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People Design: shaping the future of mechanical design

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Can creativity be taught? People Design suggests that it can, even if Chief Financial Officer Denis Luci describes creativity as “a mix of vision, madness, and initiative.” People Design is a mechanical engineering consulting firm active mainly in the automotive and machinery sectors.

Highly-skilled people are key to the business, and demand for their services is growing, so People Design has decided to invest heavily in training young engineering graduates. The firm is located between Italy’s Motor Valley and the Packaging Valley where industrial automation is flourishing, and works with important clients in the automotive sector (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, Pininfarina to name a few) and the industrial sector.

The firm was founded in 2008 when, to reduce fixed costs, many companies started outsourcing industrial design projects, explains Luci. Nowadays, they also work closely with universities. “We maintain strong links with the academic world, helping to finance engineering research, and also hire young people from the universities into People Lab, our training programme for future mechanical designers. The training is costly for us to implement but gives great results, preparing new engineering graduates to work on real-world consulting projects in R&D.”

In early 2019, People Design obtained EU-guaranteed funding through CDP, backed by the EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe, for their training programme, research and development.  “The loan has allowed us to hire 80 people as at end of October 2019”, says Luci, “And this is only the initial impact after 6 months. We will see the second impact in the work done by these 80 people.”

The company also used the funds to start developing an innovative project in robotics and automation. For Luci, “the fact that creativity and innovation are supported at the European level is very important for us because a company like ours would otherwise not have the necessary funds to self-finance projects of this magnitude. If we do not do research, if we don’t innovate, then we die. In Europe we need more investment in sectors that rely on research and innovation.” Luci continues, “We have lots of ideas but not always the money to produce them. In our field human resources and finance travel together: research cannot be done without people or funds.”

Company: People Design (Italy)

Type of business: Automotive

EIF financing: Cultural & Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS)

Financial intermediary: CDP / Unicredit

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Italy, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/it

 

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