The results of CTE NEXT's first Call4Testing have been published: the evaluation committee has selected the start-ups that will be able to test their innovative solutions in real environments and benefit from an economic contribution for their development. Of the total of nine young companies admitted to the next phase of the call, almost half come from I3P, one of the strategic partners of the House of Emerging Technologies of Turin, Italy.
In October 2021, the City of Turin launched the first edition of the Call4Testing, aimed at selecting SMEs and start-ups interested in co-developing and testing, under real conditions, innovative solutions that fully utilize 5G and one or more of the emerging technologies (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain) and demonstrate their validity in response to the urban challenge on the theme "Smart lifestyles / Smart life".
The call is part of the CTE NEXT project, funded by the Ministry of Economic Development with funds FSC 2014-2020 and aimed at creating, in close collaboration with universities, research centers and incubators in Turin, a widespread technology transfer center on emerging technologies related to 5G in strategic vertical sectors for the territory: Smart Road (with a focus on self-driving and connected vehicles), Urban Air Mobility, Industry 4.0, Innovative Urban Services and Public Administration.
The selected companies
Four companies from the I3P incubator network have been admitted to the initiative:
- ALBA Robot, an innovative startup that provides a modular and configurable platform for integrating autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, voice assistants and robotic technologies within personal vehicles that can be used for new mobility fleets or retrofitting existing ones.
- Dropper, a young company that makes sensors that can anonymously count people and, using AI algorithms, display salient data on a platform designed by following customers' wants, needs and limitations.
- MAVTech, a South Tyrolean company born as a spin-off of the Polytechnic of Turin and "graduated" in I3P in 2008, which today is active in the development of innovative solutions for aerial surveillance and support to tactical operations for civil applications, also through the transfer of new aerospace technologies from research to the operational domain.
- WaterView, a company that combines advanced skills in fields such as meteorology, hydrology, environmental modeling, computer vision and artificial intelligence in the same team, already chosen by ANAS for the first European Smart Road trial, constantly looking for unconventional solutions to solve challenging problems in a rapidly changing world.
The selected projects will be entitled to a contribution of up to € 25,000 as reimbursement of part of the expenses incurred for testing their solution. They will also have the opportunity to access services provided by CTE NEXT partners:
- support in the definition of the use case;
- assistance in the installation and support to testing;
- evaluation of post-intervention scenarios, in terms of expected impacts;
- consulting in the elements of environmental, economic and social sustainability;
- opportunities for replication of the solution in other contexts or application areas.
The eligible start-ups
In addition to the selected companies, the City of Turin reserves the right to scroll through the list of eligible companies, possibly admitting to the contribution further subjects that meet the requirements of the call. Among these, three start-ups from the I3P network have been listed:
- EasyRain, creator of the first active safety system for cars able to counteract the aquaplaning phenomenon, which recently announced a 5 million euro capital increase;
- Pixies, a team of under-35s who created a solar-powered robot that can collect urban waste using artificial intelligence;
- Reefilla, a young company that offers the first and already award-winning predictive charging service for electric vehicles through a fast charge device based on interchangeable batteries.