The XIV edition of the Research Exchange, the event organized by the Emblema Foundation in collaboration with the University of Catania, which took place at the Benedictine Monastery of Catania, closes with over a thousand appointments in three days. Along the corridors of the Catania Monastery there were intense days of one-to-one meetings, in which the world of university research (groups, departments, startups and spin-offs) had the opportunity to dialogue with companies, incubators and public and private investors, in a logic of open innovation. The protagonists of today were 53 startups and academic spin-offs who had the opportunity to present their business idea to a large audience of delegates from companies and investors: 3 minutes to illustrate the business model, the team, the growth ambitions and all the details of your project. At the end of the day, the BDR 23 AWARDS were awarded to the most interesting ideas, with the prizes supported by Barilla, the Digital Sustainability Foundation, Leonardo and Sifi Group.
The research group of the Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Forestry Sciences and Technologies of the University of Florence (DAGRI) is the winner of the prize offered by Barilla. The solution included in the Florentine group’s patent allows the use of the mutant bacterial strain Rhodopseudomonas palustris for the photofermentation of agro-industrial biomass of plant origin. For the occasion, the Group will reward the spinoff with a cooking experience at Accademia Barilla, a visit to the Parma pasta factory (the largest in the world) and a meeting at its headquarters in Parma with the R&D team, to delve deeper into the areas of common interest and opportunities for cooperation. Leonardo instead awarded Eco Drone, a spin-off with registered office in La Spezia and operational headquarters at the University Incubator of Sesto Fiorentino. Its primary corporate purpose is the design – production – repair – testing and marketing of mechatronic and robotic systems, mobile and fixed, for environmental monitoring, connected via telecommunications networks, integrated multi-agent/multi-role networks and equipped with high added value tools. The reality, in line with the vision and challenges of Leonardo Solvers Wanted, rewarded the spin off with an electric scooter.
Sifi Group awarded CP2 Biotech, a biotechnological spinoff of the University of MilanoBicocca. Its mission is to bring to the clinic through preclinical validation new bioactive compounds developed in the research laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences by the founders’ research groups. The reward – from the Group – is a training day spent in the company to visit the factories and participate in a focus group with the R&D team.
The Digital Sustainability Foundation has instead chosen CirQlar, the business idea presented by the research group of the University of Messina which proposes to contribute to the development and diffusion of the principles of the circular economy, through the production and marketing of innovative materials and eco-sustainable, obtained mainly from waste and/or industrial processing waste. Thanks to the recognition received, the Foundation will support the team with coaching through 5 consultancy sessions with the top managers of the Eht Group, a partner of the Foundation. Created to concretely facilitate technological transfer and economic support for research, the Exchange is the largest Italian technological matching event in which university delegations, startups and academic spin-offs, over 100 companies, dozens of research groups from universities participated. Italians and 20 PNRR projects. Twenty workshops linked to the PNRR projects which had the opportunity to present themselves and discuss with a vast audience of stakeholders.
On October 26th it was the turn of NBFC, National Center for Biodiversity; Raise, Ligurian innovation ecosystem on robotics and artificial intelligence; Most, national center for sustainable mobility; Agritech national center for the development of new technologies in agriculture; Restrart, extended partnership for the evolution of telecommunications; Inf-act, extended partnership on emerging infectious diseases; Vitality, innovation, digitalisation and sustainability ecosystem for the widespread economy of central Italy and KM3eT4RR, research infrastructure that explores the Universe with an underwater neutrino telescope.
Today, however, the projects of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan are the protagonists, such as Anthem, a project on advanced technologies for high-incidence and/or orphan diseases; Ecosister ecosystem for sustainable transition in Emilia Romagna; Fair Extended Partnership on Artificial Intelligence Research; TECH4YOU, innovation ecosystem of Basilicata and Calabria for the ecological transition; MUSA, innovation ecosystem on multilevel urban sustainability; NQSTI, Extended Partnership on Quantum Science and Technology and Changes, Partnership on Innovation in Humanities and Cultural Heritage. The appointment is therefore next year, again in Catania, from 16 to 18 October 2024 for the XV edition of the Research Exchange.