Nicola Zanardi

Starts his professional career in communication and advertising in Pirella Göttsche and later in J.W. Thompson. Develops his experience as an entrepreneur in 1995 and founds XYZ Comunicazione Agency.

Completes his competences dealing with strategic consultancy for large companies such as ATAC Trasporti, Comune di Roma, Grandi Stazioni, Ferrovie dello Stato, Saipem, Snam, Sviluppo Italia.

By the end of 2000, XYZ Comunicazione joins Reply Group, an Italian company of excellence in ICT, with the aim of developing skills in digital communication.
In 2006, founds Hublab, specialized in strategic consultancy for innovation development.
Since 2010 has been columnist for Corriere della Sera

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  • Business Comprehension - Context vision competence

  • Strategic Thinking - Problem Solving

  • Human Centered Design - Innovative solutions to meet client's needs

  • Process Redesign - On going improvement


  • Multidisciplinary vision

  • Beyond the limit

  • Applied innovation

  • Process approach

  • Project coaching

  • Knowledge transfer

  • Learning & Collaboration

  • Interactive & digital design

  • R&D Outsourcing

Methodologies & Tools

Innovation consultancy methodology


Innovation consultancy tools

Survey Observatory Focus Innovation

Photography, analysis and pre-assessment of innovation opportunities in specific sectors/markets.

Innovation Information System

Set up of information system collecting facts and technological trends.
Monitor key variables to stimulate innovation, directly related to the company, both seemingly far away.

Station to Station

Workshop on innovation themes with participation of qualified partners.
Training modules designed on specific requests.

Case Histories

Selected case histories to give complete vision to various business functions involved and enhance expression of genius loci and interesting benchmark.


Photography and analysis of innovation idea for complete and fast preliminary assessment of technical and economic feasibility.

Scouting and Evaluation

Scouting of innovation ideas selected on company brief and first market evaluation.


Migration of innovative ideas and/or research in different sectors and support to adaption process.

Assistant flight

Consulting for effective innovation integration into business processes.

BPR Consulting

Consulting for redefinition of business processes related to design, research and development of new products.

Knowledge sharing & Media contact

Advice for effective dissemination and valorization of information within the organization and to the Media outside..


Start up methodology



Start up tools

Idea First Check

Fast evaluation of global sustainability of project.

Firts Feasability Audit

First technical end economic evaluation of project.

Business Modelling

Framework design for creating economic, social and/or other forms of value.

Business Planning

Formal statement of business goals and plan for reaching this goals. Economic and financial estimate.

Intellectual Property Rights

Support for evaluating patent side of project: background, path to follow, etc.

Industrial Partnership

Scouting of potential industrial partners and relations support.

Financial Partnership

Scouting of potential financial partners and relations support.


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Looking for innovation, applying research and implementing a vision requires having a network to push out from the usual vertical and hyper specialized segments, which are paradoxically the least difficult to approach.

The goal is always good integration with other fields and knowledge, by using also the large variety of technology available today in respect of strategic guidelines and direction.
The revolution that bio, nano and infoscience led to the contemporary world completely changes the parameters of innovation and the centers of knowledge production.

Hublab has structured relations with international excellence, such as the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge University and MIT in Boston and relies on an active network of professionals – not necessarily academic - who play an increasingly important role in research, innovation and applications.

Hublab is aware that the migration of knowledge from one field to another has become an important source for solutions and more effective and accessible projects.

Furthermore, Hublab interfaces with the world of research and its applications with neither institutional and political constraints, nor binding protocols. It always selects the most innovative solutions, applicable in a just-in-time way, that becomes essential today only when combined with a wider perspective.

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Case histories

bticino   Bticino - Legrand Group

Scouting and design of innovative solutions in workplaces

Keywords: Innovation drivers - New concepts

indesit   Indesit Company

Early Seeds
Scouting and evaluation of innovative solutions for household appliance

Keyword: Breakthrough Innovation

enel   Enel – Micromegas

50 years of Enel
Design and production of interactive exhibits

Keywords: Contents - Interactive Design

sistemafiera   Sviluppo Sistema Fiera

New contents and functions design for Milan Fair Pero area

Keywords: Territorial - Real Estate Valorisation

cittasalute   Città della Salute della Ricerca e della Didattica Milano

Vision Paper and Feasability Study
Strategic framework set up and preliminary design of new integrated health center in Milan

Keywords: Envisioning - Strategy

gozour   National Company for Food Products – Egypt

Analogue Food
Concept, design and development of innovative product lines for Egyptian market

Keywords: R&D - Outsourcing

gewiss   Gewiss

Leading Next Innovation
Redesign of R&D process

Keyword: Business process redesign

telecom   Telecom Italia – Between

Cultivar: innovative platform for a new smart agriculture Design of innovative contents and services for tlc broadband infrastructure

Keyword: Broadband exploitation

svilsisfiera   Sviluppo Sistema Fiera

Mobility Information System
Strategic framework set up of Milan Fair info-mobility system

Keywords: Effectiveness - Efficiency

senaf   Senaf - Gruppo Tecniche Nuove

Fairs Innovation
Strategy and design of new contents for Mac Spe and Agri Expo exhibitions

Keyword: Management consulting

natgeostore   Worldwide Retail Store

Concept, HW and SW design and deployment of innovative in-store communication tool

Keyword: Media design

reverberi   Reverberi

Future Choices
Company assessment and support to private equity funding

Keyword: Management consulting

cittasalute   Città della Salute della Ricerca e della Didattica Milano

Communication Strategy
Strategic framework and set up of cross media communication plan

Keyword: Management consulting

svilsisfiera   Sviluppo Sistema Fiera

Mobility Smart Solutions
Scouting and evaluation of smart innovative mobility solutions for Milan Fair Pero area

Keyword: Innovation mapping

 basilicata   Sviluppo Basilicata

Incubators Scope
Strategy and design of new contents for Viggiano and Matera incubators

Keyword: Management consulting

esposizioni   Palaexpo Roma

Homo Sapiens Exhibition
Design and production of interactive exhibits

Keyword: Interactive design

univa   Unione Industriali Varese

Polo Tex Sport
Scouting and evaluation of innovative product drivers for sportswear

Keyword: Innovation scope

confindustria   Unione Industriali Bergamo

Nanotechnology, functional materials and metamaterials as instrument of industrial innovation
Workshop on nanotechnology impact on industrial process evolution

Keyword: Innovation deployment

triennale   Triennale Milano

Global Nodes
Design and production of interactive exhibits

Keyword: Interactive communication

sipra   Sipra

Workshop on info visualisation scenario and methodologies

Keyword: Information visualization

supsi   SUPSI - Università della Svizzera Italiana

Info & Visual
Workshop on info visualisation scenario and methodologies

Keyword: Information visualization

feco   FECO - Ministry of Environment – China

Italian Transfer: four proposals for environment
Scouting and exporting Italian R&D in emerging Countries

Keyword: Italian R&D international exploitation

sole24   Il Sole 24Ore

Italian Applications: from academical theory to industrial application
Workshop on relationship management between Academia and Industry

Keywords: Learning - Collaboration

reply   E*Finance Reply

Hub Design
Cost saving, redefining spaces and processes, enhancing effectiveness of banking outlet

Keyword: Concept design

bbitalia   B&B Italia

Flagship Store
Concept and design of B&B Italia Milan flagship store

Keyword: User centered design

 printemps   Printemps - Studio Citterio & Partners

Flip Flap
Concept and design of innovative outdoor communication tool

Keyword: User centered design

infinity   Yaro Sergheyev

Infinity Computing
Industrial deployment of new mathematical theory enabling to compute infinite and infinitesimal numbers

Keyword: Start up support

bicoccabiogem   Università Bicocca Milano – Biogem

Power Pig
Industrial deployment of swine models for pharma
and bio-medical sectors

Keyword: Start up support

zeroenerg   RTR & Partners

Zero Energy
Renovation of an existing building by applying zero energy approach and techniques

Keyword: Start up support

unifistern   Università Firenze - Stern

Ultra Grinder
Industrial deployment of innovative technique to grind and dry vegetable materials in efficient way

Keyword: Start up support

angel   Redcap Technology

Angel Inside
Industrial deployment of innovative solution for active protection of chain-saws users

Keyword: Start up support

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