The Italian branch of Novartis and Cariplo Foundation, in partnership with PoliHub, have launched the project BioUpper, awarding innovative startups presenting significant ideas in the field of bio-sciences. This year, the three winners received a price of 50.000 Euros.
The winners were Wrap, EvarPlanning and Panoxyvir. The first one concerns a special band printed in 3D that helps wounds and ulcers to heal. The second winning idea consists of a computerized system helping vascular specialists in aorta implant planning and rendering, while Panoxyvir stands out as the first spray able to treat a cold. Not only the medication will treat but 'it will also work to prevent cold symptoms', Andrea Civra - team virologist- commented on the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Other significant innovative ideas are to be found among the ten finalists. For instance, FluoMagneto was proudly developed by the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. It represents an alternative to chemotherapy to treat breast-cancer, releasing the medication to the cancer site thanks to the action of an alternate magnetic field.
Another worth-mentioning invention is One4Two, a kit able to diagnose infertility in a couple, through the analysis of the main genetic and chromosomal variables. Also BrainControl has a great significance since it allows tetraplegic individuals, who are completely paralysed, to communicate through a brain joystick. In particular, patients will have the opportunity to control the main tools they use, such as electric wheelchairs, by means of a brain-computer interface. Early experimentations are already giving excellent feedbacks.
Giudo Guidi - Novartis - has stressed the fact that Italian researchers are among the best of the world but unfortunately they have few opportunities to transform their ideas into a business, creating protected patents. BioUpper was launched with the specific aim of helping Italian researchers economically, making them more aware of their impact for further change.