Posted in | Nanomaterials

600.000 Euros for the 2010 Best Business Ideas in Nanotechnology and Polymer-Based Materials

Veneto Nanotech, the Italian cluster of nanotechnology, is launching the sixth edition of Nanochallenge and Polymerchallenge, an internation business plan competition aiming at funding startups in nanotechnology with a Grand Prize of 300.000 euro.

The competition is coorganized by IMAST that offers 300.000 euro for the best business idea based on a new polymer-based materials technology.
The competition is open to teams of at least two people that must submit their business proposal by the end of June for the first screening of a Scientifi Jury.

Veneto Nanotech is located in north-east Italy, near Venice.
Veneto Nanotech was established with the objective to build international excellence in research through its laboratories and facilities, to foster the application of nanotechnology, and to support the development of start-ups. It proposes itself as a link at an institutional level and as a referee for companies and research institutions, in order to create innovative high-tech products.

The Region of Veneto, where Venice is located, is the centre of the technological cluster, with strong scientific and productive competences, along with great application potentials in its industrial environment. Moreover, Veneto boasts the highest entrepreneurship rate in Italy, and a high concentration of businesses that are mostly interested in nanotechnology. The aforementioned characteristics of the region rendered it the most attractive site to develop the nanotech cluster.

The winner of Nanochallenge has the chance to establish its start-up in this environment, close to a large number of medium and large companies and close to the laboratories of Veneto Nanotech: Nanofab-Nanofabrication Facility, Ecsin-European Center fo the sustainable impact of nanotechnology and LANN - Laboratoy for Nanofabrication of Nanodevices.


Nanochallenge and Polymerchallenge offers you:

  • money to start your business:
  • 300.000 Euro for the best project in nanotechnology;
  • 300.000 Euro for the best project in polymer-based materials;
  • networking with investors;
  • meeting with Presidents, CEOs and R&D Directors of big companies;
  • strategic and business competences;
  • opportunity to raise funds during and after the competition;
  • international visibility on media.

Besides money, the winners will have the unique chance to use the equipment, tools and labs of Veneto Nanotech and IMAST.

Who can compete?:

  • inventors
  • students, phd, researchers, professors
  • business people
  • anybody with an innovative idea in nanotechnology and polymers

The competion is international.

  • Teams must be composed by two members at least.
  • Existing companies can enter if not controlled by big groups and after written authorozation by the Organizing Committee.


  • Entry teams on-line registration due: end of June 2010
  • Executive summary submission due: July 2010
  • Finalist teams selection and announcement: end of July 2010
  • Teams submit pledge to compete: end of Juy 2010
  • Mentoring for drawing the business plan: August-September
  • 2010 Written business plans due: end of October 2010
  • Final Contest Dates: end of November 2010

All information about the rules of the competition are available at the section guidelines of the website.

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.

Watch the video of 2009 Final Contest

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