The two winners of Nanochallenge and Polymerchallenge 2009 were announced on Friday, 27 November 2009. After two days of presentation the international jury made a decision choosing the two winners among the eight finalist teams.
Nanto Paint is the winner of the 300.000 euro prize for the nanotechnology category. The Italian team comes from Trieste and has developed innovative anticorrosion and fire retardant coatings and polymers based on a proprietary nanotechnology. Products are now ready to be launched on the market and by projects which are nearing completion for industrialization. Nanto Paint. technology is based on nanoclay composites which are currently generating a great deal of interest due to their cost effective advantages in barrier properties. The patented technology developed the effectiveness of nanoclays as barrier elements to corrosion, in order to obtain protective coatings. The first series of products is a cluster of high efficiency anticorrosion coatings for the heavy, marine and construction industry while the second one present thermal resistant coatings for the oil and energy sector. The team is composed by: Massimo Merlino, chairman of Nanto Paint, who has a degree in Chemical Engineer; Roberto Cafagna, C.E.O., who has a degree in Economics and Corporate Management; Ennio Capria has a PhD in Advanced Materials and great experience in R&D of innovative materials containing nanoparticles; Laura Muzzolini, Project Manager, has an MBA focused on innovation and technology management; Samuel Kening is the inventor of the technology and Dean of Engineering at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat-Gan (Israel).
The team will soon open headquarters in the Veneto Region and will be supported by Veneto Nanotech for the start of the new company.
Nice Filler from Salerno is the winning team of the polymer-based material category. Nice Filler develops, produces and will supply packaging producers with polymeric composites to be used in smart food packaging applications. The original and patented system proposed by NICE FILLER is based on inorganic-organic fillers for commercial polymer matrices, characterized by a lamellar structure able to intercalate with ionic bonds active molecules. The incorporation of these compounds into polymeric matrices increases their mechanical, thermal and barrier properties. In addition, they can be employed for a simple incorporation of active molecules that allow to obtain intelligent, multifunctional packaging materials.
The Nice Filler technology allows improvements across an extremely wide range of applications. At the same time the usage of it for making food packaging material will save consumers in costs associated with purchasing, transportation, recycling and discarding. Recently, the European legislation (EC-450/2009) has regulated the use of active and intelligent materials intended to come into contact with food. This creates an interesting opportunity for introducing on the European market a number of products that up to now were only present in Japan and USA. NICE FILLER will be operated as a partnership owned by three different groups: the scientific group (supervised by Prof. Vittoria Vittoria), the Business group (supervised by Prof. Roberto Parente) and IMAST. The team also includes highly qualified professionals in different areas: Andrea Sorrentino (polymer processing), Loredana Tammaro (synthesis and physical characterization of composites), Valeria Bugatti (laboratory and quality control), Antonello Saccomanno (strategic planning and economic-financial analysis), Eduardo D’Urso and Matteo De Martino (R&D manager and customers' technical assistance).