From time to time at BAIA we hear about interesting initiatives to retain and promote innovation in Italy. It is undisputed that Italy has a lot of talent in research and engineering. Based on my personal experience of working with companies with U.S. corporate heads and R&D subsidiaries in Italy, I don’t think that Italian engineers have anything to envy to their counterparts in San Jose or Bangalore from a formative and technical skills point of view. The key remains how to unlock this great human capital and turn it into innovation that stays in Italy.
I have learned from the Italian Trade Commission about an interesting initiative called Nanochallenge 2007 that purports to stimulate nanotechnology innovation in Italy. Veneto Nanotech, the Italian Cluster for Nanotechnologies, and IMAST, the Italian technological district on engineering of polymeric and composite materials and structures, are jointly launching the third edition of Nanochallenge, the first international business plan competition on nanotechnologies with two Grand Prizes of €300,000 each.
Details are below:
Nanochallenge 2007 doubles its stakes with Polymerchallenge!
Veneto Nanotech, the Italian Cluster for Nanotechnologies, and IMAST, the Italian technological district on Engineering of polymeric and composite materials and structures, are jointly launching the third edition of Nanochallenge, the first international business plan competition on nanotechnologies with a Grand Prize of €300,000. This year, for the first time, the competition doubles its stakes with Polymerchallenge, an additional Grand Prize of €300,000 which will be offered by IMAST to the best project on advanced polymer-based materials.
The business plan competition aims to pinpoint and finance tomorrow’s leading firms in nanotechnologies and polymeric and composite materials and to fund new high-tech ventures in Italy. The winner of the nanotechnologies Grand Prize will receive €300,000 from Veneto Nanotech in order to start its operations within the national nanotechnologies cluster in the Veneto Region (north-east Italy). At the same time the winner of the polymer-based materials Grand Prize will receive from IMAST €300,000 in order to fund a start-up in the technological district on polymeric and composite materials of the Campania Region (south-west Italy).
The main objectives of the two organizers, Veneto Nanotech and IMAST, are to foster research in nanotechnologies and polymer-based materials in Italy and support the creation of new high-tech start-ups by attracting the best talents in the research, industrial and financial areas.
All innovative and feasible ideas regarding nanotechnologies or polymer-based materials are welcome and can participate in the competition. Entry teams will have the opportunity to present their project to international financers, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business angels and top scientists.
A highly-qualified international jury will select the best project during the Final Event on November 29-30.
Partners of Nanochallenge past editions included: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo, Benet Group, CEI – Central European Initiative, Intel Capital, Lux Capital, 3i Investments, Innogest, NanoDimension AG, Quantica Sgr, PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
Entry Teams can now register on-line.