Implementing digital transformation and increasing Leonardo’s technological and product competitiveness by focusing on data enhancement and the data-driven economy, so as to strengthen the company’s core activities. This is the aim of the new Leonardo national competence Hub for industrial digitalisation, launched in Genoa on 1 December 2021.
The initiative - which places the capital of Liguria at the centre of the Group’s strategies - was presented to the press by Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo along with Director of the High Performance Computing Leonardo Lab and Head of Computational Research and Development Carlo Cavazzoni, Head of Leonardo Research Laboratories Alessandro Massa, and Managing Director of the Leonardo’s Cyber Security Division Tommaso Profeta.
The Hub’s main competences include High Performance Computing, cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, cyber security and cyber resilience, urgent computing, and robotics.
“In Genoa, we have created a new digital competence centre addressing issues that range from computing and storage capacity to conservation which, from a cloud system perspective, make information available in a widespread manner, both to our divisions and to any other company or institution that may need it. It is truly the beating heart of Leonardo,” said Profumo. “We want to be the rock to which coral attaches itself, the enzyme that triggers a reaction, a driver of development also for the Italian industry and for Genoa in particular.”
Data management, an essential element for improving the efficiency of processes, is at the heart of Leonardo’s offer and an integral part of its products. “Being a raw material, data must be processed before transforming into a product. The key lies in supercomputing, which is the ability to process huge amounts of data and to do it quickly,” commented Cavazzoni. “There are very few places in the world where you can find such a concentration of technology and competence. Our hub is truly in a class of its own, on a national and perhaps even a global scale, in terms of the secure application of digital technologies.”
Leonardo’s drive towards digitalisation – in line with the company’s Be Tomorrow 2030 strategic plan – is based on and developed from the synergy between its key skills and infrastructures. This starts with the High Performance Computing davinci-1, which is equipped with an architecture that integrates the flexibility of the cloud with supercomputing capabilities and cyber security technologies. davinci-1 is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the Aerospace, Defence and Security sector, and a large part of the research and development of the Leonardo Labs revolves around this infrastructure.
“Supercomputing, in particular with davinci-1, has become the backbone of all our research units,” said Massa. “One of the many sectors of application is robotics, as in the case of the joint lab developed with the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, which aims to increase the autonomy of robots, make them more independent of the operator, and eventually obtain machines with reasoning skills.”
Genoa is one of the key nodes of Leonardo’s network of cyber security centres, in addition to Rome, Chieti, Florence, Milan and Bristol; these centres design and develop solutions aimed at protecting corporate information assets and strategic infrastructures and institutions from multi-domain threats, contributing to secure digitalisation. “We always keep abreast with the latest technological evolutions. At Leonardo, investment in innovation is structural,” added Profeta. “What we are doing – not only in the field of cyber security, but across the business – allows Leonardo to remain at the forefront, protecting both itself and the critical infrastructures of client countries.”