Unical hosts the National Award for Innovation 2015

On December 3rd and 4th, sixty business plans for Italian businesses will be in competition in Rende.

“Look ahead, the future is near,” the slogan of the thirteenth edition of the Premio nazionale per l’innovazione (PNI) (National Prize for Innovation), will be held on December 3rd and 4th at the University of Calabria.

The largest and most comprehensive business plan competition in Italy, promoted by Associazione Italiana degli Incubatori Universitari–PNICube – which puts the spotlight on the winning ideas to build and develop high-tech and innovative companies in key sectors of the economy – comes for the first time to Calabria.banner-pni-unical-2015

The prestigious award, created in 2003 to promote and spread the culture of business enterprise within the academic world, represents an important opportunity for the University of Rende (CS), in recent years, which has produced about 70 patents, becoming a point of reference to start-ups and attracting the attention of investors.

A sort of “European Cup between the hi-tech business enterprise projects,” whose main purpose is to support the emergence of innovative companies from academic research and to promote effectively the economic development of territories and consequently, the entire nation.

Sixty business ideas of Italy in competition, selected from 18 regional competitions. Two days of study and debate, to be held at the Teatro Auditorium dell’Unical, dedicated to the issues of innovation, after which will be awarded the four sectoral awards: Life Sciences, IREN Cleantech & Energy, Industrial, ICT, each for a sum of 25,000 Euros. Among them will be elected the final winner of the PNI 2015 and to the academic institution (University or E.P.R.) who produced the start-up winner, will go the PNI Champions Cup. There will also be several special prizes provided by embassies and prestigious partner companies.

The event will include a series of initiatives such as exposition/exhibition of ideas, instructive seminars, until the closing ceremony, during which the best 16 ideas will compete in a pitch to determine the innovative idea winner of the top award.

With space also for music and the Business of Music. The 3rd of December boasts an exceptional ensemble, four voices amongst the most significant on the Italian music scene, Mauro Ermanno Giovanardi (former singer of La Crus), the cosentino, Peppe Voltarelli, trumpeter Roy Paci and the Calabrian singer Dario Brunori. A cultural experiment, a meeting between different musical worlds, which will be attended by a group of musicians from Calabria. Meanwhile, on December 4th, regional and national players in the music scene will compete in a round table.

“We are honored to host, for the first time at our university, the National Award for Innovation – said the Rector of the University of Calabria, Gino Mirocle Crisci – A definite recognition to activity of technologic conveyance which Unical has designed and developed in recent years, always with more and more profound efforts and resources, in order to promote dialogue between the world of research and the system of productivity.”

The Calabrian finalists, winners of the Start Cup last July, were: Easy Move (a platform to optimize public transportation), Zeropet (an innovative way to recycle plastic) and Made (custom forms for temporary spaces).

As part of the PNI emerged a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers that brought to the institution, in addition to the existing Mention for Social Innovation, a Special Mention intended to encourage female entrepreneurship, in the certainty that it represents a viable solution for the reduction of unemployment.