Thanks to the funding obtained from the Emilia-Romagna Region under the Call for Proposals “Bando per il sostegno a progetti di promozione dell’export e partecipazione ad eventi fieristici nel 2023 (co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund), during 2023 Techinnova developed the ET [Extended Technology] project through participation in trade fairs held in the heart of Europe and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

Specifically, in 2023 Techinnova participated in the following international fairs:

  • North Star Dubai 2023, held at Dubai Harbour, from October 15th to 18th, 2023;
  • BIO Europe 2023, held in Munich, from November 6th to 8th, 2023.

ET [Extended Technology]

Beneficiary: Techinnova S.p.A.

Initiative carried out under Priority Axis I – RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVENESS

Objective: Support projects for export promotion and participation in trade fairs in 2023

Action 1.3.2 – Incentivizing internationalization processes to strengthen competitiveness and attractiveness in the markets of the regional production system

Project Description: The ET project enabled Techinnova S.p.A. to participate in the following trade fairs: North Star Dubai 2023, held at Dubai Harbour from October 15th to 18th, 2023, and BIO Europe 2023, held in Munich from November 6th to 8th, 2023.

 

Objectives

Through participation in two of the main technological fairs held in 2023 between Europe and the Middle East, Techinnova outlined very specific goals for the ET [Extended Technology] project, which integrate perfectly with its internationalization strategy and network development.

Below are the main objectives set by Techinnova.

  1. Expansion of the international network: Techinnova aimed to expand its international network by acquiring new processes and procedures to increase the chances of creating partnerships with European and non-European entities, in order to carry out joint Research and Development projects that can be financed through subsidized financing tools.
  2. Consolidation of the network in target markets: During the internationalization process, Techinnova also aimed to consolidate its network by integrating into the two target markets. This strategy would allow the company to establish a firm presence in geographically distant markets, with the possibility of creating synergies between the startups already in the portfolio and new potential entrants from abroad.
  3. Promotion and international commercialization of project outputs: Techinnova aimed to showcase the outputs of its R&D projects abroad with the goal of creating innovative synergies between partner companies of the robotics (HEIPS) and aquaponics (MyPonic® and CircularPonic) projects presented at the fair, and local companies. The ultimate goal of this strategy is always to establish collaborations that facilitate the development of joint projects through mutual resources, expertise, and networks.
  4. Access to new ideas and experiences: Participation in international stages would allow Techinnova to come into contact with new realities, new operational methods, and innovative ideas that can be received and reused to improve its competitiveness in target markets.
  5. Increase in turnover and risk diversification: Internationalization was considered by Techinnova as the best opportunity to increase its turnover. Expanding the base – and thus the size – of the market to which the company targets would reduce Techinnova’s dependence on a single market, thereby mitigating risk during periods of recession in specific markets.

Results

Techinnova utilized the trade fairs as a means of dissemination and awareness regarding the outcomes of its R&D projects, which were selected based on the target sectors of each trade fair.

Specifically, Techinnova chose to showcase its innovations in the field of aquaponic technologies at the North Star Dubai 2023 fair, as the main focus of the event centered on the ICT – Information and Communications Technology sector, with particular emphasis on new segments of the IoT – Internet of Things. The MyPonic® system (an automated aquaponic system for home or school use) and the CircularPonic system (an automated pre-industrial aquaponic system) both feature IoT sensor-equipped monitoring systems, allowing for water quality control and maintenance of ideal conditions remotely. Additionally, the decision to present aquaponic projects in the Emirati context was also driven by the need for local companies active in the Agrifood sector to test a range of technologies developed in Europe within Emirati climatic conditions. Moreover, the decision to present the MyPonic® and CircularPonic projects in Dubai was guided by market studies and analyses showing that the United Arab Emirates are scouting for technologies that can not only contribute to the country’s food independence but also serve as training laboratories for technicians and engineers wishing to develop their farming ideas locally, as well as projects related to sustainable agriculture.

Regarding the Robonurse droid (a mobile robot with medical assistant function developed within the HEIPS R&D project), Techinnova decided to present it at the BIO Europe 2023 fair, as it is the most important European event dedicated to the biopharma community and healthcare sector operators.

Other R&D projects developed by startups incubated by Techinnova, and in which Techinnova is a partner, were presented both during the fairs and during the b2b meetings organized and followed up in the same trade fair contexts.

The correct diversification of the choice of events to participate in has made it possible for Techinnova to significantly expand its market, as well as, where the products presented were considered interesting and relevant to the context of international research and development markets, the possibility for Techinnova itself to build, as actually happened in the cases of internationalization in Germany and the United Arab Emirates, new collaboration relationships. About a hundred new contacts have been added to the network to establish potential partnerships with Techinnova aimed not only at carrying out new joint Research and Development projects financed through subsidized financing tools but also at implementing new and innovative functionalities within ongoing projects.

In addition to these new contacts, a dozen investors have shown interest in both some of the entities within the range of innovative startups in the incubator and in the R&D projects coordinated by Techinnova as a lead partner or in which it participates as a technological partner.

In the context of the trade fairs in which Techinnova participated, a fundamental role was played by the theme of “direct experience”.

Contact with cutting-edge solutions in the ICT – with particular attention to new segments of the IoT – and Healthcare sectors, as well as live participation in events and summits within the fairs related to blockchain technologies and IoT application security management themes, made it possible to directly share the results of R&D projects with international stakeholders; hence, the consequent and physiological increase in “turnover”.

Ultimately, during the b2b meetings held at the two trade fairs, Techinnova was able to optimize its marketing processes, building economies of scale, with a cascade effect and return on economic and technological benefits for the research world within its network of innovative entities.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTED THANKS TO THE EUROPEAN FUNDS OF THE EMILIA-ROMAGNA REGION