The Business Plan seeks to transform the Bank’s business model via a significant investment plan that focuses in particular on innovation.

To this end, the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) Governance Area was set up; this Area, reporting directly to the CEO, is tasked with identifying, analysing and developing innovation activities together with the other Group functions. The Chief Innovation Officer Area is based in the Intesa Sanpaolo tower in Turin, which was also conceived as the physical Centre of Innovation within the Group.

This structure coordinates the Innovation Portfolio, i.e. the main series of initiatives that the Group plans to support in relation to the predominant emerging trends, identifying the action plan, schedule, dedicated investments and expected returns for each one. The consistency of the initiatives in the Portfolio is guaranteed and the performances and economic and qualitative return for the Group are monitored. The new initiatives to add to the Portfolio are periodically verified together with the competent structures. The monitoring of the Portfolio initiatives is essential for checking the results achieved and assessing the Group’s financial and image return. The details gathered during the monitoring phase act as a guide for the Top Management.

The CIO Area supports and accelerates the Group’s business innovation capacity through the research, analysis, conception and promotion of solutions on the domestic and international market that can lead to new commercial opportunities and the development of the local community and economy in both the banking and non-banking sectors. The cornerstone of this activity is the "Innovation Monitor", which analyses and carries out research on the main trends and ideas, and assesses the areas of applicability of the innovative solutions. The Monitor carries out its role through collaboration with the other Group structures and through relationships and partnerships with research centres, universities, and start-up and innovation incubators.

The Chief Innovation Officer Area has also set itself the objective of developing the technological innovation mix for businesses in synergy with the relevant Group departments. Included among the activities to disseminate innovation are: the range of consultancy services on sectors and technologies of excellence; support for development projects in the local areas and the local economy; support for start-ups with a high potential to grow and contribute to the Group and the business system in general. Proposing the use of digital matchmaking platforms, the structure acts as the link between companies, bringing together the “innovation creators” and the potential users.

Finally, the CIO Area guarantees the spread of the culture of innovation, acting via the Innovation Network and organising initiatives and events aimed at stimulating the creativity of employees and promoting new developments and transformations in accordance with the most advanced trends to internal and external stakeholders.

Thanks to the projects launched, Intesa Sanpaolo received a special mention as “innovative bank of 2015” following a survey carried out by AIFIn (Italian Financial Innovation Association), a body which each year certifies the ability of intermediaries to drive or anticipate changes in the market, launching innovative and stimulating initiatives in their sector of reference.

Below is a graphical representation of the innovation initiatives launched. This chapter provides a description of the main ones.

SMART BANK - initiatives aimed at the growth of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group: research into innovative solutions for the development of products, services and processes in the banking sector

SMART BIZ - initiatives aimed at the growth of businesses in the local area

SMART PEOPLE – initiatives to improve people’s quality of life