Besides research, ENEA acts as national Agency in support of central and local Public Administration, enterprises and citizens
Services to Enterprises
The excellence of technological innovation to make Italian companies more competitive on the market and more sustainable
ENEA provides its support to national enterprises to enhance their technologies, increase their competitiveness and make them more environmentally friendly.
With this aim, ENEA provides technology transfer and dissemination aimed at promoting the use of expertise, facilities and results of the Agency and its participated companies. In practice, the Agency:
- proposes agreements to enterprises so that they can use ENEA patents and share scientific knowledge, set up research laboratories and realize technology innovation projects;
- provides industry stakeholders with a qualified, excellence and super partes ambit to perform experimental tests dedicated to developing innovative and advanced technologies and products. Specifically, ENEA allows enterprises to use its laboratories and experimental facilities where they can perform qualification tests of components, devices and systems;
- promotes and fosters ways to meet innovation supply and demand even by participating in national and international networks and in EU research projects;
- provides its partnership in national and international research projects;
- provides its support to creating high-tech initiatives, such as spin-offs;
- provides remote and on-the-job training aimed at transferring know-how and creating new professionals.
In particular, as stipulated in a Memorandum of Understanding with Confindustria – signed on 12 July, 2010 - ENEA provides enterprises with its expertise to create different and advanced scenarios, services, technological addresses, and to participate in projects aimed at a sustainable economic development.
More in detail, the services provided are as follows:
- Information, analysis and evaluation related to regulations incentivizing energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and to marketable technologies to be invested upon;
- Technology development on research areas where ENEA has a consolidated and acknowledged leadership;
- Technology transfer in its areas of expertise;
- Advanced testing, qualification and certification of materials, components and systems where ENEA puts at enterprises’ disposal its materials, experimental facilities, test beds, laboratories and cutting-edge laboratories;
- Advanced energy and technology diagnostics, identifying opportunities for enterprises in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and technological innovation;
- Training, addressed to different professionals, mainly on energy efficiency.
Support to Public Administration
L’ENEA provides Public Administration with support in several areas.
Pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 115 of 30th May, 2008, ENEA has been officially assigned the function of Italian National Agency for Energy Efficiency. Its main tasks are to: support the State, regions and local bodies with its technical and scientific expertise and consultancy services on energy efficiency allowing them to provide the necessary implementing instruments; support the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and Regions to ensure the general control and supervision for measures to be implemented; provide support to verify the implementation of projects and measures adopted for energy saving and efficiency.
Environmental Characterization, Prevention and Recovery
ENEA provides the central and local Public Administration with technical and scientific support as to environmental characterization, prevention and recovery. Specifically, the Agency’s activities are focused on: environmental remediation and requalification; waste cycle management; eco-innovation of production processes; systems’ development, dissemination and implementation, methodologies and tools for the environmental process management; development of future scenarios and modelling for the assessment of atmospheric pollution.
Protection from Natural Phenomena
ENEA provides Public Administration with support on the reduction of risks associated with natural phenomena (earthquakes, landslides, etc.) and on the mitigation of their effects on lands and buildings. Specifically, the Agency carries out studies and research in support of planning policies for natural risk management in the fields of .
ENEA puts at the Country’s disposal its advanced know-how, sophisticated technologies, complex test facilities, data processing and interpretation skills for cultural heritage preservation. On such grounds, ENEA performs surveys and interventions for the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage, local bodies, public and private institutions, also within the framework of national and international research programmes.
In many cases, ENEA acts under specific Programme Agreements with Ministries, Regions and local bodies. Among these, one of the most important underway is the Programme Agreement signed with the Italian Ministry for Economic Development on the Electric System Research. R&D activities stipulated in the relevant Three-Year Plan are all aimed at innovating the national Electric System in order to enhance its cost-effectiveness, safety and environmentally friendliness, ensuring the suitable conditions for the Country’s sustainable development. Activities are funded through a fee paid under item A5 of the electricity bill, whose amount is set by the Italian National Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG).
Technologies and Expertise for Cultural Heritage Preservation
For over twenty years ENEA has been involved in activities aimed at knowing, preserving, exploiting and valorizing the Country’s cultural heritage.
By drawing on its scientific expertise achieved through R&D on new technologies, energy and the environment, in collaboration with experts from in cultural heritage, ENEA started adjusting, orienting and broadening its specific technological know-how in order to best meet the specific demands in that field.
To date, puts at the Country’s disposal its advanced know-how, sophisticated technologies, complex test facilities, data processing and interpretation skills for cultural heritage preservation.
On such grounds, ENEA performs surveys and interventions for the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage, local bodies, public and private institutions, also within the framework of national and international research programmes.
Not only does the Agency develop and apply technologies and know-how, but it also transfers them to all cultural heritage professionals.
Radiation Protection Services - Radioactive Waste Management
Human health is the core application field of Radiation Protection, that is necessary in all those medical, industrial and research activities where ionizing radiation is required.
ENEA hosts two Institutes of crucial importance to radiation protection.
Pursuant to Law no. 273 of 11th August, 1991, the ENEA National Institute of Ionizing Radiation Metrology (INMRI-ENEA) has been officially encharged with measuring the levels of ionizing radiation. The Institute ensures that actual conditions exist for ionizing radiation measurement to be reliable in all sectors of interest such as radiotherapy, medical radiodiagnostics, radiation protection in the environment, hospitals and scientific research; it is responsible for procedures and tests to provide the Italian national standards for ionizing radiation quantities and the calibration of gauging instruments; it also participates in the technical advisory committee for nuclear safety and health protection of the Italian Prime Minister’s Office.
The ENEA Radiation Protection Institute (ENEA-IRP) the ENEA Radiation Protection Institute (IRP) is unique in the national territory for the expertise, equipment and technical services it provides. The ENEA-IRP’s network of laboratories provides a set of advanced services:
- radioactivity measurements – through a set of integrated laboratories providing a wide range of measurements, from assessing internal contamination to detecting the radioactivity levels in environmental matrix samples, by different radiometric techniques;
- environmental and personal dosimetry – by gamma, beta and neutron-field dosimetry systems, including criticality dosimeters;
- Radon and natural radionuclide level measurements – through Radon-in-air and Thoron-in-air measurements, along with technical consultancy for radiation protection assessments and possible remedial actions;
- calibration of radiation protection equipment – calibration of ionizing chambers, scintillation counters, semiconductor photon detectors and neutron rem counters, and preset dose irradiation for photon, electron and neutron dosimeters (e.g., thermoluminescent dosimeters, trace detectors, electronic dosimeters);
- training at academic institutions and specific events, as well as professional training on the job through specific internships, in compliance with the current regulations, aimed at getting level I, II, and III qualified experts;
- consultancy on radiation safety for facilities exposed to ionizing radiation and/or potentially contaminated for internal and external users.
Radioactive Waste - Integrated Service
Thanks to their properties, radioactive materials can be used for a wide range of applications. In particular:
- Biomedical diagnosis and therapy (e.g., radiotherapy, Bone Mineral Densitometry to diagnose osteoporosis, scintigraphy, blood or surgical instrument sterilization, radiography, CT)
- Irradiation of non-biomedical products (e.g., food sterilization and irradiation for storage purposes)
- Diagnostics, industrial measurements and material analysis (e.g., thickness and density measurements, pipe welding control).
The management and disposal of facilities containing radioactive sources are ruled by regulations which their owners have to abide by strictly. Yet, the competent National Authorities have to cope with some possible sealed sources found in unguarded places which may be dangerous to people’s health and the environment.
Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 52/2007, the Integrated Service is responsible for the safe storage of occasionally-found radioactive sources (orphan sources or high-activity sealed radioactive sources that cannot be controlled due to unavailability by the owners or local authorities).
The Integrated Service is generally responsible for radioactive waste belonging to categories I and II, waste of sanitary origin and small radioactive sources compliant with the standards specified in the ENEA Technical Guide No. 26 and with the procedures established in agreement with NUCLECO, a participated company of the Agency.
The Integrated Service is part of the ENEA Technical Unit for Technologies and Facilities for Nuclear Fission, and Nuclear Material Management. It addresses, coordinates, supervises and plans all activities, and identifies the types of waste it is responsible for and their appropriate packaging and transport procedures.
Some types of radioactive material with minimal residual radioactivity (medical materials of category I) are treated under exempt disposal just like conventional waste. Other types of residual waste – once treated and conditioned – are deposit-stored at NUCLECO premises, as long as the national site for the disposal of low- and medium-level radioactive waste is not available.
In order to make such sources more easily identifiable and suggest the rightest behaviour when finding these materials, the Integrated Service has published a manifesto specifying also some contact persons from the bodies involved in the emergency plans drawn up by the Italian prefectures.