Coming to an end on 21st January is the 2020 multi-corporate programme promoted by the ELIS Consortium to promote Open Innovation between companies and start-ups. The Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group is a protagonist along with RFI, Italferr and nugo.

During the collaborative workshop day, it is possible to share the co-innovation experiences of the newly-completed edition as well as access information and debates revolving around projects with a strong impact on the FS world.

Below are the Group’s co-innovation projects presented.

UIC Future of work and training 2020

With the start-up InstanTechnologies, FS Italiane’s International HR Business Partner has devised a project for the creation of a dynamic observatory able to highlight the trends of the railway industry through an analysis of clustered web sources based on predefined scenarios: worldwide, railway industry and UIC Panel. This analysis was conducted through the use of tools owned by the start-up, based on Artificial Intelligence that synthesised and related information in order to provide a comparison of pre- and post-Covid-19 trends, all easily accessible through the specific dashboard implemented as part of the PoC (Proof of Concept).


The project that RFI is developing together with ELIS and the start-up Windcity concerns the use of wind microturbines with variable geometry and vertical axes, designed and patented by the start-up. The turbines can be in close proximity to the railway tracks, so as to take advantage not only of the prevalent natural windiness of the site but also the turbulence generated by the passage of trains, or else on other RFI assets such as stations and stops. Using proprietary software simulations, field measurements and wind tunnel experiments, optimal installation parameters have been defined to maximise electric energy production. Validation of this technology can pave the way for large-scale applicable energy efficiency with positive impacts on the environment and the cost of the system, aiming to increase the share of green energy and accelerate the decarbonisation quota of the railway system.


Together with ELIS and the start-up BE-Link, RFI has developed this project that aims to render efficient the initial reconnaissance and verification phase of the railway line in the event of traffic anomalies, exploiting the speed and flexibility of fixed-wing drones in order to reduce time and speed up the processes of inspection and the return to normal operation on the line. The project includes the evaluation of the potential of the intervention of fixed-wing drones when handling the abnormality, to quickly reach the area and identify the exact point of the incident, noting its nature so as to promptly inform the operating rooms remotely, involve maintenance agents and make the most suitable traffic management decisions in a short time. Development of the solution can reduce delays and the subjection to the movement of trains for the benefit of all rail system users and stakeholders, whilst also reflecting on the costs of the operation.


Conceived by Italferr and co-designed together with the start-up Own Your Business, the application leverages the integration of blockchain technology into the BIM (Building Information Modelling) design to certify the provenance, ownership and integrity of data in the BIM production transfer process. By associating the data and metadata with specific digital identities, it is possible to authenticate the origin and integrity of BIM information models and their extractions on the blockchain platform, validating the entire workflow, including outward data transfer to guarantee the quality, transparency and security of the whole process for all stakeholders and with a view to protecting corporate know-how.

Reccommender system

With the University of Salerno, nugo developed the Recommender System that analyses the customer’s interest in destinations within the Italian territory, suggesting sites to visit, ranking attractions and restaurants to try in accordance with the season.

Due to the Covid-19 health emergency, the Proof of Concept that Italferr activated with the start-up Guardian on the digitisation of the construction sites was momentarily suspended, in anticipation of the fieldwork resuming, just as the development of some RFI projects has suffered severe slowdowns.