Italian excellence in research and innovation, with a focus on young brilliant researchers and on talented women, who give a strong contribution to scientific progress and whose participation in science must be encouraged. This is what the Premio Sapio for Research and Innovation is about, more than ever in its latest edition, just celebrated in Rome in Palazzo di Montecitorio: for 16 years the award, a scientific initiative promoted by the Sapio Group in coordination with Universities, Research Centers and Institutions, has given voice to those who successfully work in research and are committed with passion to delivering top-notch results that help improve people’s lives and contribute to the growth of our country. The aim of the Premio Sapio for Research and Innovation is to stimulate innovation by awarding those who do research and create innovation and who represent the excellence of Italy.
Premio Sapio, the best in class
For this year’s edition, that included four categories, a total of 141 research projects were submitted by 193 researchers. The Innovation Award went to Paolo Cappa, professor at the Università La Sapienza in Rome, who created a wearable exoskeleton to help children with mobility impairment walk; the Research Award was assigned to a team (Laura Bandiera and Enrico Bagli from the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Ferrara and Andrea Mazzolari from the Università degli Studi in Ferrara) for a study on curve crystals; the Junior Award, exclusively for research works carried out by people under the age of 30, went to 29-year old Federico Bella from the Politecnico di Torino for his work on low impact photopolymers for batteries and solar cells; the Safety Award (for research works within the framework of cryopreservation and, in particular, safety of materials, operators, and cryobanks) the jury picked Giuseppina Bonizzi of the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, who works with technologies that allow to handle safely the biological samples used in cancer research.
A red carpet for women researchers
This year’s award was especially dedicated to women researchers and to highlighting the vital role that women have played and still can have for scientific progress. The Premio Sapio rolled out a symbolic red carpet for fourteen women scientists and researchers, who stood out for their scientific work and achievements and are a representation of all women in science who are commited to progress and to the development of our country.
Among them, Virna Marin, a researcher who won the Premio Sapio in the Junior Category of the 2010/11 edition, told her success story in medicine and healthcare, while three students (girls who are already champions in the Math Olympics or have been awarded the Alfieri del Lavoro recognition) were a testament to the fact that we need a cultural shift to give women the place they deserve in science. That’s also in line with the Sapio Group’s mission: be committed day by day to make this world a better place.
Premio Sapio, a passion for science
“This award is for the Sapio Group something we are very passionate about. As a matter of fact, passion for research and promotion of innovation has been at the heart of our company since its foundation in 1922”, says Alberto Dossi, President of the Sapio Group.
“This award is a contribution to stimulating and capitalizing on women’s potential in science. I am proud to say that this year 86 out of 193 researchers who submitted their works were women, that is around 45%. Women can give a crucial contribution to the economic growth of our country and to improving our quality of life”.