Sandro Zilli, IOT360: Transferring academic experience into the real life

Sandro Zilli is a manager and entrepreneur with more than twenty years of professional experience in multinational companies operating in the ICT sector, and in different types of markets such as manufacturing, construction, media and entertainment. He has held a variety of senior positions in both startups and large international enterprises, and is currently the Manufacturing Sales Development Manager at Tech Data Italia. He holds an Executive MBA from LUISS Business School, and is an active Board Member of LUISS University Alumni EMBA, driving key projects in collaboration with  a top Italian startup incubator.  We spoke to him following the latest edition of the IoT360 Summit, at which he participated as a speaker on the subject of readiness for (private) funding.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Sandro Zilli, IOT360 Speaker
Sandro Zilli, IOT360 Speaker

The 2014 edition of IoT360 focused on a multitude of different themes related to IoT. The red track was a deep investigation of online innovation platforms and communities that can take an idea all the way to the market. Which specific issues would you like to be discussed at the next edition of Summit? 

I appreciated the themes related to the Internet of Things a lot, because they represent the future of ICT and digital life. In my opinion, it would be very useful to increase the number of cases and best practice examples presented. In addition to that, it would be very useful if IoT360 became a point of reference, networking and training for new companies, students or researchers that have to face the market in order to launch their startup.

In your opinion, as an entrepreneur and an active Board Member of LUISS University Alumni EMBA, how can academia and industry work together to build the future know-how in the ICT field?

I think that the best way is transferring academic experience and knowledge into the real world of startups and new companies through mentoring activities that would help academia enter the market and promote innovation in a proper way, using industry skills and best practice.

 Which challenges do ICT startups have to accept in the era of the Internet of Things?

New technologies – cloud, mobile, social enterprise, and big data – allow startups to effectively respond to the needs of citizens. The Internet of Things is useful for making sense of information, and having the correct information and dynamic data, but the goal is to offer solutions that are translated into specific improvements of the quality of people’s lives. The potential uses of this information are almost unlimited. It can be used for modelling and predicting how changes to a system will affect other systems, reducing the risks of change, and accelerating the return on investment. It can be used for developing new business models in partnership with private and public companies, and may be useful for directing new projects for the benefit of the community.


Is network virtualisation the future of the Internet?

In the current mobile communications marketplace, functionalities that enable various forms of network sharing are becoming more and more important. Researchers from Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Portugal, Luisa_Caeiro and Filipe D. Cardoso together with Luis M. Correia from University of Lisbon are working on the virtualisation of the wireless access in order to provide required capacity to a virtual base stations instantiated in a geographical area. They presented their work on the 1st International Conference on 5G for Ubiquitous Connectivity.

In the wireless networks sharing approach, operators are forced to use similar network functions as having different, isolated virtual networks with theirs own functions and communication protocols is not possible. Network virtualisation is an abstraction process, aiming at separating the logical network functionality from the underlying physical network resources. It enables the aggregation and provision of the network by combining different physical networks into a single virtual one, or splitting a physical network into multiple virtual ones, which are isolated from each other.

Scientists tested the virtual radio resource allocation to provide the required capacity to the base stations, optimising radio resources utilisation.

Network visualisation has been introduced as a tool for large scale experiment networks and has been also proposed as an approach for a future Internet architecture.

Read more about the future architecture of the Internet here .

FI-Adopt Project

FI-WARE: Future Internet Grants for web-entrepreneurs & small businesses!

when: 6 March 2015, 12:00 – 14:00

where: Technoport Belval, 9 Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

The Future Internet platform FI-WARE is an open architecture for developers, service providers, and companies to develop innovative products. FI-WARE Generic Enablers (GE) are public and royalty-free. Supported by the European Union, this platform allows companies and web-entrepreneurs to create and deliver digital services at a low cost.

FI-WARE provides

  • €80 million funding, implemented by 16 accelerators, each with a different focus (healthcare, smart cities, finance, smart energy, smart agrifood, multimedia, transport, and manufacturing)
  • Building blocks for the creation of internet-based products and services
  • Business support, mentoring, and networking
  • FI-LAB, an experimentation platform

As demonstrated by the experience and collaboration of Luxembourg-based startups and companies that have sprung up since the first info session in September last year, FI-WARE provides amazing opportunities for them to kick-start or upscale their internet business. The FI-WARE solution itself, as well as its lean and decentralised funding system, lower entrance barriers and allow for the submission of proposals from a vast variety of domains.

Luxinnovation and Technoport have teamed up again, to present FI-WARE and opportunities to finance the development of innovative services and applications at another info session.

The event is aimed at small businesses, startups and web entrepreneurs who develop apps or services, and want to connect with the community. It will consist of several presentations and will feature three special guests – Dr Raimund Bröchler (Senior Delivery Manager, INTRASOFT International SA), Vincent Demortier (Manager, 4PLanet SA), and Evangelos Papadopoulos (Founder & CEO, TheMarketsTrust).

For more information, visit

If you are planning to attend, don’t forget to register before noon on Thursday, 5 March.