The 2015 edition



Portable, inexpensive and user-friendly device, capable of improving preliminary screening of colorectal adenomas

SCENT A1 is a portable, inexpensive and user-friendly device, capable of improving preliminary screening of colorectal adenomas, without adding complications to the procedure currently adopted by the Health Service. In fact, this test will analyze feces (as FOBT, Fecal Occult Blood test) collected by the subject itself, analyzing the composition of their emitted gas. The idea behind SCENT was born at the Sensors Laboratory (SL) of the University of Ferrara. It was originated by reading scientific papers regarding volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by tumor cells. From here, the idea of applying chemoresistive nanostructured sensors arouse, which are extremely versatile, to the detection of gaseous biomarkers emitted by feces of patients with colorectal polyps. In fact, when feces come in contact with the tumor mass, they are altered in their gas composition and SCENT A1 is able to identify this difference. The aim of SCENT A1 is to introduce an innovative screening method for colorectal adenomas, in order to support FOBT, currently adopted by SSN on subject of age ≥ 50 years. The goal is the identification of the false negatives of FOBT, about 20% of the total, therefore very high. The impact will be a decrease in mortality, at the expense of a negligible increase in costs for health service and private clinics adopting SCENT A1.

Winner of the Business Prize (300,000 Euros)
Fifth edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2015



Detection of biomolecules in water-based fluids

ProXentia can provide commercial analytical devices based on the new optical technology Reflective Phantom Interface (RPI). RPI enables the detection of biomolecules in water-based fluids, from blood plasma to tears, from milk to wine, from plant extract to waste water. RPI exploits a simple and basic optical property. When a light beam hits the interface between distinct media, a reflected beam is generally produced. If the materials or their structure are such that reflections are minimized, a particular condition is obtained in which even a small number of molecules stuck at the interface will produce a significant variation in the reflected light. The sensor surfaces in the RPI technology are based on materials that yield such a condition of low reflectivity when in contact with aqueous solutions. The RPI technology works by immobilizing within tiny spots selected receptors (e.g. antibodies) which are capable of selectively 'capturing' the target molecules (e.g. toxins) whose presence and/or concentration have to be determined. The reflectivity of the spots gives a direct, quantitative and real-time measure of the amount of captured target molecules, and thus of their concentration in the investigated solution. Detection based on spots enables the simultaneous measurement and quantitative analysis of tens of molecular targets. RPI detection is “label-free” since it does not require the use of fluorescent or radioactive tags nor of specific reagents.

Winner of the From the Idea to the Business Prize (50,000 Euros)
Fifth edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2015

The 2014 edition



Innovative prostheses in a biosynthetic material

Innovative prostheses in a biosynthetic material Tensive uses a synthetic biomaterial which, combined with vascularization technologies, allows the development of innovative prostheses, alternative to those in silicone, and offers a natural and permanent increase and/or reconstruction of the breast. These products will lead to an improvement of the patient's quality of life because the reconstruction will be made with a single operation, and so it will not be necessary to undergo periodic substitutions of the prosthesis as happens with those in silicone. This means fewer days in hospital and lower costs for the national health system. Traditional prostheses have a high failure rate, especially in the case of reconstruction after the removal of a tumour. Tensive aims at a natural and definitive reconstruction that can also relieve the psychological suffering of cancer patients.

Alessandro Tocchio, Founder of Tensive
Winner of the Business Prize (300,000 Euros)
Fourth edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2014



Devices for swimmers that records training parameters and gives a live audio feedback

Swimmers are used to train by going up and down the pool, without much idea about what they are doing and how. Xmetrics is the solution: an ergonomic and light device to wear on the head. It records training parameters - from the number of lengths to a pulse count - and supplies a live audio feedback just like a virtual trainer. This resolves problems never previously resolved in the sector of swimming, due to the recording of sporting parameters with the help of automatic telemetry. Before Xmetrics, there was no ergonomic technology, one, in other words, that did not hinder the athlete during the swim and that, at the same time, could monitor a whole series of sporting parameters that, in real time, could share these parameters with the trainer at the side of the swimming pool. With Xmetrics, the first activity tracker, all this is possible today.

Andrea Rinaldo, founder and CEO of Xmetrics
Winner of the From the Idea to the Business Prize (50,000 Euros)
Fourth edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2014

The 2013 edition



Bioactive hydrogels for the treatment of ulcers and burns

Epinova Biotech, in the sector of bioactive hydrogels for the treatment of ulcers and burns, has developed polymeric substrata for epithelial substitutes, for use in healthcare, through the creation of a new biocompatible matrix that is highly hydrated (Hydrogel), easily produced, and able to act both as a mechanical support and as a drug delivery system for the development and differentiation of tissues in vitro or in vivo (Epigel). Epigel is capable of undertaking, at the same time, both the function of a mechanical support, and the release of growth factors suitable for the development and differentiation in vitro and in vivo of tissues for scientific use (research, cytotoxicity tests, cellular migration tests) and for therapeutic use (use in the treatment of ulcers and burns, as well as in the case of small surgical operations).

Filippo Renò, CEO Epinova Biotech
Winner of the prize for a new social and cultural company (100,000 Euros)
Third edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2013



Robotic systems for physical interaction with people

Wearable light exoskeletons (robotic systems for physical interaction with people) are exoskeletons to be worn and which can be used as a support for the movement of materials and for ambulating the disabled or the elderly, with a consequent reduction in the field of industry of pathologies related to the muscle-skeletal system and, in the field of assistance, an improvement of the independence of the subjects affected. The exoskeleton referred to is a wearable robotic device that can act as a support to the user's limbs; it consists of a backpack and four activated robotic limbs and can faithfully follow the complex movements of the human body. The highly innovative element of the device is the activation technique which, differently to what has been realised until now, utilises electric motors in combination with elastic elements to permit a notable reduction of energy consumption, a drastic simplification of the device's control, and a reduction of the bulk and weight of the mobile parts.

Basilio Lenzo, Wearable Robotics
Winner of the Business of the Future prize (250,000 Euros)
Third edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2013

The 2012 edition

Liquidweb Brain Control


Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) applied to assistive technologies

The aim of Brain Control is to allow control through thought or assistive technologies. It is aimed at patients with such pathologies as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophies of various kinds, and who are subject to motor and communicational disabilities. Above all it has been conceived for patients suffering from illnesses that completely or partially paralyze them while leaving their intellectual abilities untouched. Brain Control allows the communication of feelings and needs; the moving of one's own wheelchair; interaction with friends and relatives through social networking, emails, and SMS; switching lights on and off; even opening and closing doors and windows. These are small everyday gestures for most people, but a genuine revolution for those afflicted with degenerative kinds of neuromuscular illnesses or who have ischemic or traumatic brain damage. The target market is that of assistive healthcare technologies. A quantitative evaluation of the international and national market is, respectively, of 15 billion and 130 million Euros. The product will be sold or leased to health structures and to patients directly through distributors. The project is supported by AISLA, ARISLA, and the Fondazione Maugeri and, in recent months, has been widely appreciated at a national and international level.

Pasquale Fedele, Founder Liquidweb
Winner of the prize for a new social or cultural business (100,000 Euros)
Second edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2012



Desalinised and drinking water

SOLWA has as its aim the placement on the market of desalinisation and water purification with the use of the Modulo SOLWA, an innovative and efficient product exclusively based on the use of renewable energy, and able to revolutionize the current sector. SOLWA intends to give an answer to one of the most important millennium goals: water. It is estimated that, as things stand, 1.2 million people in the world do not have access to drinking water and that some 1.6 million human lives could be saved every year if the conditions for access were improved. In an isolated situation, such as that of a greenhouse, SOLWA imitates the natural cycle of water (evaporation and successive condensation) and forces it to increase output and efficiency. The innovation consists of the design of a system that makes solar energy evaporate the water at lower temperatures than those normally necessary. The United Nations have called SOLWA an "innovation for the development of humanity".

Davide Franceschetti, Founder Solwa
Winner of the Business of the Future prize (250,000 Euros)
Second edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto - 2012

The 2011 edition

Giannino Marzotto e Annalisa Balloi_Vincitrice Premio Gaetano Marzotto 2011


Microbial formulates for various solutions

Among the problems faced by conservers of art works in an urban setting, those concerning lithoidal materials (stone, frescoes etc.) are well known. Stone monuments and objects in historical cities are affected by such alterations as "black crust" resulting from pollution. Until now the solutions adopted for the removal of these alterations and to bring the work of art back to its originality have been based on chemical products (acid agents, alkalis, surface-active and sensitizing agents) or mechanical processes (laser, sand-blasting) all of which have the limit of not being selective: they can attack the original surface and are potentially dangerous to the operators and the environment. The use of microbial cells as biological cleaning agents is an original, innovative, and eco-sustainable technique, one developed and patented by a team of Italian researchers who have used it successfully on important monuments and works of art. The university spin-off, Micro4yoU (M4U), has acquired the exclusive license for this patent and intends to create a series of biological products, as well as making available a training and assistance service, which will satisfy the need for working in complete respect to the cultural heritage, the operators, and the environment. All this with a product competitive even at an economic level.

Annalisa Balloi, AD Micro4you
Winner of the Business of the Future prize (250,000 Euros)
First edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto – 2011

Francesca Cavallini_TICE_2011


An educational franchise

Tice intends to create a basis for educational franchising and a university spinoff of national importance. The project we are presenting for the award lasts two years and foresees the establishment of two new Tice centres, the creation of a technological network allowing the four centres to be continuously connected via video-conferences, and a research-allowance for testing and publicizing the results. Tice che cresce (Tice that grows) is a project for managerial and organizational innovation which will allow professionals to be constantly interconnected and exponentially increase the possibility of learning from friends and researchers. Tice per crescere e imparare interconnessi (Tice for interconnected growth and learning) is a business model for equal opportunities: 70% of Tice's workforce consists of women in their thirties. A responsible business means adopting measures to avoid maternity being considered as a barrier. Tice per crescere e imparare interconnessi is a project that will allow the opening of a new market channel: schools and institutes distant from each other can learn in interconnected classrooms.

Francesca Cavallini, TICE
Winner of the prize for a new social and cultural business (100,000 Euros)
First edition Premio Gaetano Marzotto – 2011