The winners of the 9th edition of the Gaetano Marzotto Prize have been announced at Link Campus University a Roma, in the presence of the ecosystem for innovation and business in Italy.
The Business Prize of 300,000 euros has gone to Enerbrain, a startup for energy efficiency that employs a dynamic regulation system in heating, cooling and ventilation installations for buildings.
The Business Idea Prize, for 50,000 euros has gone to Relief, an artificial sphincter to combat urinary incontinence that is efficacious, low-cost and user-friendly.
Rome, November 21, 2019 – Innovation has never been more active: 500 applications, 45 startups awarded, and millions of euros in prizes. These are the real facts that opened the Finals of the ninth edition of the Gaetano Marzotto Prize. “The rhetoric of innovation is finished; it is not a marketing mantra, but a structural part of society, of the economy and of communities” declared Cristiano Seganfreddo, Director of the Progetto Marzotto who presided over the event – “That part of Italy which is innovative and that is gathered here this evening, is looking to change the country through technology and creativity, in order to face the great challenges of the environment, sustainability and of poverty, education and culture. As of next year the Gaetano Marzotto Prize becomes 2031, the new inclusive project to launch the Italian way of innovation into the world. Creativity is technology. Italy is creativity.”
After this opening, Margherita Marzotto, President of the Progetto Marzotto had this to say: “In 2011, it seemed a bit of a utopia that many Italian and international entrepreneurs would open the way for small innovative young businesses, where the objective is to respond to the exigencies of a globalized and overpopulated world. With this large-scale growth of investment dedicated to development, my wish is that small and large businesses put a special emphasis on projects with strong social impact.”
After these words, Carlo Medaglia, President of University’s Institute for Undergraduate and Graduate Activities,welcomed participants to the Link Campus University and had this to say: We are honoured to host the Progetto Marzotto for the “Ticket to the Future.” A fascinating encounter: the youngest of the University, in a historic location made smart by modern technology. Thousands of teachers, researchers and students make critical and constructive knowledge the guiding value of our production, which guarantees a brilliant future in professions that did not exist once. Let us support these men and women together.”
The Final then took place with the announcement of the winners of the 15 Competition Categories open (after the Incubators and Scientific and Technological Parks Network Final held last June 27, at UniManagement in Turin on occasion of Italian Tech Week), with
Marco Morchio, Managing Director Accenture Strategy Italy, Greece, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, who proclaimed Enerbrain, the winner of the Special Accenture Prize: «…a tangible example of how new technologies can combine the exigencies of businesses and sustainability, by responding to market demand with an innovative solution, one that is immediately usable and scalable.”
Afterwards, Matteo Masi, Startup Account Manager AWS Italy, announced that Natlive, a digital platform for the distribution of video contents, was the winner of the Special Amazon Web Services Prize: «…for the impact that the application of such technology will bring to different sectors, from Retail to Entertainment, and even telemedicine.”
Patrick Cohen, CEO of AXA Italy, a new partner of the Prize, awarded the Special AXA – A4W Prize to EcoSteer, IoT and blockchain software for Big Data management in cloud, available on all business applications, with the following motivation: “At AXA, female empowerment has been transformed into concrete action. For this reason we started with Impact Hub Milano Angels4Women, a network of business angels to assist female entrepreneurs. Today we are giving a strong signal of the cultural change we promote, with the hope that ever more female entrepreneurs find support even in technological innovation, where female-run startups are stagnant at 13.5% of the total.”
Following this, Enrico Mercadante, Director of Innovation, Architectures and Digital Transformation at Cisco Italy, announced the startup Artys as the winner of the Special Cisco Prize, an innovative solution to monitor rain in real time and for the mangement of hydrogeological risks “…which will allow for experimenting with complementary technologies to ours and will help us to create efficacious services to protect communities and citizens.”
Vincenzo Costa, Network and Services Operations Unit Director Engineering Ingegneria Informatica proclaimed the startup Vemini, winner of the new Special Engineering Ingegneria Informatica Prize, which uses blockchain technology to create a digital identity archive: “… fully in line with government issues of digital identity and data safekeeping in the context of digital transformation, and which sees Engineering committed to protecting the business end of companies within an ecosystem of clients, partners and employees.”
Claudio Meucci, Partner Mediterranean Advisory Market Leader EY, announced the startup AR Market winner of the Special EY Prize, for its app and contents that have increased through a new relationship among companies, retailers and consumers: “… capable of using Cross Reality, a pioneering technology in the innovation of customer journeys that assesses use experience, reduces invasiveness of technological processess and maximizes interaction among the various components that are the object of increased visualization.”
Luigi Gallo, Innovation and Competitivity Area Manager of Invitalia, announced the startup Nanomnia winner of the Special Invitalia Prize, for its biological nanoparticles inside of which it is possible to insert agro drugs which can be selective transported in plants “… where the biodegradable nature of the casing ensures superior environmental compatibility of the product and promotes targeted action of the active principle, with a consequent reduction of doses and side effects. Our assistance services will be finalized to increase the types of use even in other sectors, namely, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics.”
Roberto Berardi, Innovative Products and Solutions Manager at Italcementi, singled out Milk Brick, recovery of milk waste materials in the dairy industry and of G.D.O., from which innovative products are developed for the building industry, and awarded the start up the Speciale Italcementi – HeidelbergCement Group Prize with the following motivation: “Italcementi, which has always been oriented towards innovation solutions in the name of sustainability, gives this prize to Milk Brick for its objective of reducing water consumption in the production of cement. An innovative idea that goes in the direction of circular economies and which recovers water waste from a productive cycle to use it again in the production of building materials.”
Shared honours for the Marzotto Venture Accelerator – Rome Innovation Hub Special Prize, went to E-Gap, came from Riccardo Maria Monti, CEO Triboo, Advisory Board Marzotto Venture Accelerator, “…for having created on-demand services to recharge electric vehicles with a portable system, with the aim of overcoming obstacles to their use; and, as well to Userbot, customer services technology that uses Artificial Intelligence in the service of man: “for having created “artificial intelligence” that is able to automate conversations between businesses and people, by handling questions asked by users autonomously and giving clear and precise answers in real time, while at the same time learning from their responses and behaviour.”
Barbara Cominelli, Marketing and Operations Director for Microsoft Italy intervened to announce the winner of the Special Microsoft Prize, which is Sky Eye System, unmanned aerial vehicles with superior performance and safety requirements as per international aeronautics standards: “for entering the highly topical field of Clean Energy Tech; for its market approach that is informed by an innovative idea of high-technology that include Artificial Intelligence, in response to latest generation Microsoft technologies
Fabio Bocchiola, Country Manager Repower Italy, awarded the Speciale Repower Prize to RiceHouse, green-building solutions using rice waste materials: “… believing in both the idea of circularity behind the project, and constant research for new solutions that can improve current efficiency standards, in this case applied to the building sector.”
Double recognition from UniCredit with Sabrina Boifava, WEU Start Lab & Development Programs at UniCredit, in awarding the Special UniCredit Start Lab Prize for the category of “From Idea to Business” to Krill Design, which transforms primarily biological waste materials into bioplastic, and with which it creates functional objects on-demand and with 3D printing technology for companies that create the waste: “… an virtuous example of circular economy, which sees not only the recovery of waste materials, but also savings in logistics distribution, with obvious benefits on all aspects of the environment;” and for the Business category, to Respiro, real-time monitoring of inhaler drug use in patients with asthma, BPCO, making use of its own sensors, AI and cloud infrastructure; “… for the technology upon which it is based and the resulting benefits both for patients – in terms of quality of life and savings – and pharmaceutical companies – in terms of generable data for research and product development.
The prize ceremony continued with the announcement of the open innovation tracks to be implemented through the Special Corporate Fast Track Prize, which saw the introduction of a very special guest, the Undersecretary to the Minister of Economic Development, Gian Paolo Manzella, who declared:“I am happy to be invited to the celebration of the Gaetano Marzotto Prize, which is much more than a prize, because it is not only directed at single realities, but to a whole system of innovation. It brings together large businesses and the universe of startups, an essential step for the future of our industrial system. We have the responsibility to promote this, sustaining corporate venture capital and incubators of ideas, which become increasingly more open places and of exchange between universities, businesses and the important presences in the economy.”
After this, Furio Suggi Liverani, Director Research & Innovation illycaffè, announced that “… for having known how to combine unique scientific competences with the centuries-old tradition of artisan’s craftmenship, by creating a cup of coffee that keeps its temperature without need of external energy sources, using patented technology that has been certified by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, this year we are awarding Altaii Italia, a innovative system of transformation, conservation and administration of food and beverages.”
Giovanni Monopoli, CFO QVC Italy, motivated their choice as follows: “.. for the strong business approach combined with a vision of sustainability and emphasis on maximum quality; for being the image of the perfect idea of the new Italian way of entrepreneurship, as a winning development of typical productive excellence of our country, we have decided to award Fortunale, an alternative idea of beauty, to do fashion and business, in a circular way that is sustainable and plausible.”
Nicolò Marzotto, member of the Board for Santa Margherita Wineries declared: “environmental sustainablity has always been integral to our strategy at Santa Margherita. The Group has therefore decided to support Nanomnia, which works to reduce the impact of synthetic chemicals in agriculture through avant-garde solutions whose main strengths are precision, non-dispersion and sustainability.”
Giulio Mandruzzato, CTO at Santex Rimar Group affirmed that “Santex Rimar is a manufacturing group oriented towards constant research and development of new sustainable technologies for the textile machinery sector. Being able to automate a T-shirt packaging process completely, usually done by hand, is a threshold towards new opportunities. For this reason, we have decided to award Clobot, a technology that truly innovates the packaging of textile products, with its robots for clothing production which reduces the costs of the finished product by 40%.”
Fabrizio Conicella, the new General Manager of Zcube – Zambon Research Venture announced Ematik, an automated system that creates a patch of blood of the patient in the cure of skin wounds, and drastically reduces healing times, as the winner: “… an innovative and ambitious project which responds to a widespread problem, with a very large market. A revolutionary system that is completely automated for the cure of skin wounds. The Jury was particularly impressed by the very young team, which while studying at university worked on the idea of combining their passion for biotechnologies and 3D printing, and in just a few years made important steps, thereby distinguishing themselves for their determination and efficacy.
The ceremony that proceeded with Salvatore Majorana, President of the Jury of the Business Idea Prize, who called upon, together with Federico Barilli, President of the Incubators and Scientific Parks Network of the Prize, which carried out a first screening, the seven finalists: Ariadne, Ematik, Guido, iBlue, Innovacarbon, Proteso, Relief – and announced the winner, Relief, which was awarded a 50,000 euro grant and a CUOA assistance program by Progetto Marzotto, with the following motivation: “There are problems that many do not see, and which can have an effect on 500 million people and involve their families, causing those who are afflicted to change their very habits, making them unable to leave their homes. There are teams that have the skills to find accessible solutions that are capable of letting people live normal lives again. For its capacity of finding a simple solution to a problem that is more widespread than is thought, the Jury of the “Business Idea Prize”, has selected Relief, with the hope that incontinence no longer deprives anyone of their safety and freedom.
And in conclusion, Diana Saraceni, General Partner of Panakès Partners, President of the Jury for the Business Prize, called to the stage, together with Danilo Mazzara, Principal Director of Accenture Strategy, the new president of the Selection Committee for the Business Prize; the Jury oversaw a double screening carried out by more than forty people including researchers, representatives from institutions, universities, business incubators, the world of finance, venture capitalists, journalists and innovation experts, the five finalists: Busforfun, Endorail, Enerbrain, Plick and WISE. And he proclaimed Enerbrain the winner of the 300,000 euro grant, with CUOA assistance: “Perhaps because young Europeans have made it a central issue, or perhaps simple because it was time, this year has been the year that changed the sensibility of everyone regarding the future of our planet. We too of the Jury looked at this theme in a different way and we were not able to resist awarding a company that brings solutions to the market that are have a careful and controlled use of energy resources. The winning company is already a reality in all of Europe and its products are a boon to its clients wallets, as well as being good for the environment. Together with the prize, we send our best wishes to the winner Enerbrain and hope that they continue along the road of success!”