Candy Group and the innovation platform H-FARM have started a collaboration with the aim of developing smart appliances, cooperating with innovative startups. In recent years, the smart home market and IoT solutions recorded double-digit growth: in Italy in 2017 it grew by 35% compared to 2016, with a turnover of 250 million euro (Internet of Things Observatory – Polytechnic of Milan), while according to Zion Market Research a growth of 14.5% is expected by 2022 at a global level. Candy has started an Open Innovation project, in partnership with H-FARM, to integrate new features and innovative services to its home appliances, getting inspired by the solutions developed by young startups at international level. H-FARM, taking advantage of its network developed in 13 years of experience in the field of innovation, has evaluated about 200 startups from all over the world (USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Israel) on the basis of a brief calibrated to the specific needs of Candy: using the new technologies such as artificial intelligence, image recognition and vocal assistants to create innovative solutions able to realize an ecosystem of smart appliances. After a scouting path aimed at identifying the targeted solutions with the required needs, 10 startups were selected, which on July 11th have took part in the Candy Connection Event, during which they have presented their projects to the Group’s top management to evaluate together possible technological or industrial collaborations.