Nine technological solutions aiming at sustainability and inclusion, all to be tried out. A rich calendar of open experiences, meetings and workshops are animating the Innovation Village these days: the aim of the project is to showcase at the Ocean Live Park some of the best solutions developed by Italian companies and start-ups
Genoa is hosting the Grand Finale of The Ocean Race from June 24th to July 2nd.
The beating heart of the event is the Ocean Live Park – open every day from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm, (Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 10.00 pm), free entrance – that welcomes the boats and crews after the long round-the-world race in a setting of spaces and initiatives devoted to the sea, sailing, sport, entertainment and innovation.
There are over 60 free experiences and initiatives with no booking required, offered with formulas suitable for everyone: children, students, families, enthusiasts, experts, researchers, companies.
Sea-related innovation and research become experience for everyone thanks to the Innovation Village, a pavilion hosting the 9 solutions for the protection of the marine sea environment selected in the project managed by the Genoa City Council’s Blue District and financed by Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione Carige.
The Innovation Village is the highlight of a process initiated by Genova Blue District, a convergence platform managed by Genoa City Council’s in-house company Job Centre S.r.l., whose aim is promoting innovation in the digital and green spheres and supporting projects linked to the Blue Economy.
The project started with the ‘Call For Innovation- Sport in the Blue Economy‘, a call for tenders part of the ‘Verso The Ocean Race’ project, supported by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione Carige.
The 9 solutions displayed
The 9 ideas were chosen a year ago among small and medium-sized enterprises, innovative SMEs, innovative start-ups and innovative start-ups with a social vocation.
The winners received an economic incentive worth between 40,000€ and 200,000€ and an entrepreneurial coaching service provided by the Incubator of the Politecnico di Torino (I3P).
These are the 9 solutions displayed:
Ecoracer is the name of the world’s first recyclable one-design made with a mix of carbon and linen fibre by the Friuli-based start-up Northern Light Composites, which was launched on June 24th;
the cable-free underwater Internet network for wireless observation and monitoring of the state of health of the sea designed by Wsense;
the small and innovative BlueBox portable laboratory for collecting data on one’s own boat designed by Oceanhis from Turin;
the Nykita zero-emission hydrogen technology sailing boat by the Ligurian capital’s start-up H2Boat;
the ‘Tour4Blue‘ platform designed by the Tuscan company Moebeus to highlight tourism businesses and activities characterised by a culture of sustainability;
the representation of an artificial reef along a stretch of city coastline to talk about integrated coastal zone management by Geoscape;
the marine ‘skilift’ by the Milan-based company Swimlift to make the aquatic environment accessible to all;
the clay 3D printer to create natural artefacts capable of reviving underwater environments by the Genoa-based start-up MadLab 2.0;
jet skis and sailing boats made with a special recyclable material made of kelvet and expanded polymer by the Marche start-up Global E-Solving.
Students and project partners
An important part of the Innovation Village at Ocean Live Park is also the space co-designed with the students of the Faculty of Architecture in Genoa to welcome visitors, sportsmen and enthusiasts and to make them experience the solutions and the many experiences dedicated to the sea and its sustainability in an immersive and evocative way.
A 18-m wave shaped ledwall in the centre of the area will illustrate life under and above the sea. The Innovation Village is being animated every day by the activities developed ad hoc by the Genova BlueDistrict partners: Genoa University Sea Centre, the National Research Council, the Italian Institute of Technology, the Ligurian Marine Technology District, TICASS – Innovative Technologies for Environmental Control and Sustainable Development, and the San Giorgio Nautical Institute, as well as the Port Authority.
Built in Genoa at the San Giorgio Marine shipyard, EcoracerOD will be at the Innovation Village. The 9-meter boat is made of a mix of carbon and linen fibre. Thanks to the use of a newly developed thermoplastic resin, it is totally recyclable. Sailing enthusiasts will find an inverted bow for high performance with a squaretop mainsail and the beautiful boat will be equipped with an electric motor. Behind this boat lies an Italian team made up of young professionals alongside some established figures in the industry. It is the first recyclable monotype in the world and will have a dedicated regatta circuit, the Ecoracer Sailing Series.
Northern Light Composites is an innovative company based in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and deals with the design, engineering and marketing of sustainable boats.
WSENSE - GRETA project
The GRETA project involves experimenting with a wireless underwater internet network for the observation and monitoring of marine health. The monitored parameters are dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, currents and waves.
A miniaturised system makes it possible to create underwater networks for divers, ensuring localisation and connection.
Wsense was founded in 2017 as a spin-off of the University of Rome and in 2023 won recognition from the World Economic Forum as the world’s most innovative enterprise in data collection and management for the protection of the ocean environment.
OCEANHIS - BLUE BOX project
Blue Box is a portable laboratory which provides georeferenced marine data, delivering the health status of the marine environment to the community directly from your own boat. The ‘Adopt a Mile’ operation will also be launched at the Innovation Village: anyone can join the sea protection activity through the actual adoption of a georeferenced marine mile.
Oceanhis was born in July 2020, in collaboration with the I3P incubator of the Politecnico di Torino, from the need to have georeferenced, integrated and usable marine and oceanic data through standardised databases in the Cloud, with interoperability features, common vocabularies, best practice standards and quality in accordance with the sector’s ISO standards.
H2BOAT - ZEBE (Zero Emission Blue Energy) project
H2Boat was launched in 2020 by Bluenergy Revolution, which is already active in applied research into fuel cells, electrolysers and metal hydride hydrogen storage systems, with the aim of introducing H2-related technologies and its use as an energy carrier into the marine environment.
Hydrogen can be consired as a new horizon as marine fuel, in order to minimise energy consumption, emissions and, generally, the impact on our home planet. The zero-emission boat Nykita will be present at the Innovation Village.
MOEBEUS - TOUR4BLUE project
Tour4Blue is a platform capable of highlighting tourism businesses, sports and leisure activities that are characterised by a culture of sustainability. The qualitative metrics are the 17 United Nations goals.
Moebeus was founded in Prato with the aim of helping to spread the culture of circularity made up of sustainability, creativity, active participation, sharing, innovation, technology.
GEOSCAPE - MATASSA project
With the MATASSA project Geoscape represents an artificial reef along a stretch of city coastline and the remodelling of the coastline according to ICZM principles. The project prototype consists of graphic and 3D vision through traditional representation (plastic model) and the use of a 3D printer to reproduce the details of the implementation area. Immersive experience and a special sand box will be the two tools to educate about the landscape environment, to promote its sustainable management.
Geoscape, a Genoese university spin-off, was established with the aim of providing innovative consulting services in the field of geological-environmental analysis and monitoring and numerical cartography.
SWIMLIFT - MORE SEA FOR ALL project
Thanks to his patent, Swimlift realised a sea “skilift”, accepting the challenge of finding an inclusive solution to help people move around in the sea. Driven by a battery-powered electric motor that operates on the water surface at low speed between two pulleys conveniently mounted on small stations, it provides safety, ease of use and installation. The pool version was presented at Sciorba in Genoa in September 2022 with swimming champion Francesco Bocciardo. The sea version will be presented at the Innovation Village: a system that helps and supports buoyancy for people with impaired physical mobility or difficulties in adapting to the marine environment.
Swimlift’s goal is to ensure full accessibility to swimming pools and water areas for everyone, in a sustainable, simple and safe way.
MADLAB 2.0 - MAR&MOTO project
A 3D clay printer to make artifacts: products of different shapes and sizes with porous, rough and/or perforated surfaces, which will later be placed under the sea surface, in adhesion to concrete objects in canals, dams and/or other marine infrastructure, thus enhancing biodiversity and combating climate change. The area is realised in collaboration with Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn.
MadLab was born in 2015 from a project by Cooperativa Il Laboratorio in collaboration with the associations Festival della Scienza and Scuola di Robotica. In 2017 it became MadLab 2.0, an innovative start-up with a social vocation that deals with training, 3D printing, humanoid robotics and technology consulting for individuals, schools and companies.
GLOBAL E-SOLVING - KELVET project
A material weighing just a few grams that enables the construction of small boats and allows safe navigation: this is kelvet, an innovative and sustainable high-performance material with excellent mechanical properties and extraordinary lightness. The Innovation Village will feature Nina, a small sailing boat, and a jet ski with an electric motor, both made of this special recyclable material together with expanded polymer. The whole thing was born and developed in close cooperation with the Nautical Institute ‘San Giorgio’. The challenge is to use materials, generally valued in construction works, in the nautical world as an alternative to the use of fibreglass.
Global E-Solving was founded in Abruzzo and operates in the nautical innovation sector; it is the licensee of the kelvet material patent, from which the Kelvet Marine division was born.