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The second edition of Nanochallenge 2006, the first business plan competition for nanotechnology based ideas. has come to an end on Saturday, November 16th The portable nano-laboratory for wine analysis is arriving from Slovakia Surprise Winner of the Nanochallenge 300.000 € Grand Prize: a team from Bratislava with a portable laboratory for the Wine Industry that allows quick and precise analysis directly in the cellar!
A portable laboratory, not lager than an handbag and which is able to perform all the oenological analysis usually done on wine (organic acids, alcohol, glucose, polyphenols, etc)directly in the cellar and with real time and precise results. This is the innovative idea of Eurosen, a team made up of four Slovakian researchers, that won the second edition of Nanochallenge, the first European business plan competition completely focused on nanotechnology, which offers a Grand Prize of 300.000 € to create a new nanotechnology venture in the Veneto Region, where the national Cluster for nanotechnology is located. The choice was made after three days of competition during the Nanochallenge Final Contest held inside the ancient Bo Palace, historical site of the University of Padua. The thirteen finalist teams have been evaluated by an international Jury made up of important scientists, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs: Renato Bozio, Professor of Chemistry Università di Padova; Pietro Busnardo, General Partner Innogest SGR; Anna Maria Fiorello, Responsible for Microelectronics and Fotonics Selex S (Finmeccanica Group); Robert Jelski,Sector Partner 3I Investments; Emile Knystautas, Scientific Director at CIVEN and Nanofab; Andreas Leson, Vice Director Fraunhofer Institute Dresden; Pierluigi Paracchi, CEOQuantica SGR; Robert Paull, Managing Partner Lux Capital; Aymeric Sallin, Managing Partner Nanodimension; Roberto Siagri , President Eurotech SpA and Silvio Varagnolo, Partner PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The choice was not easy seen the high scientific and entrepreneurial quality level of all contestants' business plans that have been mentored on its development for three months by Veneto Nanotech and PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
The President of Veneto Nanotech, Mr Luigi Rossi Luciani states: "Nanochallenge is something more than an academic prize; in fact the winner not only must possess a relevant and innovative technology based on nanotechnology, but also be able to transform the idea in a product with a pertinent time to market. One condition for been awarded the prize is to found by six months e new technological business inside the cluster located in the Vweneto Region, in the north east of Italy." In addition to Eurosen, the other two finalist teams announced after the Judges Evaluation
on Friday 17th were Diacool (Austria) and Tigon Nanostrategies (USA). DiaCool presented a solution to solve thermal management problems related to the miniaturizing of components and to increase reliability through the production of high performance heat sink materials for different application by using patented technology: coated diamonds in combination with powder metallurgical processes.
Tigon project was focused on biotechnology and the imaging sector: using nanotechnology, they have developed disease hunting imaging probes that can detect cancer and other diseases in their earliest stages. Once activated, TIGON probes can be injected into the body and will attach themselves to cancerous cells, while with current technology, clinicians can only detect tumors that are at least 1 billion cells in size.
"We chose the Slovakian Team for some reasons - explained Professor Renato Bozio, president of the Jury and President of Nanofab, the Nanofabrication Facility -. First of all because of the good combination between scientific value and product fulfillment time. The four young researches have already a working prototype which within few months will be ready to be shown to all the operator in the industry wine. Second because of economical reasons: Italy and the Veneto Region are one of the major wine producer of the world. It would be consequently e great result if this new nano-venture could launch such a product in the market in the short term. Finally because of educational reasons: these guys are a strong message for our researchers: innovation can be carried out even in a small structure like the University of Bratislava, a small University in East of Europe, that is not provided with the same facilities we have in Italy."
Eurosen, the winning team of this second edition of Nanochallenge, will have now to start its operation in Veneto by June 2007. Along the start-up phase they will be supported by Veneto Nanotech that will help them in starting their business and create contacts among wine producers.
Nanochallenge is an international business plan competition organised by Veneto Nanotech.
Nanochallenge poses itself as an “entrepreneurship womb” which involves important players in the nanotech field, such as talented researchers, entrepreneurs, mentors, venture capitalists, business angels and successful start-ups in an environment that fosters aspiring business ideas.
The competition aims at uncovering breakthrough nanotechnology applications and attracting the best entrepreneurial talents, in order to create an active environment enhancing the nanotechnology innovation process and to give participants an actual opportunity to create a start-up company.
Anybody from anywhere who has an innovative and high-growth Nanotechnology business idea can participate and try to win the Grand Prize of about €300,000.
The Nanochallenge business plan competition in its first edition managed to attract participants from important Universities and Research Centres around the world. Our past participants consider Nanochallenge a great opportunity that has sharpened their business insight and provided them with the necessary skills, network and competences to conquer the international nanotech arena.
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