Milan-Cortina Olympics: digital projects for young people on board

Milan-Cortina Olympics: digital projects for young people on board

Milan-Cortina Olympics

They met in Milan to learn how to design an innovative digital service to be launched in view of the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympics. The instruments? Those of design thinking. Twenty-five undergraduates from all over Italy met in the Lombard capital to challenge each other in a hackathon organized by Cefriel, a Lombard research and training center founded in 1988 by institutional and private actors to build a bridge between university and industry. Computer science, computer engineering, management engineering the degrees selected after the "call" spread through social networks and university channels. Five groups formed by the organizers, taking care to combine skills, to provide a taste of daily life in the Milanese company.

Starting from the user's needs

The day opened with an introduction to design thinking, a methodology widely used by companies that tries to overcome the closed approach of research departments and development. "We seek innovation by placing the needs of the end user at the center and putting them into a system with technical feasibility and business requirements - explains to Gabriella Bologna, who deals with the design of digital products and services for Cefriel -. To do this, we start from an 'empathization' phase, which serves to get in touch with the end user by analyzing the context, exploring it, collecting data to identify opportunities for innovation. The definition phase follows, in which the material is focused, and then moves on to the actual solution of the problem and then to prototyping, where there is still room to collect data and improve the initial idea ".

“We like to show how we work on a daily basis - adds the head of human resources (here called chief human capital) Roberta Letorio -. For our part, there is an intention to create a relationship with these guys. You can start with a degree thesis and, why not, continue from a professional point of view ".

The average professional profile at present in Cefriel? Forty years, degree in engineering, computer science or data science, and a lot of desire to innovate. Now, however, we are looking for young people, "less influenced by technical and budget constraints and therefore able to offer unexpected ideas" continues Letorio. with the technological evolution adapting ourselves: technologies change, we remain super partes looking for the best solution from time to time. In every project there is always a study component, and this has an advantage: the training is continuous, towards what we call long term employabilit y ".

For 10 years there has been a public space in Lombardy to exchange data It is E015, the digital ecosystem created by Cefriel on the occasion of Expo. With more than 180 published APIs, 120 use cases and more than 510 continuous data exchange pairs, it is one of the most important European good practices in the sector

From airbags for motorcyclists to services for airports

Many the interesting solutions that came out of the Milanese laboratories over the years and then passed to the market: like an airbag for motorcyclists to be worn under the technical jacket and which, thanks to an algorithm, is able to halve the opening time of the balloon compared to to the most popular wire-based mechanical systems. Or the small box that can follow containers around the world by monitoring their path, temperature and humidity and, thanks to an accelerometer, detecting any trauma suffered by delicate goods, whether it is panels or high-tech components for the aerospace industry. Then there is the trend of predictive maintenance of machinery and systems, which thanks to sensors can be constantly monitored and revised on the basis of actual wear conditions, regardless of the calendar; and even a system to improve the satisfaction of airport toilet users, which records feedback and dispatches cleaning crews quickly and where needed. In short, technology applied to everyday life.

Citizens at the service of tourists: the winning idea

And the race? The five groups worked all day under the guidance of Cefriel's mentors. In the end, “SuggestMi” checked out: a digital service and app to put those who live in the Lombard capital in contact with incoming tourists. Those who offer a hand to visitors by providing advice and tips on Milanese life accumulate credits to spend on affiliated activities, but also discounts on tickets for the Olympic event.

The app will exploit part of the data published in real time on E015, the digital ecosystem of the Lombardy region. Born six years ago after Expo, E015 is a collection of Bees developed with the idea of ​​fostering digital relationships between different public and private entities, whose services can “talk to each other” in this way. More than 180 have been released so far, used in a total of 120 applications: some purely touristy, others of public utility, such as the “Emergency Dashboard”, which improves the dialogue between the operating rooms connected to the prefecture. An interesting possibility, not yet exploited to its full potential by public and private individuals.

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