The BRAINS IN MOTION 2011 AWARD presents the three winning projects from Calabria looking for international investors: an innovative technology for indoor thermal insulation, a new generation of solar 'trackers' and kinetic turbines to generate energy from rivers without damaging riverbeds.
The winner of the first edition of the BRAINS IN MOTION AWARD, as part of the prize, granted by the non-profit association Bridges to Italy, organizer of the award, in collaboration with Tech Coast Angels, the largest U.S. angels investors organization, has taken part in an investors roadshow from San Diego to Los Angeles. "It's been amazing: a unique opportunity for our startup to lay the seeds of international growth" says Marco Castriota about the journey in Southern California. Castriota is the 36 years old chemist from Cosenza (Calabria), professor at the University of Calabria, CEO of the nanotechnology company NOTREDAME and author of the winning project 'SMARTLAYERCAL' an innovative thermal insulation technology.
THE 2011 AWARD WINNERS - Marco Castriota’s innovation was chosen as the winner among the fifteen projects which participated in the first edition of "Brains in Motion", an advanced training program and award aimed at supporting the international growth of Southern Italian high-tech enterprises. The three finalists were selected by a jury chaired by Sandra Savaglio, world renowned Astrophysicist, and composed of scholars, business leaders and investors involved in the US high-tech world. The Jury panel included members of Tech Coast Angels, as well as Toni Volpe, President of Enel North America and Professor Francesco Lanza di Scalea of the University of California in San Diego. The winning project, 'Smartlayercal', belongs to an area of great global interest: energy savings and renewable energy. It consists in a particularly innovative film which is made of flexible electrochromic materials, adhesive, and self powered by photovoltaic sources. It can be easily applied to new and existing windows, by anyone including the end-user, favoring less heat consumption during the winter and air conditioning in summer. "We calculated that the Smartlayercal technology can allow energy savings of about 30% in the buildings where it is applied," says Roberto Termini, COO of the team, "this system also allows the end-user to manage his/her energy consumption through wi-fi technology." The second and third places went, respectively, to Roberto Polillo – for ‘TUCANO’, an innovative solar tracker to heat water and generate energy for industrial use and to Manuel Sanchez Blanco with ' SYNTENERGY', a project for the implementation of a new type of turbine to generate kinetic energy from river currents and tides without damaging riverbeds.
THE CALIFORNIA ROADSHOW – The SMARTLAYERCAL team has already completed the roadshow in Southern California where, in a few days, it presented to over 200 key people between investors and potential partners thanks to the active collaboration of Tech Coast Angels (TCA). TCA is a vibrant Southern California-based angels organization with nearly 300 members who provide money, connections, knowledge, mentoring and operational assistance to bold early-stage entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas.
THE AWARD CEREMONY – "I am really satisfied: Italy once again, with its highest level of creativity and expertise of its researchers, shows that high-tech can and must become a driving force for the economic recovery of the entire country," said the President of Bridges to Italy, Bianca Dellepiane, at the Award ceremony organized at the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles on October 14th. The ceremony opened with a fun and passionate documentary titled "Calabria According to Us" created by the youthful DYNEMATICA team (another Award’s participant which specializes in 3D educational tools and virtual reality). After a burst of applause, the actual award ceremony took place among representatives of all major Italian and Italian-American institutions. Speeches and laudatory remarks were given by the host, Alberto Di Mauro, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, who introduced the speakers starting with Consul General Giuseppe Perrone, followed by Bridges to Italy’s Presidents for the U.S. and Italy Bianca Dellepiane and Domenico Quaglio and Tech Coast Angels Chairman, Mike Napoli. Then, Consul General Perrone presented the award “CERVELLI IN MOVIMENTO 2011” (Brains in Motion 2011) to the winner, congratulating him for the innovative idea and wishing him great success thanks to the contacts made during the meetings with Southern Californian investors. The winner's speech demonstrated that the prize had achieved not only its stated objective of increasing the startup’s international growth opportunities, but also the implicit goal of taking back to Southern Italy the passion to mentor other innovators about the American-way to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in high-tech.
THE FUTURE - Now, upon the conclusion of this first edition of BRAINS IN MOTION, the more difficult phase begins, a thorough follow-up work to select the best opportunities and open up real prospects of growth for SMARTLAYERCAL. "We are already working on the 2012 edition, which will launch in December in conjunction with the Italian Award ceremony, " added the President of Bridges to Italy - Italia, Domenico Quaglio, "this first experience has given excellent results, but we can do much more to improve the entrepreneurial skills of Italian researchers and make their work more competitive at the international level ".