Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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PoC (Proof of Concept)

They were selected 12 projects that will have access to the PoC financing fund. The amounts of each project varies between € 11,000 and € 48,000 each (for a total of € 430 000), with which to cover expenses related to the design, manufacture, purchase of materials and technology promotion.

For the first time in Italy it is used this form of financing, intended to bridge the gap between theoretical research and industrial application. Is aimed at students and researchers have already developed a patent, which, however, still has a low degree of technological maturity, measured in TRL scale (technology readiness level, ranging from 1, documentation of basic principles, 9, release of technology and start of production). Ideally will allow researchers to get to the establishment of a startup in a position to finance the costs and generate new revenue.

The PoC therefore serve to support the validation activities and prototyping of the initial project eliminating the problem of shortage of funds. It also aims to acquire the skills to researchers and the business culture that are often absent and prevent the build path to the industrial exploitation and retrieval of investments.

Great importance was given to the evaluation criteria of the projects, because any assessment committee, different depending on the industrial sector, is comprised of: a professional investor, an entrepreneur and a member of the Interdepartmental Laboratory Steering Committee for Technology Transfer, under the supervision of the Vice Rector for Technology Transfer. This allowed to share points of view and very different sensibilities on each project, offering useful tips to every team.

The factors assessed were: the project itself (ie the possibility of increasing the rate of TRL and any relative increase in value), the composition of the project team, the potential of technology, budget and interview with the Commission.

Each team includes at least one person under the age of 35, and is led by a professor Research Manager. It will work on a project for an invention whose patent or patent application, is the sole or majority ownership of the Politecnico.

The maximum duration of each project is 6 months and will be paced by an established program, under which the Evaluation Commission will monitor and judge the progress of activities: a report is also planned  in mid-term that highlights the achievements in terms of budget and time. Also it must produce a financial reporting in half and at the end of the period, attesting to the permanence in the notice standard.

Below funded projects by the technology sector:

  • Mechanical, Automotive, Aerospace

“Injection system, apparatus and method for the amount of injected fuel control” (Prof. Ferrari).
The proposed technology is applied to the pilot injection control in a common rail diesel engine for passenger car. The system involves the use of the injector positioned upstream sensor (a pressure sensor or an instantaneous flow rate sensor and consists of two pressure sensors).

“Diagnostic device through the application of a measuring screw and energy autonomy and transmission control method thereof” (Prof. Somà).
The project presented includes the development of low-power sensors integrated into a threaded element and equipped with a power generation system resulting from an external source. The most immediate application of the invention relates to the field of structural monitoring matched to the diagnostic predictive of a system which, for example, the wind turbine blades.

  • Civil, Building and Environmental

“Prefabricated modular energy ashlar to exchange heat through the construction of a tunnel lining with a plurality of such segments” (Prof. Barla).
The project involves the construction of an energy ashlar that finds a first application in the production of coatings of underground tunnels in urban areas, implemented through mechanized excavation with TBM. The aim is the production of heat and cool to the heating and the air conditioning of the neighboring utilities. Such a system would be particularly suitable to meet the heating needs of residential and commercial buildings adjacent to the gallery and at the same time their summer conditioning.

“Deflecting module for protection from the windblown sand” (Prof. Bruno).
The proposed technology, called SMaRT generally applies to the defense of the sand carried by the wind of infrastructure and civil and industrial settlements in arid or desert. In particular, the SMaRT technology has been developed so far in perspective of its application to railway infrastructure on the basis of industrial technical reasons and contingent.

  • Industrial Engineering

“Intelligent sensor for photogrammetric measurements of large objects” (Prof. Mastrogiacomo).
The project presented provides the realization of a probe to determine the size and tolerance of large objects. The proposed innovation consists in the modularity of the product, which provides assemblable components according to the user needs. Furthermore, the probe is provided with kinematic and environmental sensors to correct the measured values according to the conditions in which these are carried out.

  • Energy

“Device for the regenerative condensing thin film, and the relative” (Prof. Chiavazzo method).
The goal of the project SALTLESS (Small multiple scales-effect distillation for modular water desalination by waste heat recovery) is the realization of a plant for the efficiency preliminary assessment of the desalinator multi-stage coupled to a typical diesel engine generator set. The desalination method is based on a thermal process, which involves the use of waste heat in the exhaust gases of the Diesel engine to distill the input water through evaporation / condensation processes in cascade.

  • Biomedical and Chemistry

“Method for the preparation of cellularised constructs based thermosensitive hydrogels” (Prof. Chiono).
The proposal (Tissue Engineering Ink technology, THINK) consists in a simple and innovative method for the preparation of 3D structures cellularised (“scaffolds”) with a controlled geometry, stable in aqueous medium, obtained with the process conditions not aggressive. It may find application in the biomedical sector, in the context of the engineering of biological tissues to achieve tissues in the laboratory for research purposes or for the reconstruction of grafting using the cells taken from the patient.

“Device and procedure of acquisition of medical images for the analysis of ulcers” (Prof. Corinth).
The proposed technology, called Wound Viewer, consists of a complete system composed of the device (hardware), recognition algorithm (software) and database able to collect, store, and automatically classify clinical data on the state of care of a patient with skin ulcers.

“Mesoporous silica-based system for the sustained release of active ingredient” (Prof. Onida).
The goal of the project is to build and test an innovative gel containing an antibiotic (amikacin), for the treatment of wounds, sores and lesions. Compared to the products currently in use, thanks to the presence of a reserve of Amikacin, it is possible to obtain a constant and prolonged release in time thus decreasing the number of applications.

  • ICT, electronics and TLC

“Automated Method for the detection of Web Trackers” (Prof. Mellia).
The proposed technology allows detection of services that perform tracking tasks in the Web and who base their business on the collection and sale of information about users who surf the Internet. The methodology, called ERMES, inspects Web traffic traces and recognizes online tracking services all done automatically. The innovation consists in the fact that ERMES, in a completely automatic, fits all the techniques used by plotters to identify the user, going beyond simple detection of cookies.

  • Design and Architecture

“Device and method for acoustic analysis of materials” (Prof. De Giorgi).
The project presented provides the realization of a system able to provide a description of the mechanical sounds which are then associated with an adjective and stored within a database. The competitive advantage of the technology, called SounBe, resides in suggesting the designer as to decompose the sound of an object in order to redesign. Knowing fact that schematically, the elements that combine to create a mechanical sound of a product are the material of which the object is composed and the form in which the material is present, SounBe allows a comparison between these factors.