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National Innovation day: also representing the Trieste Science Park at the Quirinal Palace, Elisa D’Este of CNR-IOM and Gianluca Verin of Athonet 

An AREA company - T&B e Associati - awarded by President Napolitano

14.06.2011 -

AREA Science Park was one of the leading participants at the National Innovation Day held today, that culminated in the awarding of the "Prize of Prizes" by President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, to young people and companies that have demonstrated an outstanding capacity for innovation.


Among the prize winners was a company based in the Trieste Science Park, T&B e associati S.r.l, a consultancy service provider in the field of facilitated financing and business innovation. The prize was awarded: "For having made innovation the cornerstone of its success in the business consultancy sector and for having contributed to the diffusion of this culture among its clients." There to receive the prize was the managing director, Stefano Puissa.


T&B e associati S.r.l., in business since 1999, has developed a multi-disciplinary team capable of working on technical-scientific, organisational and financial issues, creating a vast array of integrated services: facilitated financing, Project Management, Project Design, Technology Transfer support, Tutoring and Coaching for Start-ups and Spin-offs. In order to provide proper support for the pattern of growth that has become a feature of the company in recent years, a project was launched called KMATT - 'Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer' - that includes the involvement of the Technology Transfer Service offered by AREA Science Park. The project studies knowledge management methodologies and techniques employed by regional Research Bodies and companies with the aim of implementing a structured, high quality service that can support the realisation of innovative ideas developed by its clients.


Also representing AREA during the award ceremony at the Quirinal Palace were a young researcher and a young entrepreneur: Elisa D'Este, from CNR-INFM TASC National Laboratory, and Gianluca Verin, co-founder of Athonet.


Elisa D'Este is a researcher specialising in nanotechnology who is engaged in the study of neuron development, among the 'behavioural' characteristics of which is that of making a thorough exploration of its environment before identifying other neurons with which to form connections.  These explorations take place through 'growth cones', highly dynamic and mobile structures that, precisely because of their great plasticity, are highly sensitive to changes in the surrounding conditions. Thanks to an innovative technique developed in collaboration with the University of Trieste and based on the use of a special laser beam, the research team of which Elisa is a member at the CNR-IOM TASC National Laboratory is able to move and position, at a growth cone level, tiny receptacles (a thousandth of a millimetre in size) containing specific molecules. These molecules are then released and act on the growth cones.


This makes it possible to study with great precision - by simulating conditions that are actually created within the brain - the effect of different proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases, in mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and in depression. Understanding their mechanisms of action can help in the identification of potential cures.


Gianluca Verin, together with his partner Karim El Malki, has developed PRIMO (Private Mobile), a complete and compact new generation private mobile network that can be installed directly onto a fixed company network allowing prioritised local access to traditional applications such as email, video, Voice over IP and enabling innovative services, using standard commercially available UMTS/HSPA terminals. After having worked in Stockholm for Ericsson in 2005, Gianluca and Karim decided to follow their 'lifelong ambition' by founding Athonet.


They anticipate that mobile data transmission will undergo an exponential growth and that current mobile network systems will require a significant increase in efficiency, performance improvement and simplification of network architectures. Their adventure began as a 'garage start-up', at low cost and with endless hours worked day and night and during holiday periods. After years of sacrifice, Karim and Gianluca have finally made it: the new 'All IP' mobile communication system, a totally unique product, has now been on the market for several months.


The ceremony for awarding the "Prize of Prizes" saw AREA and the leading Italian science parks linked via Internet to other young innovators, the 'nuovi Mille' ('new 1000' - next generation innovators) that actively participated in the event from various locations.