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SPECIAL FEATURE

Elettronica bags Best Italian MNC in Singapore for Innovation

The aerospace and defence electronic systems provider is feted at the ICCS Business Awards 2018 for its stellar body of work

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"Elettronica has managed to ride a market which we know is extremely demanding, both for performances and for the technologies used, allowing us to testify to the high standards of quality and performance of our systems, throughout the Asian area." - Domitilla Benigni (above), COO, Elettronica.

ITALY'S aerospace and defence electronic systems provider Elettronica Group has won the Best Italian MNC in Singapore - Innovation award at the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (ICCS) Business Awards 2018. A total of four Italian and Singaporean companies were recognised at the 9th edition of the Business Awards.

This accolade is given to companies that, through their activities, contribute to deepening the economic relations between Italy and Singapore. In the case of Elettronica, it was recognised as the best Italian multinational company in Singapore for Innovation. "This award is proof that Italian companies can represent excellence even outside the classic Made-in-Italy sectors," Mrs Domitilla Benigni, chief operating officer of the company, said in an interview.

Question: What does Elettronica do?

We are focused on electronic systems for defence, but in recent years we have opened up to the adjacent businesses of Homeland and Cybersecurity. We are supplying our systems to the armed forces of more than 30 countries in five continents.

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In our sector, Elettronica is a unique company, since it is family-run. It is led by my family, together with Leonardo and Thales (global high-tech firms in aerospace, defence and security), in the shareholding structure. For almost 70 years, we have been designing and developing systems for strategic surveillance, defence and electronic countermeasures, for naval, air and land applications.

It is also for this reason, along with a constant investment in innovation that we are permanently among the top five companies worldwide in the electronic warfare (EW) sector. Moreover, part of the know-how acquired over the years has been made available to the EW Training & Simulation Center, where we offer a fully immersive training programme for users who want to master the operations of defence, deterrence and security. It is a long-term investment, as well as an indispensable tool for training at all levels of the chain of command.

Q: Why did you set up a branch office in Singapore?

Singapore is the place to be for a firm like ours. There is a strong connection between Elettronica and Singapore because we are talking about two realities that have based everything on technological excellence.

Always at the forefront of modernity, it really reflects our own values to the point that we have recently opened a branch in Singapore, led by Gianluca Trezza, thus allowing us to have a broader perspective in the region.

Moreover, Elettronica has managed to ride a market which we know is extremely demanding, both for performances and for the technologies used, allowing us to testify to the high standards of quality and performance of our systems, throughout the Asian region.

Q: Another area in which you are operating is cybersecurity. Why is it important?

Cyber domain is the real challenge of the future. Three years ago, we created CY4GATE, in order to meet the specific and growing needs of our customers. This company, which is a part of the Elettronica Group, proposes itself as a key dialogue partner for issues related to the cyber domain. It includes among its clients governmental organisations as well as corporations.

Proprietary products (entirely made in Italy) and extremely focused professional services are offered together with CY4GATE Academy, a company division specialised in selection and training of cyber professionals. In an increasingly interconnected world, therefore more vulnerable, it is essential to become more organised at all levels.

Q: Part of your group is also the German subsidiary Elettronica GmbH - what are its products?

Elettronica GmbH, based in Meckenheim, Germany, offers solutions and services for the European armed forces, institutions and international industrial customers.

It was founded in 1978 - this year we are celebrating its 40th anniversary - in response to a need for supporting the major European cooperation programmes in which we were involved.

Today, the company is mainly focused on three business lines: Firstly, the development and production of digital cards with high technological content and for industrial use; the second deals with the design and integration of advanced systems for Homeland Security and A & D (aerospace and defence) applications; and the third concerns validation, testing and training of complex Radar and Electronic Warfare systems.

Recently, Elettronica GmbH won an institutional award for the best foreign company out of 12,000 other firms in the populous and industrialised North Rhine region of Germany.