Yachting News » Business » Innovation Award Celebrates the Career of Giuseppe Carnevali

Innovation Award Celebrates the Career of Giuseppe Carnevali


A standing ovation saluted Giuseppe Carnevali, co-founder and President of Navionics, who changed the way the world navigates, as he received the 2018 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, at the Miami International Boat Show in February.

Giuseppe Carnevali, an Italian who describes himself as an inventor and a citizen of the world, is a 70-year-old naval architect and mechanical engineer who served in the Navy, won two National sailing championships, is an airplane and helicopter pilot, with a knack for innovation. He proudly received an achievement award for innovation from the National Marine Manufacturers Association in Miami, Florida.

Everybody today uses a “GPS navigator”, but not everybody knows that the world’s first such device was born 35 years ago thanks to Navionics, the company that Giuseppe co-founded and served as President until few months ago.

Thus Giuseppe revolutionized navigation, going from paper maps, sextant and spreaders (and a lot of approximation) to the pinpoint and real-time navigation that is now part of our everyday life everywhere in the world.

In his acceptance speech, Giuseppe reminisced about his long journey, which began when authorities all over the world tried to stop him from doing what they considered nothing less than heresy: to move from paper charts developed by the government to electronic ones made by private industry.

Ultimately Giuseppe’s resilience and the excellence of the products prevailed and today 100% of navigation systems for boats support electronic charts and use the technology developed by Giuseppe’s team.

Giuseppe also pioneered navigation apps for smartphones, which are now by far the worldwide leaders in the boating community.

In closing his speech, Giuseppe spoke with great enthusiasm about new technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, which will surely bring about another revolution in navigation, comparable to the revolution from paper to electronics, and how he would have loved to lead this next revolution.


However, Giuseppe is acutely aware that having reached the age of 70, becoming a great-grandfather and fighting late stage cancer, it is time to pass the baton on to new generations, trusting that they will bring a new drive and energy to pursuing these incredible opportunities. Both Giuseppe and his wife have opted to retire and focus on humanitarian activities through the Foundation that he conceived, which is now entirely managed by his wife Jacqueline Carnevali.

Thanks to this initiative, in India, 70 orphan girls have a home and education until their adulthood, and 2,000 of the poorest children, who otherwise would be condemned to illiteracy and a precarious way of life, have an opportunity to go to school from kindergarten all the way to university. In fact, some of them have become computer scientists and civil engineers, with good jobs in leading international companies. The school managed for the longest time by Jacqueline and the Foundation has achieved, in line with its goal of excellence, the ranking of best public school in its district.

You can visit the Foundation's Facebook page here: Carnevali Foundation

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