28 September 2017

Awarded the winners of the 'I AM FCA Innovation Award for Millennials' contest


The prize-giving ceremony of the "I AM FCA - Innovation Award Millennials by FCA" contest, created by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and targeted to the students of the bachelor and master programmes of Economics of six university located in Central and Southern Italy, took place today the ancient seat of Capua of the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli". Over 1300 students took part in the contest, which collected ideas and innovative suggestions to investigate how the millennials imagine the "car of the future".
The winners were named in front of about 300 youths from the six universities (University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, University of Molise, University of Chieti-Pescara "Gabriele d'Annunzio", University of Bari "Aldo Moro" and University of Basilicata). Six won an on-the-job training opportunity in an FCA Plant in the Centre-South of Italy, while six others won a safe driving course on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Balocco Proving Grounds.
As last time, the students were invited to answer a few questions in four thousand words or less: "How do you image cars in 15 years time?", "What would you do with your car if you could?", "What do you think car manufacturers should do to improve your life?" and "Music, social network and digital life: how can cars improve your experience?".
The winners of the six-month on-the-job training opportunity in an FCA Plant in the Centre-South of Italy were:
Federico Cirillo - nineteen-year-old from the University of Chieti-Pescara "Gabriele d'Annunzio", for his project on clean cars provided with personal ID for connecting to the outside world to facilitate mobility and dematerialise bureaucracy.
Denise Di Bernardo - young student from the University of Bari "Aldo Moro", who spoke about safe, eco-compatible cars which interact with the user through a driver assistant.
Antonella Occhionero - twenty-one years old, from the University of Molise, imagined cars made of bio-degradable materials which take care of occupants and which are truly social with connections and webcam.
Giuseppe Russo - a young student from the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", who placed the accent on safety and comfort aboard, with systems for preventing drunk driving and achieving a high level of integration between car and occupants.
Roberta Santarsiero - from the University of Basilicata, spoke about eco-sustainability, with a focus on disabled users and onboard comfort, in addition to being equipped with a WiFi system which automatically configures the profiles of the occupants.
Daniele Tribuzio - from the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio believes that cars will be able to adapt to the driver's needs, becoming "smart vehicles" which integrate, and even replace, smartphones.
The six students who won safe driving courses were Fabrizio Cundari (Bari), Francesca Di Chiara (Napoli), Marco Di Scanno (Cassino), Domenico Gagliardi (Chieti-Pescara), Vito Donato Sabia (Basilicata) and Diana Salottolo (Molise).
During the ceremony, speeches were given by Professor Mario Sorrentino (teacher of Business Planning and Start-Ups at the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Director of Start up Lab and Scientific Director of the project), Giorgio Cornacchia (FCA Product Development Manager EMEA area and Fiat Research Centre AD, member of the Innovation Board who examined the projects) and Carmine D'Agresti (HR Manager, Cassino Plant).
"The Open Innovation project promoted by FCA was hugely successful in terms of participation and involvement of the students", declared Mario Sorrentino. "The contribution of the six universities to the success of the activity was high and the contest was an opportunity for the students to come into contact with a major industrial activity such as FCA."
"A clear picture of the values which guide our future customers is apparent from the submitted projects: respect for the environment, the desire to save time, focus on comfort and individual needs, being members of a community and wanting to express oneself through a car", declared Cornacchia. "I read all your submissions very carefully and I was impressed by the enthusiasm with which they were presented", he added.
D'Agresti focused instead on the role of Human Resources in the project. "It is fundamental for a company like FCA to establish and maintain close contacts with universities", he declared. "Only in this way will it be possible to improve the innovative processes of our organisation and help young people to access employment as leaders".
By the side of the ceremony, the courtyard of the former Dame Monache convent (the original parts of which are said to date back to the ninth-tenth century), seat of the Department of Economics of the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", were peacefully invaded by students from the six universities who could experience what innovating the automotive world actually means. Innovation Corners were set up to demonstrate the state-of-the-art design technology of FCA. The students could get into a 124 Spider Abarth in a virtual reality station and found two Fiat 500X in the corners dedicated to assisted braking simulation and prototype configuration using a smartphone. An Alfa Romeo 4C cut-out section invited participants to discover the secrets of the sporty car, while students could read their vital functions at the wheel of a Fiat Panda "Sim". Finally, an appropriately prepared Jeep Renegade was used by a firemen crew to demonstrate how to safety extract passengers in case of an accident. In two Recruiting Corners, participants were given tips to improve their LinkedIn profiles by Human Resource experts and could experience a simulated interview in a Fiat 124 Spider and an Abarth 595 Pista.
Guest of honour of the day was Manuela Migliaccio, testimonial of the FCA Autonomy Project, who told the students about her experience and about how fundamental it is, in work and in college, to never give up and set oneself new and more ambitious objectives. Incidentally, Manuela established the world record of the longest distance ever in an exoskeleton by walking 15 kilometres along the beach in Rimini.


Torino, 28 September 2017



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