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The finalist startups participating in PNI 2021 are divided into 4 categories:

  • CleanTech & Energy

  • ICT

  • Industrial

  • Life Sciences & MED Tec

In the PNI 2021 edition, 60 startups from 15 Regional StartCups are expected in the final.  

On the occasion of the final event which will take place on December 3, the 4 winning startups will be decreed, one for each category, to which a cash prize of 25,000 euros will be awarded.

The startup that has been recognized as winner of the National Innovation Award will win the PNI Champions Cup. 

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Innovative products and / or services for industrial production, from the point of view of technology and the market

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Innovative products and / or services to improve health of people

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Innovative products and / or services in the field of information technologies and new media

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Innovative products and / or services for environmental sustainability, agricultural production and energy management


"Best innovative social startup" award

The Prize is awarded to the startup competing in the 4 innovation categories envisaged by the PNI - "Cleantech & Energy", "Life Sciences-MED Tech", "ICT", "Industrial" - which offers innovative solutions in one of the following fields of activity with a social vocation:

  • social interventions and services;

  • interventions and health services;

  • social and health services;

  • education, training and vocational training;

  • interventions and services aimed at safeguarding and improving the conditions of the environment and the wise and rational use of natural resources;

  • interventions for the protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage and the landscape;

  • university and post-university training;

  • scientific research of particular social interest;

  • organization and management of cultural, artistic or recreational activities of social interest;

  • Community sound broadcasting;

  • organization and management of tourism activities of social, cultural or religious interest;

  • extra-school training, aimed at preventing early school leaving and academic and educational success, at preventing bullying and at combating educational poverty;

  • instrumental services to social enterprises or other third sector entities;

  • development cooperation;

  • commercial, production, education and information, promotion, representation, licensing of certification marks, carried out in the context of or in favor of fair trade chains;

  • services aimed at the insertion or reintegration into the labor market of workers and individuals;

  • social housing as well as any other temporary residential activity aimed at satisfying social, health, cultural, training or work needs;

  • humanitarian reception and social integration of migrants;

  • microcredit;

  • social agriculture;

  • organization and management of amateur sports activities; redevelopment of unused public assets or assets confiscated from organized crime.

"Best innovative young startup" award

The Prize is awarded to the startup competing in the 4 innovation categories provided for by the PNI - "Cleantech & Energy", "Life Sciences-MED Tech", "ICT", "Industrial" - whose team is composed of more than 50% of subjects - including the contact person - aged between 18 and 35 years.

LIFTT Innovation Contest Special Prize 
The reward consists of the ability to enter the wallet
  LIFTT , an investment operating company that promotes an ethical business model inspired by the ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Criteria), thanks to an investment of at least 50,000 euros and support for management and strategic growth by its team of Project Management.  The regulation of  "LIFTT Innovation Contest" can be consulted on

MITO Technology Special Award "Progress Tech Transfer PoC of the Year"
The prize is awarded to the best proof-of-concept proposal for sustainability-related technologies characterized by a TRL
  at least equal to 4. The winning project will be entitled to a package of services  represented by a first-level freedom to operate analysis for technology, an intellectual property rating report  and a review of the proposal through a fund-designated coach. Furthermore, the best start-up proposals will also be evaluated for the purpose of a possible proof-of-concept funding.

UniCredit Start Lab Special Award
The award gives access to the UniCredit business platform and includes:

  • assignment of a mentor chosen from among professionals, consultants, entrepreneurs, UniCredit partners on innovation for periodic comparisons with startups on strategic and growth aspects; 

  • participation in the Startup Academy;

  • coaching program by the UniCredit Start Lab team;

  • assignment of a UniCredit Relationship Manager to follow banking needs; 

  • for startups that have the prerequisites, organization of Business Meetings with UniCredit Corporate customers and with possible investors.


InnovUp Special Award

The award provides for the free Association to InnovUp for the 4 category winners of the National Innovation Award.

EIT Health Special Award 
EIT Health rewards 1 startup in the Life Sciences category with the assignment of a voucher to access the EIT Health Mentoring and Coaching Network and take advantage of advice by selecting from a wide range of experts, partners, institutions and companies across Europe.

Special Mention "Equal Opportunities"
The Special Mention "Equal Opportunities" will be conferred by Search On Media Group in collaboration with the Scientific Observatory for Women's Enterprises - Osif of the University of Rome "Tor Vergata" to the best innovative female startup. The award consists in the
assignment of a stand within the Startup District of WMF - WeMakeFuture, the largest Innovation Festival, scheduled from 16 to 18 June 2022 at Rimini Fiera.

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