A project on circular transition funded by T.I.M.E. Association

Two research projects of the Politecnico di Milano have won a grant of 10,000 euros each as T.I.M.E. projects, one of which is coordinated by the Department of Management Economic and Industrial Engineering of the School of Management with Dr. Alessandra Neri as principal investigator.

“The role of digitalization in supporting the industrial circular transition” is the project that aims at investigating the relationship between the adoption of digital technologies and the implementation of circular economy practices within the industrial sector. The goal is to understand the supporting role offered by the digital technologies, passing from the enhancement and generation of dynamic capabilities. This would be done by conducting an international survey, providing empirical-based insights.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) are partners of the project and members of the T.I.M.E. Association. The University of the West of England (UK) and Aston University (UK) take part in the project as external members.

The T.I.M.E. Association (Top International Managers in Engineering), founded in 1989, is a network of leading technical universities and engineering schools in Europe and all over the world, with a strong international dimension in teaching, research and industrial relations. The association currently consists of 57 members in 25 countries, and the Politecnico di Milano is a member of the Advisory Committee.

Besides double degree activities, T.I.M.E. promotes a series of other initiatives, including the T.I.M.E. projects, through which the association co-finances new or existing initiatives between member universities, in which T.I.M.E. can represent an added value.

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Practicing Continuous Innovation in Digital Ecosystems

Luca Gastaldi, Associate Professor, Politecnico di Milano
Jeannette Visser-Groeneveld, Executive Secretary CINet, University of Twente
Harry Boer, Professor of Aalborg University

On 20-22 September 2020, the 21st CINet Conference on Practicing Continuous Innovation in Digital Ecosystems was held. The conference was preceded by the 20th CINet PhD workshop.

The event was hosted by the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano (Luca Gastaldi, Mariano Corso, Daniel Trabucchi, Stefano Magistretti and Rosella Onofrio) but took place virtually, due to the Corona pandemic.

The PhD workshop attracted 16 students from six different countries, who presented and discussed their research designs and early findings. Reflecting current hot topics in industry and science, the studies discussed included digital technologies, maturity and transformation, business model innovation, and digital platforms.

In the conference, the same topics were on the top of the agenda. In total, the 110 attendants from 16 countries worldwide, presented twelve papers on Value Creation in Digital Ecosystems, and an additional four papers on (Innovation in) Ecosystems. Other popular topics included Design Thinking and Continuous Innovation (eight papers), Innovation through Digitalization (eleven papers), and Healthcare Innovation (four papers). Furthermore, considering emerging societal issues in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, a special session was held on Innovation and Resilience, aimed at stimulating new research avenues and knowledge on how innovation management approaches are interlinked with resilience in organizations and how resilience can become a focal aspect in these approaches and innovation outcomes

Keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Wim Vanhaverbeke (Surrey Business School, United Kingdom) who spoke on Digital Technologies and the Role of Innovation Ecosystem Management: Examples from Agriculture and Healthcare, and Professor Roberto Verganti (Politecnico di Milano, Italy and Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden), who shared his thoughts on Data and Platforms in the New Normal.

Having an entirely virtual conference cum workshop was an entirely new experience for all participants. The digital platform created by Luca Gastaldi and his team functioned perfectly, without any glitch. The conference program was fully navigable, and gave direct access to the session rooms, the plenary rooms, and the papers collected in the conference proceedings. Attendance to the sessions was quite comparable to that of “normal”, physical, conference and the same held for the interactions between the participants.

All in all, a very and, perhaps, unexpectedly, good experience. Yet, many participants agreed that going virtual can be done quite effectively and provide a good climate for presentations and discussions, but does not exceed the benefits of face-to-face interactions. Hopefully, the 22nd CINet Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, 12-14 September 2021 brings us back to the old “normal”.

With Epson and Re Mago, MIP Politecnico di Milano has created the first Smart Classroom in Italy, geared towards collaboration and encouraging brainstorming

MIP has completed its digital classroom project. The most advanced video-projection and collaboration technology applied to the classroom delivers fully interactive and highly engaging lessons.


MIP, Politecnico di Milano’s School of Management, has completed its project to create fully digital lecture rooms, and today is inaugurating its first “special” Digital Classroom designed to share information visually and encourage brainstorming. This milestone underlines MIP’s continuous high commitment to tap into the opportunities provided by cutting-edge digital tools and offer its students the best possible learning experience.

Along with the other 13 lectures room in the Bovisa Campus equipped with similar tools, the Milan lecture room uses the most innovative technological solutions elaborated by Epson in partnership with Re Mago Ltd, a British company that worked with a largely Italian development team to create visual collaboration and brainstorming software, ideal for Smart Classrooms and Smart Working. This software can be used to share, add notes and present digital material (text, sound, graphics, video, links) and information in real-time using any personal or mobile device physically in the lecture room or connected remotely. All these actions are simple and intuitive, backed by a software user-interface designed with even the least keen technology user in mind.

The Smart Classroom has eight Epson EB-710U interactive laser video-projectors arranged in pairs along its four sides, transforming it into four shared work areas where teacher and students can write, share, take notes and modify documents, with every step being recorded, and everything saved at the end of each session, to retain a complete and fully usable digital copy.

In the words of Federico Frattini, Associate Dean for Digital Transformation: “MIP as a school of management is addressing the business world’s needs through specialised post-graduate and post-experience training courses, designed for people who are already embarking on their professional careers. By creating our Smart Classrooms, we intend to give our teachers and students ever more interactive, modern and engaging means for working together in the classroom.”

What is a Smart Classroom and how does it work?

In the educational and corporate worlds alike, the challenge for true and optimal collaboration is to ensure that all the parties involved can act using all the tools and functions available in a simple, intuitive and user-friendly way that does not upset their own personal methods of working but instead gives them that extra help and support.

Each of the two video-projectors placed along the four Smart Classroom walls can be used to project a range of material (for example, the teacher’s lesson and the students input) or to create a single large working area. In either case, the entire projected area is interactive, and people can join in using the pens provided with the video-projectors or even their fingers (using the Finger Touch function). Or, if they are connected remotely, they can write on their own devices – smartphones, tablets or PCs – connected via cloud to the session.

In this way, the area can be used for brainstorming sessions, for drawing and for sharing all sorts of files (images, videos, pdf files, MS Office documents, links to internet sites), and also for browsing purposes and to access and present apps. The full complexity of AI services (machine learning) is hidden behind simple tools, like Re Mago’s “Lasso Tool”. These advanced tools can, for example, recognise and suggest vector images that are as close as possible to the user’s original free-hand drawing, and these images are then used in presentations. Other special functions like recognition software for writing (OCR) and geometric shapes as well as online searches for images, videos and websites are all at the user’s fingertips or at their verbal request. The outcome of the search just needs to be dragged onto the work area for it to be used and consulted. Files can easily be shared between (to and from) any local storage system or cloud service.

Another benefit is that, during or at the end of a lesson, participants do not have to take photos of the work area or take notes, because the complete record of what was done (including sketches, notes, files, audio and video recordings etc.) can be saved, stored and shared through a number of channels.