Cisco gives “Society Impacting” Award to project that hasn’t even started working and…

(this is my own synthesis of an article published on Feb 5th, 2012 by Italian Newspaper “Il Fatto Quotidiano”, just so you know this story even if you don’t read Italian)


The Sistri waste tracking system, designed by Selex Se.ma, a Finmeccanica company, just won the Cisco Innovation Award as ‘Most society impacting network of 2012′. This is something of which Italy should be proud of… if it weren’t for the fact that Sistri:

  • has never become operational yet
  • the public tender in which Sistri was chosen as THE italian waste tracking system is currently under investigation by the Public Prosecutor Office (“Procura”) of Naples

At the moment, the beginning of the Sistri field trial has been postponed to June 30th, 2012, but it is expected that it will be modified and a big part of the italian industrial sector would like its cancellation. These delays and critiques are a consequence of the “terrible” trial day of May 2011, which “turned into a nightmare” for the inability to log into the system and assorted malfunctions at several levels.

After explaining these technical flaws, the article goes on for another screen listing all the alleged irregularities on which the Prosecutor is investigating, from regulations about public tenders to false invoices or possible influence of organized crime on the system. All in all, concludes the article, Sistri does have all the necessary qualifications to receive an award, doesn’t it?

All I (Marco) can add is that to me, the assignment looks indeed curious, because the official Cisco Judging Criteria for Innovation Awards say that an entry:

  • “has” a positive impact in several areas and “offers” a range of services. All in present, not future tense, but Sistri won’t work yet for at least several months
  • “can be easily replicated beyond its original location & impact area”. Sistri is a nationwide system to implement, and comply with, Italian laws on waste management. As such, would it really be easy to replicate beyond its (future…) original location?

As of today (Feb. 8th, 2012) I haven’t found any mention of this in English. If you do, please let me know.


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One thought on “Cisco gives “Society Impacting” Award to project that hasn’t even started working and…

  1. marco Post author

    Update 2012/05/14:

    A follow-up article on the SISTRI saga by Repubblica provides more details on how much the general field trial of SISTRI in October 2011 was a technical flop, and explains how and why everything about the implementation of this system was kept secret:

    “there is no classified military technology used in the project, as they say initially: the real reason why everything about SISTRIwas classified as secret is that the public had to ignore the financial terms of the deal”

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