Smart City Innovation Awards

Five smart city innovation projects were honored in the first edition of these awards granted by Opinno and MITEF

This year Milan (Italy) became the worldwide hub for innovation by hosting the World´s Fair that unites a total of 145 countries. To contribute to this vision of technology as an agent of social change, the Smart City Innovation Awards were organized and curated by Opinno in collaboration with MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF). These awards highlight the technological excellence of five innovative projects in the field of smart cities, which aims to build the “city of the future”.

The five young award winners of this first edition of the Smart City Innovation Awards presented projects related to energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and smart devices. These winners were selected from amongst almost 100 candidatures. “We need to discover these young people, recognize them and offer a high level showcase for the innovative products and services they are developing,” explains the Competitions Manager at Opinno, Elena Zafra.

Here are the five winning ideas:

Smart City Innovator of the Year – Marco Morini: Created translucid construction components that can be adapted to create windows and building facades that not only insulate the structure, they also contain photovoltaic cells that produce solar energy, while allowing light to pass through. SBskin

Giovanni Alli: Created an electric bicycle that doesn´t need to be plugged in to charge its battery, and incorporates an application that connects to the bike via Bluetooth to measure the pedaling requirements for each route. BIKE+

Domenico Schillaci: Developed an app for smartphones that helps to reduce traffic and pollution through an incentives program that provides rewards for the use of sustainable means of transportation. TrafficO2

Nicola Fedele: Her multifunctional card integrates different technologies which allow the user to access transportation, banking, and telephony services as well as providing a unique identification service. OSCAR (Over the Smart Card)

Paola Curci: Invented an analysis platform for urban energy planning that helps urban planners to make informed decisions based on real information. PEDRO (Planning Energy Decisions to Release Opportunities)

The winners were selected by a jury, established by Opinno and consisting of international experts in the field of smart cities. These jury members considered factors like the economic viability of the project, its potential to create jobs, and scalability of each project and therefore its potential to have a global impact while evaluating the candidates. Thus the winning projects have the potential to improve not only Italian cities, but cities worldwide.

The awards were presented in a ceremony yesterday at the BNP Paribas Palace within the WAVE exhibition for shared economies sponsored by the bank. BNP Paribas joined forces with the Smart Cities Innovation Awards due to their positive experiences working with Opinno in similar competitions, like the Innovators Under 35 Europe awards. Opinno´s European Business Development Manager, Carmen Boronat, confirms that BNP Paribas´ confidence in Opinno is based on “the solvency demonstrated by the management of previous events”.

The five winners of the Smart Cities Innovation Awards presented their projects in three minute pitches during the awards ceremony. From amongst these winners, Marco Morini received a special mention as the Smart City Innovator of the Year, which won him an invitation to the next EmTech in Boston, MIT Technology Review´s emerging technologies conference. In addition, all of the winning projects will participate will compete in the first round of the Welcome 2015 Silicon Valley + EU Roadshow Initiative, an entrepreneurship initiative funded by the European Commission.

In addition to the presentation of the awards, the event united world leaders in smart cities like the director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, Carlo Ratti; the general director of the Bioindustrial Park Silvano Fumero, Fabrizio Conicella; and the CEO of the telecommunications company Fluidmesh Networks, Umberto Malesci. Their interventions in the event included debates centered on innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities in smart cities, a field whose evolution and development could forever change our concept of cities and citizens.

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