More than 110,000 visitors in three days. Thousands thronged to the stands and visited the more than 700 inventions presented by makers from more than 65 different countries. These are the numbers that marked the success of the fourth edition of “Maker Faire Rome 2016 – The European Edition 4.0” promoted by the Rome Chamber of Commerce and organized by its special internal unit Innova Camera. Innovation, creativity, and technology made available to an exceptional flow of visitors from families to European makers all over the world.

“In a year when everyone’s talking about Industry 4.0 – said Riccardo Luna, who co-curated the event with Massimiliano Banzi, “the fourth edition of Maker Faire Rome was at its most powerful representation: from students to craftspeople, from children to businesses, we have seen how the culture of innovation is the only antidote to fear for the future, and the only tool to get growing again”.

One of the biggest attractions was the Food Area, edited by Future Food Institute (FFI). Dozens of projects chosen among the best in Europe were center stage in Pavilion 6 at the European Maker Faire. In this article we give you a taste thanks to the witness of the talents of the second edition of the international master Food Innovation Program.

FOOD TECH JUNGLE (BLUE RIBBON AWARD)

Is a collaborative platform created to prototype and capture food innovation. A pop up restaurant born to taste and test the kitchen of the future, and also a research facility and a powerful process to generate ideas.

Several partners collaborated with the Future Food Institute to create Food Tech Jungle, the main project in the Maker Faire’s food pavilion. Thanks to its innovative and collaborative approach, the Food Tech Jungle won the Blue Ribbon Award.
In this space, during the European Maker Faire, families, journalist and makers tasted the food of the future and were entertained by several cooking demonstrations performed by two chefs from the Italian startup Badeggs with the collaboration of makers like ByFlow and Dovetailed.


Argotec

On 2010, the European Space Agency (ESA) contracted Argotec as European responsible of the space food development and supply for the European astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). Over recent years, Argotec is acting on behalf of ESA as an interface to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the most important European food suppliers.

To meet this ambitious technological challenge, Argotec developed independently a new research area for the study of nutritional food dedicated to the astronauts, the  Space Food Lab. Argotec prepare food with a shelf-life of at least 18-24 months, 100% organic and without salt. The main goal of the study is to lower the amount of sodium content in food and adapts a method of preservation that would not alter the colour, fragrance and flavour of food. The healthy products would also boost the ISS crew psychologically.

Badeggs

Badeggs is a web platform founded with the goal of creating a database of job opportunities within a credible community for young chefs (and others) which are graduated from Italian cooking schools and do not have the possibility to relate to employers. Badeggs, through its platform, plan to achieve this macro goal by two formulas, a B2C (personal chef service, cooking show) and a B2B (service & catering for companies and personal placement for the restaurant world). The chefs of the future, selected according to various criteria, have the possibility to progressively integrate into the world of work, experimenting with new market windows or simply proving themselves with different activities within a platform developed on a gamification mechanisms and based on concepts such as culture, sociality and sustainability. The direct beneficiaries, B2C side, of this service, are the Foodies, who have a chance at home to enjoy a professional chef’s dinner while contributing to its formation and professional growth process. The users of B2B services are all different types of companies, who can choose ad hoc packages, that are not just simple catering, but a real product with a communication value.

Baule Volante

In more than 25 years in business, Baule Volante has developed over 500 brand products that represent the typical Italian cuisine as well as the culinary traditions of many countries outside Europe. Baule Volante’s mission is protect the environment and people’s health through organic farming because Produce -and consume- bio means to make a responsible choice for the people and the planet.

Byflow

ByFlow had been working with 3D printers since 2010. When they noticed that most of the 3D printers were only printing with plastic, they decided to challenge that and come up with a versatile 3D printer. Over 7 years later, Floris Hoff an industrial product designer developed the world’s worst multi material printer and to top that he also made it portable. The ByFlow Focus prints anything from metal to ceramic to food. The company also debuted first of its kind 3D printed pop-up restaurant in London in 2016 and is now on its way to recreate the series in The Netherlands and Spain.

Citterio
Salumificio Giuseppe Citterio was founded in 1878, a year that would lead to a successful history of five generations of family-run business. Despite its long history – nearly a century and a half – Citterio is still a family-run business directly managed by the descendants of Giuseppe Citterio. Its focus remains the same after all these years: quality products, innovation, and traditional flavours.

NU food

NU is consumer design research project undertaken by Dovetailed, a Cambridge, UK based consulting firm that partners with global companies across verticals. Under the patronage of the founder, the firm conducts research into taste and smell, and, ways to enable people to become creative with their food experiences. NU is a project that was born out of the intent to create a fun way for users to play and engage with their food. They micro-scaled the 3D printing technology to create a home machine that makes molecular gastronomy accessible to everyday home cooks, simplifying the mechanics and chemistry behind it. At it core, the printer uses concentrated natural flavours that can be spherified and served fresh. Dovetailed intents to offer the starter kit through a Kickstarter campaign, to be launched in the upcoming weeks. Their goal is to launch the product to users as well as perform real time market research on the market feasibility of the product.

Frutta Web

Frutta Web’s mission is to offer the best fruit and vegetables to those who have always less time to visit their local greengrocer. Their goal is to give the possibility to anybody to have a basket of strawberries, a handful of apricots or any other item from our 1200 products, knocking directly at their door wherever the are at the rhythm of a click. Frutta Web’s marketplace offers a unique assortment of fruit and vegetables coming from different parts of the world, always guaranteeing respect for the product and its origin.

Funghi Espresso (BLUE RIBBON AWARD)
The path that led to the creation of Mushrooms Espresso began in March 2013, when Rossano Ercolini, coordinator of the Research Center of Zero Waste in Capannori and Goldman Prize winner Prize in 2013, opened the case study on coffee in agriculture fund reuse, presented in the showroom “The taste of a sustainable coffee”. From the case study, the Research Center of Zero Waste, with the collaboration of Antonio Di Giovanni (member of the operating team), carried out the pilot project of environmental education “From coffee to proteins”. Approximately 200 students attended Istituto Comprensivo Ilio Micheloni to participate in the course on growing mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) as a substrate using soley coffee grounds. Following this experiment, the meeting between Antonio Di Giovanni (agronomist) and Vincent Sangiovanni (architect) gave birth to the adventure of mushrooms Espresso.

Livin Farms

Throughout history, insects have been considered as food sources, but now more than ever they are being talked about; explored and bred as the protein of the future. One successful example is Katharina’s brainchild, Livin Farms.  She started with creating an insect breeder for black soldier fly larvae and went on to win a red dot award for the same. Since then, she has travelled all over the world, experimenting and prototyping. A few manufacturing runs later, Livin Farms was born. Eventually she was joined by her long-term friend Julia Kaisinger as co-founder, Florian Nock for the communications and Mike Reed as the Mechatronics engineer. Livin Farms is now on a mission to introduce insect breeding into every home and provide sustainable protein for everyone. Their design encourages people to recycle their kitchen waste as insect feed, which ensures them 100% knowledge of what they are eating.

Mashcream

Giacomo Bizzarri was inspired by his travels in Thailand where scrolls of fruit and flavoured ice creams were made on a flat plate of iced steel. While the tradition in Asia involved regular ice, Giacomo brought the idea back to Italy and updated the concept by using liquid Nitrogen to chill the ice cream plate. Not all innovations are about a new product or functional value add. Many indeed are inspired by another tradition, and, can have the simple purpose of adding fun or new perspective to an experience. There was certainly a lot of interest and engagement by adults and children alike to his offering. This may be a short term trend for the product on its own, yet the idea lends itself to future innovations.

The Algae Factory

Stefanie, Pierluigi and Nicola created the algae factory to share their passion for food, healthy stuff, the environment and social ventures. Algae Factory is a social venture based in Wageningen/Amsterdam. Most people think of algae as green or red stuff growing in the ocean or lakes, but, like land plants, there are countless different species of algae. In fact, there are more than 30,000 species of algae, and blue-green algae like Spirulina are the most primordial. Algae is rich in proteins, omega 3, omega 6 and vitamins, It has been nominated by FAO “A powerful tool to fight malnutrition” for its nutritional profile. Algae Factory produces chocolate bars using algae. They are also involved in a great social cooperative model called bite for bite. Every time somebody consumes their chocolate products, they are helping someone in Africa build a spirulina farm. They produce algae in Madagascar and Togo; leaving their 50% of production to fight malnutrition in the region. They are the only ones with social venture in the algae sector. They are selling products in France, UK and Netherlands through online shop and some retailers. They use bioreactor to produce algae, In the future they are planning to manufacture equipment for household algae production.

Welldone Burger

Welldone Burger, the gourmet burger restaurant born in Bologna in 2013, prepared a limited edition with the maker faire logo printed on the bun for is year’s edition of the European Maker Faire. Welldone Burger offers an Italian-style version of the famous American sandwich, by preparing it with carefully selected ingredients and finding in its quality its distinctive trait. Bread made with organic wheat, meat from local and no-intensive farms, seasonal vegetables as toppings are combined to make an healthy and tasty reinterpretation of one of the world’s most popular dishes. Burgers are served with Belgian draught beers and bottled artisanal beers, fresh fruit juices and Italian soft drinks, providing customers a sophisticated drink selection.

by Beatriz Jacoste Lozano, Selma AbuAlia

AE Space Herbs

Students from the Enrico Fermi high school in Mantova (Italy) have prototyped a solution for cultivating plants without using soil and with very little water. Through an aeroponic system with a tube shape, this allows more oxygen and nutrient intake through plant roots and reduces waste by recycling water and nutrients in a closed loop. Professor Mauro Grandi declares that it uses 90% less water. They are cultivating at schools specific light plants such as soy, potatoes and lentils with this system. The creators show their willingness of introducing it into the market and during the Maker Faire in Rome 2016, there were some voices interested in AE Space Herbs to bring it to Egypt where water scarcity is a latent issue.

Agricoltura 2.0

Agricoltura 2.0 is a product that helps grow organic plants in the fastest possible way (ten times faster than usual) through an hydroponic farming system based on the symbiosis of fish and plants.

Ball Matic

Young talents from different disciplines going from chemistry to design from the Volta di Perugia (Italy) high school presented Ball Matic. This prototype is a 3D printer that based on molecular cuisine, stamps small edible spheres made from different flavours, such as chocolate and orange juice. Ball Matic enables the rapid formation of a large amount of equally shaped spheres. The team is working on a third prototype that would make the process automatic, as the moment it only works manually and they are envisioning opportunities for selling both the machine and the printed spheres.

BioPic

With smart 3D technology you can grow vegetables and flowers with success and satisfaction and increase yields with less light, water and energy by using natural methods. This company is out to combat the greenhouse effect and the increase of CO2 and pollutants.

BioPile

A vertical garden that literally means biological accumulator. It is composed of cylindrical containers that can stack up to 5 provided with a base tank with a fan and pump and electronic control unit that monitors and controls your home cultivation.

BioSensor

A quality certified company with 10 years of research and development in products and instruments that are extremely versatile in measuring different biological components.

 BY-entO

Francesco Meles created in 2014 BY-entO when he decided to explore the new potential applications of insects. On the one hand, it offers animal feed based on insects and compost by productive recycling and on the other, is creating cosmetic and nutraceutical products through the extraction of valuable properties from insects.

Cloudgarden

From a thesis paper to a prototype, Cloudgarden enables users to monitor their plants with a click of a button. Small sensors deep in the soil read humidity levels and irrigate the plant through an electro valve. As a nonprofit with open software, Cloudgarden is a place where everyone can enjoy smart gardening.

Chef Clay

This research project focuses on 3D printing ceramic cooking tools and tableware that have unique stories behind how they were conceptualized. Christina D’Alberto and Lorenzo Paganelli speak of their approach as passionate and curious individuals who are dedicated to create new visual and tactile textures to serve one of the most important and pleasant experiences in life: food.

Cella di lievitazione a temperatura e umidità controllata

Providing a chamber in which the yeast in doughs are controlled by temperature and humidity levels, this product is highly adaptable. Demetrio Condello uses Arduino to create algorithms that measure and monitor the levitation of dough to perfection.

By Elisa Gragnani, Yhosemar Mendez

Exploring the potential of innovative technologies, Makers from all over the world gathered in Rome for the Maker Faire 2016. Targeting the most challenging problems of the modern world, makers also proposed solutions for the world of food, in inspirational and surprising projects.

Cooking Hacks

Tasty Electronics. An initiative to make electronics simple as cooking, mixing Arduino components to prototype your technological recipe. Selling a wide range of starting kits, Cooking Hacks provides customization and convenience.

Cut&Go

Cut&Go is a kitchen tool designed to solve problems related to the use of plastic film for foods, eliminating excessive manipulation using a precise electric cut. It is compatible to most of the plastic films available in the market and has a practical support that can be installed in any surface.

Design Food Engineering – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Unimore)

Five Unimore students enrolled in the “Industrial Design Elements” course taught by Francesco Bombardi and Stefano Marzoni. The projects investigated the relation between tradition and innovation in the kitchen as well as promoting simplicity.

Doc Servizi Soc Coop

Cooperative that answer for the demand of career development assistance for professional artists. The cooperative acts through an innovative company model where clients can manage their own activities in an easy and personalized way, at the same time being part of a network of professionals, facilitating partnerships and job finding.

Drops of Jupiter

3D printed Hydroponic domestic modules with automated water circulating system, powered by solar energy, that can be attached to any surface. One of the winners of the “Renewable Hackathon Milano 2016”, the project was powered by Crunchlab and Eni technologies.

Enabling Equality 

Buzz Technology is a London based company targeting circular economy and social equality through projects such as packaging and electronic components reusing renewable energy and 3D printing of houses. The company is about to launch an ultra low cost kit for building of wind energy turbine.

Eskesso

Eskesso is an innovative solution combining a hardware cooking appliance and a software cloud-based online platform, that, based on the “sous vide” cooking technique, provides people a healthy, easy and timesaving way of cooking.

IO Kitchen

This invention is a “table-kitchen” controlled through mobile application and voice command (up, down, right and left). It is a multimodal spinning furniture, that optimizes space by putting together various kitchen functions (cooking, dishwashing, eating, mise en place).

Shirley Kaston

Linfa

It is a hydroponic farm designed and made in Italy by Robonica. It has nearly the same features that the rest of the hydroponic gardens have such as smart lighting with LED wavelengths to reproduce sunlight, control over pH, and, organic nutrients solution mix and cloud connection. The best part of Linfa is, its modular and sexy design.

My Aquarium Hydroponics Arduino With App

It is a fully automated aquarium, controlling moisture, temperature, pH, lighting and CO2 control system made by an 11 years old G.Verga school Pontinia student and his dad. They interfaced with the aquarium in Hydroponic cultures, the organic substance present in the system are used to power the hydroponic culture.  

Maia

A paragraph from the journal cited a 1965 issue of a French periodical for beekeepers called “Abeilles et Fleurs”: ‘Professor Einstein, the learned scientist, once calculated that if all bees disappeared off the earth, four years later all humans would also have disappeared.’ Fablab Cuneo’s the plug and play kit Maia allows beekeepers continuous evaluation and exact of the hive health by monitoring outdoor temperature and indoor beehive, apiary indoor humidity detector; geolocation; count incoming and outgoing bees; predisposition solar panels; beehive weight. The prototype will be positioned at the Apiary of the River Cuneo House for educational purposes and research on bee health in Cuneo. It is a valuable and innovative teaching tool that can raise awareness and inform about a more general renewed environmental and sustainable awareness.

Making Science (an initiative by Google)

‘Science Journal’ is a digital science notebook. It uses mobile sensors and external sensors through an Arduino to measure the environment, collect notes and pictures, and organize ideas into experiments. Currently the program operates with Android phones.

Meatbot

Meatbot is a prototype of a desktop machine that through the application of shear forces and controlled temperatures on vegetable protein based dough can produce meat alternatives with fibrous texture. Their assumption is people are interested in vegetable-based products that can replicate the meat in terms of texture, taste, colour and smell. Their vegetarian butcher website offers different recipes with their product.

OffiCucina

OffiCucina is where Kitchen meets Maker space; a platform for exploration and creation, and to experiment with food innovation in real time. Experience was divided by the five different areas highlighted in the IFTF Seeds of Disruption Map. Innovative ideas ranged from production prototypes to experience prototypes. From optimized balsamic vinegar fermentation systems to IoT such as a connected bread toaster to 3D printed fantasy pasta to new concept of chocolate-balsamic vinegar tasting, the OffiCucina was a showcase of the multitude of verticals in the food chain where innovation is possible. There were also concept innovations like the mycelium boards, whose market applications are still in the development and testing phase. One of the more active stands in the Maker Faire, the OffiCucina seemed to delight people of all ages and had something to pique the curiosity of everyone. Visitors shared their views on eating 3D printed pasta to a fascination of how light can be a productive tool of plant management. Even more were drawn in by the user friendliness of many of the designs showcased.

Ono

A brilliant idea that allows printing 3D objects directly from a smartphone. ONO’s design keeps ambient light out of its build chamber so that the white light from smartphone’s display can harden the photosensitive resin inside ONO’s build chamber to print 3D models.

Asha Yoganandan

MEG (BLUE RIBBON AWARD)

MEG is yet another addition to the concept of indoor gardening and micro-growing through controlled variables. Maker Faire was bursting with many different variations of this concept, each touting a particular virtue or added feature that makes them ‘unique’. MEG’s platform is based on light control and offers the ability to alter the frequency of light to find the perfect one for each crop that grows in the container. Additionally, MEG offers a social collaboration platform where growers can share and inform others on their successes and failures. While MEG itself does not produce the growing platforms, they plan to market their lighting and design experience and expertise for applications in food growing and agriculture.

MUG Roma Tre

A group of students from Roma Tre University presented several projects that were part of their study course. All of these projects, in the spirit of makers, were open source code with the goal of creating social value. They created a sensor based vertical garden system in conjunction with the city with the goal to increase social interaction amongst the gardners and also reduce waste of excess produce. The sensors capture every activity in the garden and is backed by a reward system that credits points to individual members based on a set of goals. These points can then be redeemed to buy excess produces from the community or at the supermarket. Another creation was an affordable air quality sensor, using arduinos, that could be sold.

Science 4 life

A spin off from University of Messina, they consult with industry, producers and consumers on maximising food resources and reduce food waste. As a research institution, they do not produce or manufacture any of their consumer product ideas and instead find collaborators in the industry who can commercialize these ideas. At the fair, they showcased a few of their recent work. As an example, they created a process that can dehydrate and encapsulate fruit juice with active probiotics. The uniqueness in their approach was devising a way to compact nutrients and live microorganisms into a pill. In the area of food waste they create consumer awareness through public education, collaborate with industry on better packaging for increased shelf life, and, work with farmers to create cosmetics and skin care products from peels and discards.

By Tess Pereira, Rita Goralska

LA Cool Co

Based out of France, LA Cool Co developed an open source miniature greenhouse that encourages kids to fabricate their own greenhouse and build a connection with their food. They harness the intelligent power of Arduino and Grove to monitor and control the climate, water, and lighting of the greenhouse. The greenhouse box as developed with the intention of serving as a workshop to educate children about technology and food. Their next project involves developing their own Arduino-type of device with integrated wi-fi in order to enhance real-time information capabilities.

Orto Verticale

Orto Verticale also offers another solution – a hydroponic rotating vertical farm, which saves space while conveniently bringing your garden to you. The device exploits height by stacking buckets of your plant of choice. This method allows for separation of plants and isolates any contamination, ensuring the health of the other growing greens. With the push of a button, it rotates the buckets so that you can always access your plants at any level at the same time sun reaches plants in the same way. There is no water waste. Orto Verticale also offers this device for storage purposes, such as plates and other home objects.

OrtoUrbano

Gardening while you are away? With OrtoUrbano created by Assocazione Verona FabLab, it may be possible. Orto Urbano uses a system called LoRa that monitors temperature, humidity, and light. This technology can control your plants using a network of information sent to antennas and routers that cover 15 km power by solar energy.

Pentol.ino

Cooking innovation was a big part of Maker Faire. Developed by young students and their teacher, Pentol.ino saves you time by cooking pasta for you. Using the Pentol.ino app, select at which time you would like the pasta to be cooked. The Arduino-controlled device will boil water and, once it detects the water has reached the right temperature, it will automatically lower a basket of pasta into the boiling water. After 9-10 minutes, the Pentol.ino will lift the pasta out of the water and drain it. The smart device will be able to detect if you have removed the pasta from the basket; if not, it will lower the pasta into the hot water for 30 seconds to reheat it and lift it up again. The Pentol.ino was developed to save parents time cooking and to make sure the kids are fed on time. The most impressive aspect, however, is the students’ capability to develop the code website, name, and logo behind the Pentol.ino.

Per Frutto

The company’s name is Horticultural Knowledge and their online platform provides a solution to predict and improve future fruit harvest. “In every field people are using collective numbers – we are one of the first companies to use them in agriculture, our system will give fruit growers a “crystal ball” to predict the future and help them improve distribution” said Marco Zibordi from Per Frutto. Focusing primarily on kiwi, apples, and pears, they enable orchard growers to measure the fruit diameters, starting just 60 days after bloom in order to predict the fruit’s size, size distribution class, and yield. Already working for 5 big growers associations and 15 single food growers (in total 500 hectares), the Per Frutto team claims that this system will improve production and distribution. There are looking forward to work with biological farmers.

Potty

The system utilizes Arduino to feed a database that is currently collecting information on the best growing condition of every plant inside closed spaces. It will examine the soil condition, temperatures, light, and humidity with sensors that are connected to system. “My aim is to create platform of all the data needed to grow a plant, not a machine for profit” said GianPaolo Franceschini the founder of Potty. “It will be published in open sources where it could be constantly improved”.

rEVOILution

rEVOILution is trying to help Italian farmers whose new technology makes it possible to press aromatic extra virgin olive oil year round. They also focus on traceability of extra virgin olive oil production. Extra Virgin Olive oil may be adulterated with other chemical products and this domestic solution offers 100% traceability and purity in your customized batch of olive oil. It allows you to have “olio nuovo” avoiding nutritional time loss. It works by taking frozen cubes of chopped and pitted olives and inserting them into a device that massages them to release the aromatic enzymes that give olive oil its unique fragrance. Then, the mixture is centrifuged to separate the solids from the oil. You can mix and match olives to create your own aroma and flavor profile.

Regione Lazio

Regione Lazio concentrates on sustainability of food and agriculture. “Thirty to 40 % of water is wasted in food production” said Stefani Lo Presti from Centrale Valutativa member of Regione Lazio’s irrigation conservation initiative. “That’s why we created Tethys that saves water during irrigation”. They use data from satellite images, such as climate and soil data, to predict water levels. Every five days they have new information that helps them to build models thanks to which farmers will get messages on their smart phone concerting adequate irrigation. It’s new precision farming.

Robot Farm Hydroponic

Domestic food growing was also a hot subject during the Maker Faire, especially indoor greenhouses. Forget salad from bags; everyday you can cut a fresh salad with no chemical substances (like nickel or arsenic) that grow in the perfect conditions in your kitchen. Robot Farm Hydroponic indoor greenhouse is easier to use than a washing machine, and consumes the same amount of energy as a refrigerator.

Shell-O

Shell-O developed a prototype of a machine that helps to open clams and mussels. It was created by SMart Lab. The idea was born from the chef’s  necessity to open clams and mussels faster. The prototype was 3D printed. The device works with little brushes that help to open shellfish faster (1kg in 4 min ) and it also separates it from the juice.

By Nebeyu Esubalew Zewdie, Chhavi Jatwani  

Sistema di illuminazione

The different colors of light allow you to see details invisible like fix fractures, hidden writing, material defects also they allow you to make fast growing plants. In medical field highlight skin imperfections, make wounds heal quickly. The project will see with the help of a special microscope hidden on fabrics, books, gems. They are presented studies of hydroponic cultures with artificial lighting. They are made to see cutaneous defects.

Easyproto

Easyproto is a solar powered device created to monitor the amount of pollen in a given environment. The Pollen count affects a large number of people suffering from Asthma and allergic conditions. Easyproto is a low cost highly effective tool specially used in transitional seasons. It also comes with wind direction monitor that gives added information about the origin of the pollen. The device works with a simple adhesive surface that collects the pollen overtime. This surface is then manually retrieved from the device and taken to the laboratory to be tested by an expert.

SmartPID

SmartPID(Smart temperature controller) controller is a professionally engineered HI-tech product for temperature and process control having lots of functions. It can control any thermo regulated process (heating or cooling) locally or remotely. It is flexible and very powerful device which can be programmed and adapted to any custom application. SmartPID controller is 100% compatible with Arduino ecosystem, much more advanced than simple thermostat. It adds process control, data logging, wifi connection so it is possible to remotely control. From home brewing or winemaking to aquarium or reflow oven temperature control smartPID can add precision, power and flexibility. The system control temperature, humidity and cooling. They are planning to manufacture for marketing but do not have enough initial capital investment so that they have an idea for crowdfunding. compared to simple on/off thermostat smartPID controller can collect temperature from multiple sensors, apply a custom and programmable control logic and drive different load (heater, cooler, valve, fan…). In general it is about making temperature process control SMART.

Solar flower power

Solar flower power is a solar powered irrigation system that automatically monitor soil moisture to water plants only when necessary. We save water and use sunlight to grow plants with no carbon footprint, the system consists of a solar panel, a rechargeable battery, a water pump, a soil moisture sensor, basic electronic components and the arduino micro-controller.

Livin Farms

Insects have been considered food in many cultures for ages, but now more than ever they are being talked about; explored and bred as the protein of the future. One successful example is Katharina’s brainchild Livin Farms.  She started with creating an insect breeder for black soldier fly larvae and went on to win a red dot award for the same. Since then she travelled all over the world, experimenting and prototyping. A few manufacturing runs later, Living farms was born.Eventually she was joined by her long-term friend Julia Kaisinger as a co-founder, Florian Nock for the communications and Mike Reed as the Mechatronics engineer. Living farms is now on a mission to take insect breeding to every home and find a sustainable protein for everyone. Their design encourages a person to recycle their kitchen waste to feed the insects, which ensures 100% knowledge of what they are eating.

Torrone 2.0 Crockabile

Torrone 2.0 is a fresh take on traditional Italian Nougat usually found during winter holiday season. The varieties range from soft and chewy to hard and brittle which is what chef and food innovator Sebastian Melnitzky plays on. Torrone 2.0 comes in 2 shapes: first sharp and edgy and second, soft and round. When asked about the reason behind the choice of form, he told that he wants the form to speak for itself. Instead of the labels or the packaging telling if it’s soft nougat or a crunchy one, the form itself reveals it. Over the course of his education he has made researches on ‘neuroscience behind taste and its perception’ and ‘food innovation through design thinking. He now works as a food product developer with different food factories including Barilla and small cheese producers in Italy.

Vertical Farm Italia

Matteo Benvenuti’s Vertical farm kills many birds with one stone. It’s an aquaponic vertical farming system that also breeds fish and creates compost for the plants. It’s self-sufficient fully sustainable model that according to Matteo “also ends up generating business opportunities for the local people by enabling them to breed enough fish to sell outside of their own consumption.” This system lets you grow 600 plants in just 3 sqm and can be monitored and operated remotely. Matteo has a Masters degree in Civil engineering from the university of Perugia. His thesis was about sustainable farming systems in Morocco based on Saharan oasis model, which is also the inspiration behind Vertical Farm Italia.

Wenda

WENDA (Wine enology natural data acquisition) firmly fastened to a wine bottle, monitors the parameters affecting the conservation status protects the bottle from counterfeiting actions and transforms it into the access door to the exciting world of wine. WENDA protect quality and authenticity of wine through time by monitoring of temperature, UV rays and Tilt angle. Wenda frequently monitors these parameters allowing users to know, at any time they want, how the wine has been handled, stored and transported. To protect authenticity there is anticounterfeiting sensor behind the device, that can understand if the device is detached from the bottle or not. If the device is removed from the bottle an anticounterfeiting sensor comes in action, stopping the parameters registration and reporting the event. They developed an accessory which perfectly integrated with the device, fights against refilling attempts. It will not be possible to substitute or counterfeit the wine in the bottle, since the device would immediately detect that action. According to one of the cofounders, Mattia Nanetti, they have been accelerated by Unicredit startlab in Milan and already got business venture for selling in few months. Their hardware product is on patent pending stage. They are also working to get international patent.

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