Federated Innovation

Business Networking
Engine designed to 
accelerate the innovation 
creation process within the MIND ecosystem


The Federated Innovation @MIND initiative promoted by AstraZeneca for the future of healthcare

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Collaborare per competere, il modello Federated Innovation @MIND per lo sviluppo del sistema Paese

Start Date 07/03/2023, 15:30-18:15, Palazzo Wedekind in Rome and in Live streaming 

Federated Innovation @MIND is organising the event “Collaborare per competere, il modello Federated Innovation @MIND per lo sviluppo del sistema Paese” with the aim of introducing to national institutions the public-private collaborative model on which the network is based, as well as the companies and innovation initiatives already underway, in order to create and consolidate relationships that bring value to the development of the country system .

Managers, ministers, and representatives of the European Commission will discuss the importance of bringing together public entities and private companies in a virtuous environment , and how the PNRR can become a real tool for the growth of the country system.

The event, in Media partnership with AdnKronos , is open to the press.

Our Value Proposition


Sharing of resources, technologies and programmes to stimulate and sustain innovation initiatives development


Unique policies, strategies and processes to promote a true “collaborate to compete” model


An horizontal leadership model that creates an entrepreneurial culture and new synergies for growth


Innovation cannot be confused with a set of uncoordinated, anarchic endeavours. Federated Innovation ecosystem’s focuses on emerging and shared innovation priorities summarized in innovation agendas like an archer aims at his target and it coordinates collective efforts like the archer strikes its arrows.

Each ecosystem will ultimately focus its endeavors towards the definition of few over- arching innovation pillars that provide the context for the whole innovation initiatives portfolio and connect them with the host region and city priorities.

At the Innovation Alliance level, the ecosystem members must establish a clear and transparent governance that is able to define, coordinate and consolidate the district’s innovation agenda. At the Thematic Area level, the “Focus to succeed“ principle drives the development of innovation agendas, the selection of innovation initiatives, projects and players.

Amidst global warming, pandemic diseases and technological advancements, at MIND, Innovation Alliance Members that compose the top layer of the ecosystem commit to find the innovative responses to the quest for “City of the Future” and the “Future of Health”. At MIND, the City of The Future and the Future of Health represent the two building blocks of the ecosystem and all innovation projects originate from them. Specifically, the role of Innovation Alliance Members is to design and establish an ad-hoc innovation agenda underpinned by these two themes. The Innovation Alliance is coordinated by two Ambassadors, who focus respectively on the Design of the City of The Future and the Future of Health.

When Raffaello painted the School of Athens, he aimed to realize a timeless painting by capturing the world’s greatest individual excellences in a single fresco. Just like the School of Athens, Federated Innovation aims at reuniting diverse best-in-class innovative corporations, research institutions, subject matter experts and service providers in a single and compact physical space in which they are free to pursue collaborative innovative endeavours.

Federated Innovation is an ensemble of top-performers picked from a wide range of sectors with a recognized track-record in innovation. Each candidate is assessed against both qualitative and quantitative criteria in order to gain a comprehensive view of the respective excellence provided by each corporation.

During the selection process, Federated Innovation has the two-fold objective of onboarding both elite and diverse organizations. Excellence attracts excellence. This simple principle guarantees long-term sustainability and growth for the Federated Innovation Model. The high quality of results delivered by each Thematic Area shapes the capacity of the ecosystem to proportionally attract top-tier corporations to join the Federated Innovation’s revolution.

Diversity in the context of Federated Innovation is achieved by facilitating synergies among a group of talents from various backgrounds. This is the perfect dough for mixed and talented ecosystem’s layers able to generate unprecedented solutions.

The MIND ecosystem hosts major corporations focused on solving critical problems by getting involved in revolutionary research to achieve tangible and implementable results.
Aiming at excellence should be an essential component of each project cultivated and nurtured at MIND and pushing all the individuals involved in longer and deeper commitments day-by-day.

The Excellence & Diversity principle does not only drive core innovation activities, but it also applies to the selection of suppliers within the Service Catalog offerings, which are thoroughly shortlisted by the Innovation Catalyst at MIND.

One of Federated Innovation’s guiding principles can be briefly summarized with the idea that ‘the future depends on what you do today’. As a matter of fact, the belief at the heart of the Model is to act as ambassadors of the future in the present day by turning utopian and far-reaching ideas into a mix of incremental and breakthrough innovations that will ultimately deliver a tangible impact.

Each and every single Federated Innovation district has chosen different innovation agendas with diverse priorities that depend on the host-ecosystem prerogatives and innovation needs. However, the common trait of all Federated Innovation arenas is that during the process of selecting innovation initiatives for each distinctive Thematic Area, there will be a portfolio of short-term and long-term innovation projects that will transition from an idealistic concept/idea into a solid and actionable reality.

When thinking, reflecting and doing innovation at MIND, the design for the city of the future and the future of health is the logical scenario for every innovation initiative. Perhaps for this reason, Federated Innovation at MIND is called to fill a leading role in understanding, conceiving and building innovative responses to the socio, political and economic turmoil caused by COVID-19. The Model, being an ambassador of the future in the present day is already swiftly adjusting itself to this new scenario and is aiming to introduce a new Thematic Area dedicated to understanding, examining and outlining what the ‘new normal’ will look like following the emergency.

Federated Innovation Model can be envisioned as a large round table in which rules are defined by the participants. Transparency represents a key pillar in lowering the barriers to entry and achieving openness. Transparency at Federated Innovation is the access to information while openness is the right to participation and autonomous decision-making.

Transparency advocates the availability of the relevant information about innovation agendas and initiatives to the entire Innovation District, from Layer 1 to Layer 5, in full respect of proprietary rights. The shared governance allows the different entities ranging from Layer-1 to Layer-3 to set their rules and take decisions autonomously, thus allowing the ecosystem to adjust and self-regulate towards a common goal. Roles, prerogatives and benefits of each Layer are clear and unambiguous. The self-regulated nature of the Model does require continuous facilitation by the Ambassadors of the Innovation Alliance (Layer 1) and of the Thematic Areas (Layer 2), whose job is to connect and manage the existence of the ecosystem at a unison.

At MIND, the principle of transparency and self-regulation has a very practical and direct application. To exemplify this, the Innovation Agendas of the Innovation Alliance and of the Thematic Areas of and every single innovation initiative that is launched within MIND’s perimeter are published onto the MIND’s digital platform and made available to all ecosystem’s members, in full respect of IP rights. This step guarantees transparency for the purpose to promote collaboration, facilitate synergies throughout the different innovation layers and give every member the possibility to attract or be acquainted with additional innovation partners that would otherwise be lost. This is what makes the model so unique as the opportunity-costs that derive from participating in innovation efforts at MIND can be invaluable both for the nascent startup eager to gain visibility and the large established corporation looking to expand its existing portfolio of capabilities.

Federated Innovation can be seen as a flower composed of many petals and each and every single one of them represent an ideal platform to conceive and execute cross-sectors innovative projects in a specific on-demand accelerator environment focused on pushing vertical innovation within a specific discipline.

Thematic Areas play a crucial role in the entire ecosystem. Within these areas, the vision of Federated Innovation is brought to reality through a portfolio of innovative projects with the collaboration of RDI partners, such as the anchors, institutional players, academia and start-ups. The leaders of each Thematic Area are responsible for selecting and funding sector-specific initiatives but, at the same time, seeking opportunities to join forces with other Thematic Areas on cross-sector endeavours. A group of Thematic Areas is a network of top-tier corporations implicated in a transparent collaboration through a constant flow of information among the participants. Each member is asked to enforce its commitment day-by-day to pursue the ultimate goal of realizing the ambitious Innovation Agenda of the District.

MIND has been designed with several Thematic Areas, designed according to the main pillars “City of the Future” and “Future of Health”. The common vision expressed by the Founders’ Alliance has envisioned each Thematic Area as the ideal setting to host ambitious projects. Agrifood, Medical devices, Pharma & Biotech and Wellness and Sport Tech compose for example the first group of Thematic Areas focused on the Future of Health. With regards to the City of the Future, the partners involved focus more on how the technological evolutions of machines and materials could deliver new value for developers. In this second category there are for example Greentech, Mobility and Logistics, Energy, Proptech, Security, and Robotics. An additional Thematic Area is going to be created to prepare companies and societies to face important periods of crisis and how leverage the opportunity to reinvent the traditional solutions.

Federated Innovation is an agile and flexible model that intends to reduce the magnitude of bureaucratic processes in order to bolster collaboration and creativity throughout the journey of each and every Innovation Initiative.

Agile innovation implies the adoption of principles like rapid prototyping and delivers minimum valuable products (MVPs) to shorten time to market and remove self-inflicted unnecessary complexity. The shared perception of what is possible usually dictates the standards of what is acceptable and achievable, and the biggest barriers to innovation and research are very often institutional, legal and regulatory. Despite new technologies, ambitious plans and promising designs and tools, in most cases, it is exceedingly costly and difficult to try new things at any scale due to the limits set by bureaucracy.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and Federated Innovation forges a Special Innovation Zone in which laws are set up to shred rules and regulations down to a do-no-harm minimum allowing for significant deviations from existing paradigms in terms of contracts, processes, systems and operations. The model is a free zone for sustainable innovations, where new approaches and cutting-edge technologies are iterated and tested rapidly to reduce time to market, contracts and processes are shared for immediateness and simplicity with the ultimate aim to proliferate outside the Zone.

The Federated Innovation at MIND is a place in which individuals are already starting to experiment successfully with this blank-canvas mentality in practical terms. For example, the Federated Innovation Playbook itself has been devised to simplify both the district’s governance and processes. Contractual processes have been redesigned (e.g. “Contratto di Rete Soggetto”) to foster openness and simplicity in this new-born innovation concept. Additionally, typical concepts belonging to the Agile and Lean domains have been swiftly readapted to fit the purposes of the Model. This has been done to foster an ecosystem in which state of the art technologies, products and services are rapidly prototyped to reduce time to market with the objective of allowing them to be actionable and marketable outside of MIND’s borders.

Federated Innovation is unique because it is able to create a metaphorical bridge between innovators, anchors, other RDI partners and key institutional players, thus integrating the wider host region into the ecosystem itself.

Federated Innovation district provides a unique opportunity to address, in an integrated and participative way, two of the main economic and social challenges that the modern world is facing: productivity and inclusive growth. Federated Innovation's ecosystem is able to do so by attracting a wide range of players that include major established corporations, start-ups, investors, innovation players like incubators and accelerators and major supporting advisors and partners such as universities and research institutions. Indeed, the relationship between public and private players fosters the required cooperation and competition vital to innovation, as well as representing one of the key components of the Model’s success. These blossoming relationships put the above-mentioned players in the position to reciprocally share their know-how, patents and skills to reap the benefits of this unprecedented innovation district.

Federated Innovation at MIND puts in practice a truly effective model that shapes unmatchable synergies with a very wide range of prominent Research and Development Institutions and Institutional Players. Federated Innovation at MIND leverages the remarkable RDI capabilities of key anchor institutions.

The five key Research and Development Institutions active at Federated Innovation™ at MIND (also called “anchors”) are: Human Technopole, University of Milan, Galeazzi Hospital, Arexpo, Cascina Triulza.

In addition to key anchor institutions, other RDI partners are intermediaries such as: Incubators and Accelerators, Innovation Districts and Science Parks: Area Science Park, Universities and Research Centers, Funds.

Federated Innovation views IP as a vehicle of innovation and not as a bottleneck to the process of sharing ideas, allowing a cross-pollination of experiences and background intellectual property rights.

The Federated Innovation IP system is based on a choice between two options:
A. Safe harbour model

In this scenario, the Federated Innovation Community is a protected place, which enables players to become an essential part of it due to the peculiar ecosystem, the new model of IP best practices and the set-up of an environment where any player feels safe and not constrained by bureaucracy and legal risks.
B. Cross-pollination model

When the adoption of the “Cross-pollinated” model in relation to a single research project is agreed, access to certain Background IP rights, necessary or useful for such specific project, will be granted by the relevant Members for research purposes only (id est: not for exploitation/economic purposes) to all the Members of the team to allow a simple path for innovation.

The standard practice within MIND is to encourage, yet not force the cross-pollination among different teams and companies.

In MIND each organization has the freedom to adopt one of these options and navigate the Federated Innovation ecosystem accordingly. Though each Member may elect to concretely adopt the Cross-pollination model on a research project-by-research project basis, when entering the Federated Innovation ecosystem the Members are required to state whether in principle they may be available to evaluate on a single project basis to apply such model; such process will indeed allow the identification by the different Members of the partners possibly available to adopt such cross-pollination and, ultimately, facilitate the prompt launch of contamination-based research projects.

By applying the principle of sharing Background IP rights and using the above mentioned services and tools, the Research Project at MIND obtains automatically the formal Certificate/Credit of “Cross-pollinated Project by Federated Innovation System”.

Federated Innovation is meant to be a pioneering arena, whose purpose is to shape the regulation in the Intellectual Property domain by establishing new and shared innovative procedures, contracts, meta-technology transfer office, policies and tools, based on cross-pollination of ideas, best-practices and state-of-the-art-technology to create a unique environment for best practice of IP rights.

The Federated Innovation IP model aims to promote an efficient management of the intellectual property rights deriving from the research within the scope of the Federated Innovation Community, through a fair balancing of the interests of the various players involved. As a matter of fact, IP models have been reinvented to fit the distinctive needs conveyed by Federated Innovation. Virtual Tech Transfer Office and state of the art IP tools and contracts facilitate knowledge sharing and cross-pollination by maintaining, at the same level, the ownership over the intellectual property controlled by the respective members.

At MIND the “Special Innovation Zone”, MIND is an unprecedent ecosystem. This zone is a modern legal framework designed to assist the development of technologies and services. Among the services and the state-of-the-art tools that have been included in MIND we name the following:
- Meta Technology Transfer Office
- Support in seeking the right type of protection
- Early-stage Technology Landscaping
- Early-stage a-ODD
- A new marketplace for IP “orphan” rights
- Trade secret policies
- AI-enabled tools to monetize IP
- Managing IP data
- Agile IP Contracts templates
- Patent box Credit for Search
- Training programs to develop Intellectual Property awareness

As a transparent ecosystem, each participant involved in innovative projects is seen as a moulder and enabler of the positive evolution of markets and products. With respect to anti-trust rules, these collaborations are designed in a way that does not impair fair market competition but promotes innovation with the goal of increasing general welfare.

Competition and rivalry have so far always been a binomial. At Federated Innovation an ambitious idea has taken place: to foster dynamic competition within an innovative ecosystem. The creators of Federated InnovationTM Model aim to stimulate a positive collaboration among those market leaders that have the possibility to invest in innovative solutions for the final customers, in respect of the Anti-trust laws.

In each Thematic Area of Federated Innovation at MIND, the leaders are very often competitors. Once a candidate member is accepted to MIND, it is required to sign this manifesto where it commits to respect each value expressed above and, in particular, to refrain from hampering competition and unduly cooperating to the detriment of general interest. This is a formal requirement that sets the basic level from which all the other activities and scopes can take off.

Milano Innovation District

The concept of Federated Innovation @MIND was born as a result of the implementation of Federated Innovation as part of the project to create in the context of the project @MIND Milano Innovation District run by Arexpo S.p.A and Lendlease, an innovation macro-ecosystem that will be an integral part of a unique real estate product that actively contributes to the creation of a thriving innovation community called “Special Innovation Zone”.

Cross Innovation @MIND

MIND Milano Innovation District Anchors

Eight anchors are driving MIND’s development and will catalyze an influx of innovative companies and excellent projects.

Federated Innovation @MIND
Università degli Studi di Milano

Paola Testori Coggi

“Life is a mission, therefore the duty is its supreme law“

~ Giuseppe Mazzini

Federico Frattini

“No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered.“

~ Winston Churchill

Claudio Cont

"Unlock the Change!"

Davide Chiaroni

“There is no favorable wind for the sailor
who doesn’t know where to go“

~ Seneca

Giovanni Plizzari

"Innovative and sustainable contructions for a enhancing life quality"

Goffredo Foglia

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.“

Marco Venturelli

“Together at Federated Innovation we change the world“

Massimo Marciani

“Never resigned to leave our children a worse world.“

Matteo Tarantino

“The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access
urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city.“

~ D. Harvey

Maurizio Coratella

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.“

~ William Arthur Ward

Rossella Lehnus

“I'm personally responsible for becoming more ethical
than the society I grew up in.“

Salvatore Majorana

“When trying to innovate you never lose:
you either win or learn.“

~ Nelson Mandela, free adaptation

Sara Roversi

“Food is life. energy and nourishment. The great challenge of our era is to succeed in protecting our planet, by feeding humans in a healthy way and by taking care of the ecosystem that is hosting us.“

Luca Passarella

"Don't be afraid to change direction. Sometimes, it's the change in path
that leads to the most significant discoveries."
Seth Godin

View our
12 key Thematic Areas