Why is it important to invest in young people and support research, even during an economic downturn?
I wrote a great deal about the Angelo Affinita Award. It was the first edition, and it was an initiative I felt strongly about.
Focussing on young people, recognising them for their studying and hard research work.
The day of the awarding ceremony has finally come, following months of strict selection among the best thesis related to Automotive, coming from all over Europe. I confess that it was a great satisfaction to me as well.
It was beautiful to see the faces of the winners, unfiltered from the cold glare of monitors or smartphones, there, in front of me, in the flesh.
What does the Angelo Affinita Award represent? Why did we organise it?
These are the questions I want to share with you.
During the event, I could talk to the winners, but also to entrepreneurs, researchers and professors who participated in the first part of the awarding ceremony, discussing their research projects and life experiences.
This is the thing that stroke me the most: all of them used the same concept to describe the Angelo Affinita Award. They understood and shared fully what both SAPA and the Angelo Affinita Foundation wanted to put across.
Follow me, because it is a critical concept.
All of them talked about the opportunity offered by the Award to live an experience of positive competition based on research and excellence.
They talked about the chance to see their effort repaid, in the Italian context, which is usually not so favourable, and not just by the scholarship (even if that has its importance, of course).
I am proud of being part of this project, which we will replicate next year. Maybe even go bigger: we are thinking about financing a whole 3-year PhD or challenge the best European university student teams.
I will surely keep you informed; it will be an excellent initiative.
We have split the awarding ceremony into two parts: a conference, where attending students could listen to the experiences of professors, entrepreneurs and researchers who put themselves out there by doing business activities or by developing an excellent product for a company and launching it on the market; the second part was the prizing itself.
I would like to report the key talks:
The experience of SAPA’s R&D specialist Sofia Lanzillo:
Until a few years ago, Sofia was a student in chemical engineering at Federico II University of Naples. We had the pleasure to see her join our research and development team, where the practical business dynamics met the theoretical ones of university.
Sofia talked about her work experience, how she dealt with interviews and technical engineering projects she had the opportunity to develop at SAPA.
The speech by AMEDEO GIURAZZA, entrepreneur and CEO of VERTIS SGR:
Amedeo talked about his company, which connects young Start-Ups with investment funds, betting on innovative ideas and launching them on the market.
These were his words about the Angelo Affinita Award:
“In my opinion, this kind of initiative is crucial, because it gives hope to young people, who are awarded for their merit. Even before employment, they can compete by presenting their business and research ideas. Universities-business relations have to be developed further. Among the major countries in the world, Italy is still lagging behind.”
The interesting presentation of megaride, an academic spin- off by FLAVIO FARRONI, researchER at FEDERICO II
Here are his comments on the event:
“I believe this kind of award is important, beyond the money offered by the scholarship, because it feeds young people’s network. I received similar recognition in the past, and what I mostly draw from it, was to see my name next to the disciplines I studied. By being associated with a big group like SAPA, young people can significantly increase their network of professional and scientific connections.”
Amedeo and Flavio’s words answer well the question we raised at the outset: why is it paramount to invest in research and young people?
Because every company aims to innovate its sector and compete in a healthy environment.
This can only be achieved with contribution of the new generation: by sharing new ideas, new projects or merely theoretical content in a different context.
Now, let’s move to the prizing ceremony itself. These are the three winners of the first edition of the Angelo Affinita Award, and we will ensure that they are the first of a long series.
In the auditorium Massimilla at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, the 22.000 euros of the Angelo Affinita Award were broken down as follows:
1° PRIZE of € 10.000: Paolo Vecchione, with the thesis:
“Composite self-reinforced laminates based on polyamides.”
2nd PRIZE of € 7.000: Rossella Arrigo, with the thesis: “High-performance polymer-based nanocomposites: functionalization and immobilisation of nanostructures.”
3rd PRIZE of € 5.000: Filippo Camisani, with the thesis: “Generation of fracture resistance data of thermoplastic polymer matrix composites for the “automotive” sector.”
I am happy to share the event photo gallery. A lecture hall full of young people, a beautiful occasion to repeat.
See you soon,
Chief Sales Strategist and Board Member of SAPA