Leonardo’s technological skills win the Italian national award for innovation

28 June 2022

Leonardo received an award recognising the innovative value of the Radar Processor on Chip project, based on creating an entire radar chain within a single chip. The company’s team was honoured with the most prestigious Italian innovation award, the Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione (National Award for Innovation), coordinated by the COTEC Foundation under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic.

This team effort was to design an innovative radar architecture with a strong industrial impact. The project marks a further stage in the evolution of radar technology, which has a long tradition in the company’s history. Francesco Auriemma is Leonardo’s engineer, team leader of a working group of ten colleagues - Daniela Tedesco, Siriana Vannini, Simone Bartolini, Maria Francesca Micanti, Marianna Pizzetti, Gennaro Migliaccio, Luisa Posani, Giovanni Martino, Stefano Borra, Emanuele Leva - who presented the competition-winning project.

The innovation consists of constructing a radar chain within a single chip – with a substantial savings in the use of components - whose greatly simplified architecture offers a significant competitive advantage. The solution opens up experiments for other types of sensors and is also open to applications outside the field for which it was designed. Intended for all applications requiring low-cost, easily installable and transportable sensors, the solution directly impacts sustainability, through reduced electromagnetic signal emissions and a significantly smaller footprint than a conventional radar.

Francesco Auriemma, accompanied by Franco Ongaro, Leonardo’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, received the ‘Award of Awards’ – the most prestigious Italian innovation award established by the COTEC Foundation (Foundation for the Technological Innovation). The awards were presented in the CNR (National Research Council) conference hall by the Minister for University and Research, Maria Cristina Messa, the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, Vittorio Colao, the Minister for Public Administration, Renato Brunetta and the President of the COTEC Foundation, Luigi Nicolais.

Franco Ongaro, CTIO of Leonardo commented: “It is an honour to receive this award, which I would ideally like to share with all Leonardo’s people, engineers and technicians who are the real driving force behind the company. They are the architects of our distinctive path of technological innovation. Building on their expertise, Leonardo has initiated a broader process of partnerships and synergies with universities, research centres and start-ups, enabling many young researchers to join the company. The challenge of open innovation, a winning approach to nurture a flow of knowledge for the benefit of the company and the entire ecosystem, starts with strengthening and enhancing internal competencies”.