Enterprise and Research Join Forces for Technological Innovation at the Galileo Festival

14 October 2022

From the 14th to 16th October, the city of Padua will be hosting the tenth Galileo Festival, a three-day event focused on the important themes of innovation and technology transfer and the prospects sustainable development can offer to citizens and the planet. 

Directed by Giovanni Caprara, one of Italy’s most authoritative scientific reporters, the Galileo Festival will be presenting a series of public forums in which experts, scientists and entrepreneurs will be discussing three key topics related to the new frontiers of technological innovation: the space economy, robotics and artificial intelligence, and the applications of biotechnology in medicine.

On the occasion of the event, Giovanni Caprara led three video interviews with Franco Ongaro, Leonardo’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Carlo Cavazzoni, Head of Computational R&D and HPC Leonardo Lab, and Luigi Pasquali, CEO of Telespazio, in which they discussed the Leonardo Group’s work and the prospects for scientific and technological research in the fields of Aerospace, Defence and Security.

Franco Ongaro believes that some of the greatest challenges for technological innovation that Leonardo is currently facing revolve around two key issues: sustainability (particularly decarbonisation), and the development of the digital capabilities that will revolutionise the design and production of new products and services. As Ongaro notes, Leonardo has set up a network of laboratories (Leonardo Labs) to conduct basic research into issues of fundamental importance for the future: high performance computing, big data, artificial intelligence, advanced materials and electrification. An ecosystem of innovation that will also rely on solid partnerships with universities and research centres, as well as supporting start-ups in the company’s areas of interest, and sponsorship of PhD programmes.

Carlo Cavazzoni discusses the potential of the davinci-1 supercomputer installed at the Leonardo Lab in Genoa, one of the world’s most powerful Aerospace and Defence supercomputers. In fact, the system’s supercomputing power can now design using digital twins and, for example, simulate different types of aircraft architecture, predict how they will function and assess their impact prior to construction of the actual prototype. A development that will subsequently help reduce turnaround times and resources. The supercomputer can also boost cybersecurity systems by processing cyberattack data in real time to improve the system’s reactivity. Furthermore, Cavazzoni underlines how the supercomputer can be made available to other entities outside the company, cooperating with other computing power centres in the area to respond to a variety of needs, ranging from the study of new pharmaceuticals to the creation of a digital twin of the Earth to manage the territory and natural resources.

Luigi Pasquali explains how “Space technologies have been recognised as one of the most important weapons in the fight against climate change and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals”. Pasquali also underlines how global monitoring is made possible through the integration of a variety of different elements, such as onboard satellite technologies (e.g. radar, optical, and hyperspectral); data from other types of sensors or information networks (e.g. social media), and digital technology (e.g. artificial intelligence algorithms and big data analysis), which can collect, process and extract vast amounts of data to respond to, or even prevent, climatic and environmental emergencies. He concludes that the future lies in lunar telecommunications and talks about Telespazio’s work to take connectivity, navigation and orientation systems to the Moon that are comparable to those currently used on Earth, transforming our satellite into a true outpost for space exploration.