationalization and digital and sustainable transformation of our businesses, our economic system and Made in Italy, leveraging the training of managers capable of triggering and managing growth abroad and the green-tech transition, but also encouraging the use of Industry 4.0 and new business models and urging the institutions to develop policies aimed at accelerating these processes, in line with the strategic objectives of the country and the NRRP’.

‘The signing of this memorandum of understanding has a dual significance for our School – adds Federico Frattini, Dean of POLIMI Graduate School of Management. On the one hand, it confirms the close contacts we have with the business world, for which and with which we create our training courses. On the other hand, we are happy to make our know-how available to SACE Academy to create a path dedicated to those SMEs and young people who want to acquire the managerial and technical-specialist skills necessary to face the challenges that the current economic context – both nationally and internationally – puts in front of us, such as digitization and the green and sustainable transition”.

Sace Education is the training hub that has recently been strengthened also in response to the needs related to the new operations of SACE – in addition to the traditional activity of national Export Credit Agency (ECA) – by virtue of the mandate conferred on it by the Government with the Simplification Decree for the management of guarantees in support of the Green New Deal and with the Liquidity Decree for anti-crisis measures such as the Garanzia Italia. With the reinforcement of its training offer, SACE confirms its mission to support the growth of the country system, offering 360° support aimed not just at the world of businesses and professionals, but also at future generations who are called to meet current challenges and design a new way of doing business relying on financial and insurance tools and solutions.

A world of futures: now online the new issue SOMe Magazine

 

In a rapidly changing world, the opportunity to look ahead and scan the horizon to investigate what possible futures are ahead is paramount to anticipate the challenges our society will face, to be aware, possibly prepared, and eventually move towards the most desirable ones.

This is the cover story of the new issue #10 of SOMe, with a presentation by Cristiana Bolchini and Silvia Gadola on the activities of the Center for Technology Foresight of Politecnico di Milano.

Sergio Terzi, Arianna Seghezzi and Lucio Lamberti then present possible future scenarios in manufacturing, logistics and in the metaverse.

In the “Stories” we present research projects in the legal, energy and social fields with a new funding from EURATOM for a project that analyzes citizens’ opinions and perceptions of risk related to the use of current and future nuclear technologies.

To read SOMe #10 click here.

If you wish to receive it by email, please register here.

Previous issues:

  • #9 “Talents and the challenges for education”
  • #8 “The challenge of pursuing impact in research”
  • #7 “From data science to data culture: the emergence of analytics-powered managers”
  • #6 “Innovation with a human touch”
  • #5 “Inclusion: shaping a better society for all”
  • #4 “Multidisciplinarity: a new discipline”
  • #3 “New connections in the post-covid era”
  • #2 “Being entrepreneurial in a high-tech world”
  • Special Issue Covid-19 – “Global transformation, ubiquitous responses”
  • # 1 “Sustainability – Beyond good deeds, a good deal?”

 

 

ECOSENS: what role is there for nuclear power in the decarbonisation process?

The Politecnico di Milano with the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, is a partner of the project funded by HORIZON-EURATOM

 

The Politecnico di Milano is a partner in the ECOSENS (Economic and Social Considerations for the Future of Nuclear Energy in Society) project funded under the research and training programme of the European Community HORIZON-EURATOM.

The project aims to analyse citizens’ opinions and perceptions of risk, the benefits and potential related to the use of nuclear technologies (current and future) in relation to the main social challenges: climate crisis, sustainable energy policies and energy security.

In order to identify the possible role of nuclear energy within the decarbonisation objectives set for 2050, the sustainability of current technologies and the integration of new generation reactors (III + and IV) will be assessed with reference to the future energy market and social developments taking place.

The Department of Management Engineering will be supported by that of Energy in the development of an economic model based on the “system of provision approach” to create and calculate indicators relevant to the evaluation of nuclear systems, including the “social discount rate” (reflecting uncertainties about the socio-environmental costs and benefits of the project) and the impact on sustainability.

The research work will lead to the drafting of guidelines for the evaluation of new nuclear infrastructures with a view to improving their sustainability.

The research group of the Politecnico is coordinated by Professor Giorgio Locatelli of the Department of Management Engineering.

Green Deal @polimi

 

Metaverse at the cross-road between the next big thing and the next big bubble

The debate is dividing the world in meta-optimists and meta-critics. Whatever answer the metaverse wants to provide to humanity, the discriminating factor for its success will be the question it answers. And the managerial challenge an historic turning point.

 

Lucio Lamberti, Professor of Marketing and Scientific Director of the Metaverse Marketing Lab, School of Management Politecnico di Milano

 

In recent months, the discussion on the metaverse as a technological, economic and social phenomenon has been experiencing a time of turmoil and debate. On one side, the advocates of a metaverse-centric vision foresee a future in which we will wear virtual reality headsets for several hours a day, living a kind of parallel experience in one or more virtual universes. On the other, those who observe the numbers that metaverse platforms such as The Sandbox and Decentraland are moving (a few hundred or thousand individual users each month, after a period of enormous growth even in the virtual land prices in the last two years) already predict the third extended reality bubble after Second Life and following the announcement of the launch of Google Glass.

As often happens in this kind of debate, both positions probably contain elements of truth and elements more open to question. It is indeed true that a metaverse economy (and its finance) exists: in 2021 JPMorgan estimated a turnover of 54 billion dollars spent on direct-to-avatar purchases (skins, experiences and similar) bought on gaming platforms such as Roblox or Fortnite by a population of nearly half a billion regular users. Last year not only did Facebook change its name to Meta, going ‘all-in’ with regards to the future of the Metaverse, but Microsoft made a bid for Activision Blizzard for around 69 billion dollars, with the declared intention of strengthening its design skills in 3D digital experiences in view of the development of this market, and a total of 80 billion dollars was invested in Web 3.0 and Metaverse companies.

Numerous businesses and industrial groups are buying companies that design video games and hiring 3D programmers to develop their ability to offer immersive experiences to their clients, but also to their future talent (indeed, one of the most successful areas of application of the 3D web has been precisely recruiting and job interviews). On the other hand, in addition to the aforementioned problems in penetrating virtual second life platforms, there is also evident turbulence typical of pure financial speculation in the world of NFTs, virtual real estate and cryptocurrencies and we are likely beginning to notice that the production of content for the immersive web is currently very challenging.   The parallels that some feared between the development of social networks and the development of the metaverse are less obvious than they might seem: social platforms clearly experienced exponential and extremely rapid development thanks to a very limited cost of content creation, which has engendered a virtuous cycle of production and presence on the part of the users.  In the case of the metaverse, the cost of content production is (at least for the moment) much higher. And the metaverse critics tend to emphasise the fact that the technology enablers behind the alleged paradigm shift are not themselves actually new (virtual reality has been an established field for at least 30 years) and that the previous attempts at mass diffusion of 3D technology failed (primarily films and TV).

In short, positions are conflicting, the hype is huge, as is the confusion, given that the  definition of the metaverse itself, its differences from web 3.0, augmented reality and mixed reality (real and virtual) are somewhat fluid.  Therefore, in order to analyse what this global interest could be, it’s worth taking a step back and sharing some thoughts on the 3D web and the immersive digital experiences as applied in our lives.

From a sociological perspective, we should examine if and to what extent there is the need for these applications. And the answer is that there are areas which could greatly benefit from them, such as education, which during the years of the pandemic saw an exponential increase in online learning, discovering the ground-breaking potential for breaking down access barriers, but also the limits in terms of experience if limited to the two-dimensionality of video conference systems.  Or tourism, which could leverage immersiveness and digital copies of cities to promote preview experiences and post-visit follow-up, extending contact with visitors.  Or in the B2B sphere, there is the opportunity to develop virtual words which, with the help of artificial intelligence, offer precise replications of real situations for the purpose of simulating actions (for example surgeries or particularly delicate maintenance operations) and assessing the results, or even seeing them replicated in real life by robots or connected devices. Or even in an organisational or R&D environment for the creation of knowledge-sharing spaces that are more user-friendly and ‘welcoming’, in order to maximise creativity, production or interactivity among participants.

But the fact that these needs exist is not reason enough for the solutions developed to actually have real application. In order for this to happen, the experiences of individuals in these situations must be able to achieve better results than the physical or two-dimensional digital alternatives, in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, pleasure, safety, etc. On this front too, the answers are still emerging; and, whilst it is true that a large body of literature suggests that immersion could foster the development of in-the-zone experiences – that is, experiences capable of maximising learning despite a perception of effortlessness – it is equally true that this potential effect strongly depends on the ways in which the experiences themselves are created and proposed.

For this reason – with regards to marketing applications – the School of Management at the Politecnico di Milano has launched an initiative called Metaverse Marketing Lab which seeks to study two elements: on one hand, the state of art on offer in this type of experience in marketing on a national and international level, in order to understand what is actually available and the results achieved;  on the other, the study of users’ reactions to these experiences including through applied neuroscience expertise in the Physiology, Emotion and Experience Lab (PhEEL), which analyses the user experience of individuals through objective measurement of biological signals.

In conclusion, although still in the very early stages of development of the topic, there are some considerations that can be advanced.

Firstly, there is much debate on the subject of platforms and possible metaverses and, while many companies draw on centralised and decentralised platforms to tap into the already existing audiences, many others develop their own metaverse.

It is at least desirable that, in the long run, the issue of interoperability among these worlds – at least in terms of technology enablers and communication protocols – take centre stage.

Secondly, while it has been stated that there are various cases of potential need, this is not sufficient to identify a profile of usefulness of the solutions already developed; this means that the success and, even before that, the very reason for the existence of a solution developed by an organisation in the metaverse depends on the type and relevance of the problem it aims to solve. Very often, technology enablers lead economic agents to develop solutions without specifying the problem they are solving, and this has always been the main cause of failure in innovation initiatives.

Finally, focusing on marketing applications, it should be noted that the persistence of a brand’s presence in a metaverse, whatever it may be, requires an even greater capacity than with web 1.0 and web 2.0 for continuous content creation. It is no coincidence that the companies that are riding the wave of the metaverse with consistency and continuity are often content creation and entertainment companies with initiatives linked to the launch of new films or series. Businesses are structurally geared to the creation of products and services, and not to the creation of content, and this is why they have delegated this activity over time to an ever-growing system of agencies and third parties.

Most likely, one of the great challenges of the metaverse for businesses will be the ability to develop in-house content creation processes, and this would be to all effects a revolution in business models, changing the system of relationships with the market, key in-house assets and resources, and the system of key partners for the development of the value proposition.

How to cultivate future skills for advanced and sustainable manufacturing?

 

IoT, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and collaborative robots (cobots) are today present in many production sites and are quickly transforming the manufacturing industry. Despite this, working in a factory remains intrinsically a matter of people, whose skills should evolve at the same pace as the technological innovation.

 

Sergio Terzi, Professor of Industrial Technologies, School of Management Politecnico di Milano

 

The manufacturing industry – the classic factory – is a rapidly changing environment. Markets are increasingly more competitive and complex, demanding tighter turnarounds, more variety, more innovation. Many consumers have also – finally – become mindful of the new consumption styles, more sustainable and less impactful on the environment and society. Factories have to find a way to meet these demands.  Or rather, factory managers (fortunately machines alone do nothing yet) must implement changes, creating agile, efficient, modern, clean, sustainable and safe work spaces and environments.

Moreover, the continuous pressure of technological innovation, especially digital, presses at the factory doors – as it does everywhere. Computers, tablets and smartphones are, today, everyday objects, even in production departments, for which we must find a way to use them intelligently and efficiently as well as safely and reliably.

Therefore, factories must change. Or rather, factories are already changing. It is no coincidence that for more than a decade there has been much talk – not only by professionals, but also in the media and in politics – of a new industrial revolution (3,4,5…), of a manufacturing renaissance, of boosting industrial investments, etc. And the revolution is actually happening, one step at a time, one project at a time, one company at a time.

Even close to us, in productive Lombardy, many factories are undergoing transformation. A series of public incentives (the Industria 4.0, Impresa 4.0 and Transizione 4.0 National Plans and the most recent, the NRRP) as well as a large availability of technological solutions have certainly generated a big push towards modernisation.  IoT, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, cobots (who work side by side with humans, not instead of them) are today present in many production sites close to us, into which our graduates enter profitably.  And the same thing is also happening further away, in all national and international territories which have an industrial vocation.  The factory is really changing, and fast too!

However, a factory is not only made of machines, robots and parts to be produced, but also, and above all, of people. Workers, technicians, engineers, department, line and plant managers etc. A factory is such precisely because of its “industrial” organisation, in which different skills come together effectively to produce goods and services to bring to market. The manufacturing industry – from ‘manu facere’, made by hand – is intrinsically a matter of people, of their skills and of their intelligence.  Not everyone is born with all of the necessary skills to navigate complex environments. In fact, the majority of us have to gain experience and knowledge to be able to engage with sophisticated organisations. Even ‘digital’ natives are not born with chips, but learn digital technology from their own daily experiences.  Therefore, skills are to be acquired. The modern factory requires skills not traditionally considered relevant to industrial engineers and technicians’ normal training (from negotiating skills to computer technology). These skills must therefore be provided to both new and ‘old’ generations.  The modern technical university – such as ours – is not exempt from this requirement and must inevitably become a more ‘multidisciplinary’ environment than that which we have been accustomed to in the past.

The current situation calls for ‘fresh’ technical skills which must be constantly maintained (computer science, to name one, evolves quickly). Moreover, it often calls for handling multivariate contexts, in which one should have a good ability to see connections between different aspects (e.g., technology, processes, business, needs, etc.) as well as a certain predisposition to continuous adjustment. It also requires a certain pragmatism as well as an aptitude for ‘getting your hands dirty’ (experimenting, modelling, simulating, prototyping, programming, etc.).  To provide these skills the methods and means of education themselves must change.

For some time now our School has been rising to the challenge of providing new skills for a new world. There are many examples in our courses and programmes, but here we think it is interesting to delineate the experience of our  Teaching Factory Industry 4.0, which has been present in our School since 2017. It is a physical space, in front of our Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, where we have installed a small digital and connected factory.  There is a semi-automated assembly line, two cobots, two independent workstations, an AGV, different devices for monitoring production and a complete 3D simulator (digital twin).

The Teaching Factory was designed to bring training and application together in the same space, as well as to test new operating models (plant simulation). It is an environment populated by students and researchers and is also used for key courses on production systems in the first year of the degree programme. In 2018, we dedicated the Teaching Factory to our late mentor, prof. Marco Garetti, who was one of the founders of our department’s industrial engineering group and a passionate teacher.

Thanks to the Teaching Factory Industry 4.0 we are able to help our students with pragmatic technology learning, in an environment which closely simulates the reality of modern industrial companies.

The experience gained from the Teaching Factory Industry 4.0 was also very useful when our university implemented the larger project Made – Competence Center Industria 4.0, which is located on the Bovisa Campus in Milan, not far from our School.

As a department, we have strongly contributed to this broader project, which is proving to be a useful method for disseminating the skills required by the new industrial evolution, not just amongst our students, but also in companies.

NEXT GENERATION UPP: a project to improve the justice system in Northwest Italy

NEXT GENERATION UPP seeks to provide a more efficient method for managing judicial affairs and thus help reduce the backlog and the average length of judicial proceedings.

 

NEXT GENERATION UPP is coordinated by the University of Turin in partnership with eleven universities in Northwest Italy – including the Politecnico di Milano with the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering and the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies. The project is promoted by the Ministry of Justice within the framework of the NOP on Governance and Institutional Capacity 2014-2020 and carried out in synergy with the interventions envisaged by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) in support of justice reform.

Next Generation UPP aims to improve the justice system in Northwest Italy through the strengthening of Trial Offices (UPP), technological innovation, and trialling new collaborative schemes between universities and judicial offices. It is aimed at courts in the Macro Area 01, which includes the Appeal Courts of Brescia, Genoa, Milan and Turin, the Courts and the Juvenile Courts of the corresponding districts.

In particular the working group from the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, led by Prof. Giancarlo Vecchi, is mapping the organisation of the Trial Office at the Appeal Court and the Court of Milan.
The analysis seeks to show in detail the organisational solutions put in place, the strengths and weaknesses and the impact in terms of reduction of backlog and disposition time, i.e., the time taken to reach final determination in judicial proceedings. In addition, it will design and trial innovative organisational solutions to consolidate, strengthen and transfer the obtained results.

The project, launched on 1 April 2022, will be concluded on 30 September 2023.


For more information:
Prof. Giancarlo Vecchi: giancarlo.vecchi@polimi.it

Food Policy. The fifth district hub against food waste opens

A new collection and storage centre for surplus food from various large-scale distribution chains to expand the network of district hubs that are taking action against food waste, set up by the City of Milan in collaboration with local partners and associations.

 

The new Centre Hub, which officially opened today, is located on the premises of Associazione IBVA, on Via Santa Croce 15, next to Solidando, the social market that has been committed to fighting food poverty for years.

Alongside the Gallarate, Isola and Lambrate Hubs, as well as the Foody Hub in the Milan agri-food market, the opening of the Centre Hub signifies a new point of contact in the City of Milan’s network that is fighting against food waste and supporting food aid initiatives in the city – a network which has already been awarded the Earthshot Prize in 2021 and is setting an international standard.

The opening of the Centre Hub was possible thanks to a tried and tested public-private partnership model. In particular, the initiative has been promoted by the City of Milan’s Food Policy department, IBVA, Municipality 1, Fondazione Cariplo, Assolombarda and the Politecnico di Milano through their Food Sustainability Observatory. The Hub was created thanks to the generous contributions of the Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Milano. A fair and green product collection and delivery service will be provided thanks to the partnership with So.De, the socially-conscious, supportive and sustainable delivery service.


District Hubs against food waste: statistics

A total of four hubs are already active throughout the Milan area: the Hub in Zone 4 at Foody – Milan’s agri-food market – which represents the evolution of the Fruit and Vegetable Hub, developed during the 2020 lockdown and thanks to which 138 tonnes of fresh produce were distributed over eight weeks; the Isola district Hub (Zone 9); the Lambrate Hub (Zone 3); the Gallarate Hub (Zone 8).

The initiative’s data monitoring is carried out thanks to its collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano’s Food Sustainability Observatory, as well as the support of Assolombarda with the Isola, Lambrate and Gallarate Hubs, and its collaboration with the University of Milan for the Foody Hub.

In 2021, the two hubs that had been set up in the Isola and Lambrate districts collected a total of over 170 tonnes of food, equating to about 340,000 meals. In the first half of 2022, these two hubs were also joined by the Gallarate and Foody hubs, which in the first six months of that year alone collected 130 tonnes, equating to over 260,000 meals.

In total, more than 3,000 households have been helped thanks to the work of the district hubs and the cooperation of a dozen brands involved across almost thirty outlets.

New PhD Scholarships funded by PNRR

 

The Politecnico di Milano announced 211 PhD scholarships funded with funds provided by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), among  which there will be 17 topic scholarships assigned for the Management Engineering PhD Programme in the following areas:

  • Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Sustainability & Circular Economy
  • Space
  • Smart Cities
  • Energy Transition & Environmental Impact

Detailed list is available at “Admissions and Scholarships“.

The calls for the assignment of scholarships are available at:

https://www.dottorato.polimi.it/en/prospective-phd-candidates/calls-and-regulations/calls-starting-november-2022/pnrr-calls

The online application deadline is 12 September 2022, at 14:00 CEST

 

Talents and the challenges for education: published the new issue of SOMe Magazine

The world of education is evolving very quickly: thanks also to the innovations offered by digital tools, we are experiencing new platforms, new dynamics between trainers and students, a whole new experience in classrooms, both online and physical.

We investigate what we can expect for the future of education in the new issue of SOMe: from the evolution of teaching in undergraduate courses but also in open programs, to its effectiveness, to the need for new skills for trainers, the challenges are presented by Marika Arena, Antonella Moretto, Tommaso Buganza, Mara Soncin and Tommaso Agasisti.

In “Stories” we tell about two research projects aimed respectively at improving the living conditions of people with visual impairments and at monitoring the well-being of young people during sport activities. Finally we share an international networking experience between young European researchers.

To read SOMe #9 click here.

To receive it directly in your inbox, sign up here.

Here are the previous issues:

  • #8 “The challenge of pursuing impact in research”
  • #7 “From data science to data culture: the emergence of analytics-powered managers”
  • #6 “Innovation with a human touch”
  • #5 “Inclusion: shaping a better society for all”
  • #4 “Multidisciplinarity: a new discipline”
  • #3 “New connections in the post-covid era”
  • #2 “Being entrepreneurial in a high-tech world”
  • Special Issue Covid-19 – “Global transformation, ubiquitous responses”
  • # 1 “Sustainability – Beyond good deeds, a good deal?”

The students of the “Invest in Foreign Markets” Lab among the best in the international “X-Culture” competition

X Culture, the international business-themed challenge, this year saw the participation of 6,188 students from 171 universities and 53 different countries, divided into 1032 mixed teams. As in every edition, students are asked to collaborate remotely for 8 weeks in the realization of a real internationalization project for one of the four Italian companies selected by Alibaba.com that have subscribed to X-Culture.

The 44 students of the “Invest in foreign markets” Lab of the Master’s programme in Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering participated in the competition and were distributed to international teams by working remotely with colleagues from foreign universities. At the end of the competition, 12 students from the Politecnico di Milano distributed in 3 groups won the “Best Team” award, awarded both for the excellent peer-to-peer evaluations they received and for the quality of the final reports they produced, which represent real business plans to support the internationalization of the companies involved.

In addition to this, the Politecnico di Milano also distinguished itself with the “Best Instructor” award, which was awarded to prof. Stefano Elia, supported by Alessio Di Marco and Ludovico Benetel, for the commitment and professionalism with which the students were coordinated in carrying out their project, allowing them to also obtain prizes for the “Best Team”.

Awarded students:

Gabriele Capobianco
Giuseppe Carrabino
Andrea Cigognini
Federico De Cosmo
Sofia Monica Di Vincenzo
Emma Maria Antonietta Rosa
Francesco Faugno
Alessandro Gastaldo
Simone Gianotti
Martina Mauri
Beatrice Raimondi
Mercedes Maria Ugarte Herrero

For further details:

Awards, for the projects and the winning students

Best educators