CERN signs agreement with Italian business education partner

To the right of CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti, John Elkann, Vice Chairman, Agnelli Foundation and Chairman, FCA and Silvia Petocchi, Director of SAFM (Image: Sophia Elizabeth Bennett/CERN)**

A new agreement with partner SAFM (Scuola di Alta Formazione al Management (SAFM) – Institute of Higher Education in Management – in Turin, Italy) will stimulate and reinforce CERN’s entrepreneurship activities.

SAFM, a non-profit private enterprise, is supported and promoted by the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, Fondazione Edoardo Garrone and Fondazione Pirelli, together with the Collège des Ingénieurs from Paris. It specialises in business education and innovation management and provides a series of entrepreneurial programmes.

The agreement provides the framework for an ensemble of collaborations on the theme of entrepreneurship and management. On one side, CERN will become a technological and operational partner for SAFM projects, and on the other, SAFM will assist CERN in creating new relationships with industry partners, incubators and potential investors. The collaboration will involve several CERN initiatives, including the Knowledge Transfer group, IdeaSquare and the CERN & Society Foundation.

CERN and SAFM have already successfully collaborated on entrepreneurship programmes, for example the Innovation for Change (I4C) project, launched in February 2016 at IdeaSquare in CERN.

In 2016, the I4C rewarded the business ideas developed by 50 SAFM MBA students as well as graduate students of the Polytechnic of Turin. The ideas had to be based on credible innovative solutions, using available technologies to address global collective needs so that real startups could provide market solutions. The groups of interdisciplinary students – in the fields of business, tech and design, pitch their start-up ideas to a jury. In June 2016, AquaSmart, a smart grid system to help identify and solve water leakages, was announced as the winner of the Innovation for Change project. 

In 2017, I4C launched its second year programme, and will end with another start-up pitch competition at the SAFM & CDI Innovation Summit, held a few days after the agreement signature. This year’s I4C jury includes Charlotte Lindberg Warakaulle, CERN Director of International Relations, as well as members of the SAFM board of directors.

Find out more about CERN’s Entrepreneurship activities on the KT website.

**From left to right: Raghu Movva, Project manager of SAFM; Andrea Gavosto, Director of the Agnelli Foundation; Andrea Griva, Head of innovation area of the Agnelli Foundation; Silvia Petocchi, Director of SAFM; John Elkann, Vice Chairman, Agnelli Foundation and Chairman, FCA; Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General; Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN Director for International Relations; Roberto Losito, CERN Engineering Department Head; Giovanni Anelli, CERN Knowledge Transfer Group Leader.