Dario Avallone, R&D Director, Engineering Group

Engineering Group Expand R&D Team In Serbia

Italian IT company Engineering Group, which operates on the Serbian market under the name Engineering Software Lab, has announced the further expansion of its team in Serbia, with one segment of the planned expansion covering the field of research and development. In order to learn more about this expansion, we spoke with Engineering Group’s R&D Department Director Dario Avallone.

Research is one of the fundamental pillars of Engineering Group. What is the key approach?

Research represents the first and most fundamental phase of our innovation process. In this process, we can count on a team of 450 researchers, which ensures that we are a well-recognised player in the context of European Industrial Research.

This has enabled us to set up a wide and enduring network of research collaborations, both in Europe and worldwide, including the most qualified universities and research institutes, as well as the most innovative representatives of the ICT industry and relevant “users” providing emerging needs for all market sectors. In addition, we have contributed actively to the gradual creation and development of the main European research initiatives on ICT, aiming to cluster the industrial and academic view on emerging research and innovation priorities and related implementation strategies.

We pay particular attention to the “concreteness and robustness” of our industrial research, but also to the capacity to effectively implement the technological transfer of solutions and skills produced. In other words, experimentation, innovation management and the offer are the three main objectives that form the basis of our R&D activities. This allows us to define a virtuous cycle, able to pick up new methodologies and technologies well in advance, to relate them to our customers’ business processes and thereby add value by following them all the way through their modernisation and “digital transformation”.

Which types of R&D projects is Engineering Group involved in?

We have participated in more than 500 research projects and are currently involved in more than 100 projects, with annual investment in R&D exceeding 40 million euros.

Our research projects largely pertain to innovation challenges relevant to primary markets, such as Digital Industry, E-Health, Augmented Cities, Smart Energy & Utilities, Smart Government, Societal Physical and Digital Security, Smart Tourism & Culture, Smart Agriculture, Smart Transportation, Digital Media & Communication, as well as research on enabling technologies and architectures that are core to all our markets today and tomorrow, like Cloud and Edge, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Data/BigData and Collaboration Platforms, Blockchain and Quantum Computing.

Our participation in relevant European initiatives and Associations, like FIWARE (providing “vendor independent” standard building blocks to build smart applications), Gaia-X (enabling data and service interoperability that ensures independence from physical infrastructure and/or providers), DAIRO (centred on nextgeneration technologies to exploit the value of data trough novel AI approaches) or IDSA (focusing on providing standards, architecture and software components to implement trusted data sharing within business ecosystems), represent a founding element of our success in research programmes and an essential ingredient for aligning our investments in the proper direction, in terms of new solutions to be implemented and new skills and competences that will be demanded in order to constantly remain at the forefront of the competitive scenario.

Engineering Software Lab is a member of Engineering Group, one of the main players in the field of the digital transformation of public and private companies and organisations worldwide. Engineering Software Lab currently has more than 230 employees divided between two business units: the Custom Software Development unit, which gathers developers and specialists in the fields of consulting, project management, development of information systems; and the Engineering Enterprise Solutions Competence Centre, which provides SAP technical and consultancy support, as well SAP development

What plans do you have for your R&D team in Serbia?

Over recent years, we’ve included several young IT professionals from Serbia in our R&D projects. They have shown exceptionally high quality of work and provided a great contribution to the success of the projects in which they’ve been involved.

We plan to focus the contribution of the Serbian Research Team on a few, well-defined research topics primarily related to Digital Industry and Smart Energy & Utilities. This is due to a significant lack of qualified researchers in ongoing and planned projects, as well as the projects’ envisaged results, which are expected to open direct market opportunities in Serbia.

We are also considering relocating at least one technological research stream to Serbia completely, but we are currently still analysing which topic could be most reasonably brought to the Serbian R&D Lab. The decision will very much depend on the availability of local universities to collaborate on a specific topic, as well as to the capability of attracting the most brilliant talents who are in the process of graduating from Serbian universities over the next eight to 12 months. At the same time, the decision to create a dedicated technological Research Lab in Serbia is also related to local funding that represents an indispensable sustainability and risk reduction vehicle. This is why accurate analysis of the funding instruments and related research priorities available in Serbia will be carefully considered before a final decision is taken.

In your opinion, what can Serbia’s IT experts expect from working on R&D projects?

The specificity of R&D projects is that they bring something new, something that transforms business and our everyday life simultaneously. This means that the latest technologies have been applied in the work, which is certainly an important point for IT professionals.

A large number of people are involved in the R&D projects that we are working on. Many of them are part of our Group, but – at the same time – many hail from the network of partners, creating an incomparable working experience with distributed teams.

What is also important is that, by joining Engineering Software Lab, you are joining a large engineering family that numbers more than 12,000 employees at more than 40 locations worldwide. Being part of such a large company provides stability, while at the same time providing plenty of possibilities for personal growth.


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