The 2018/2019 edition, launched on 4 December 2018 in Milan as part of the inauguration of the ninth edition of the Italy-China Week of Science, Technology and Innovation, involved over 100 companies from all over Italy and China and specialized in the sectors of advanced manufacturing, digital economy and creative industries, sustainability and green innovation, health, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and big data.
The various exploratory missions conducted during this edition of the BSSEC gave rise in 22 stages in 16 Chinese and Italian cities:
Shenzhen (1), Zhuhai (1), Hangzhou (2), Suzhou (3), Xiamen (1), Zhangzhou (1), Nanjing (3), Xi’an (1), Rome (1), Milan ( 1), Wuzhen(1), Beijing (2), Yancheng (1), Foshan (1), Dongguan (1), Wenzhou (1).
Each mission saw the central moment of the activities in a competition between the participating startups and companies. In addition, numerous visits and meetings were organized with investors, companies (Huawei Shenzhen Headquarters, Alibaba Hangzhou Headquarters, Senken, Unisound, WeDoctor), government administrations, centers of excellence (Songshan Lake Eco-City Science Museum, Zhangzhou Development Zone, Amazon Web Services Innovation Center), science parks (ST Industrial Park, Songshan Lake High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Taican Industrial Park, Yancheng Dongshan Precision Industrial Park, Lishui High Tech Industrial Zone) and incubators (TusStar, TusCity, T3 Space, Tron Space, Guangda We Valley).
In particular, SPICI visited the organization of the semi-finals in 2019, which were divided as follows:
- Advanced Manufacturing and Digital Economy (in April), were held in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Xiamen. The participating companies presented their solutions, meeting investors, experts and government and business representatives and visiting the headquarters of renowned corporate giants such as Alibaba and Huawei.
- Sustainability and Green Innovation, (in June) was held in Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. Businesses had meetings with local governments and companies and investors. They visited the Amazon headquarters, and several innovative solutions were presented, based on the integration between cybersecurity and cloud computing, artificial intelligence and IoT, 5G and big data, nanotech and wi-fi technologies, blockchain, with applications ranging from shared mobility to agriculture 4.0, from sustainable construction to hydroponics, from energy efficiency to power grid.
- Advanced Production (in September), the companies presented several innovative solutions, from 3D printing to new materials to B2B solutions for industrial production.
During the working days, there were about 100 one-to-one meetings between companies and potential Chinese partners, customers and investors. The geographical areas on which we focused are Yancheng, in the province of Jiangsu, one of the cities in the world with the fastest growing economy; in Nanjing, which has previously hosted other missions and Xi’An, at the center of the Greater Xi’An Area which aims to promote and drive the development of the western Chinese regions, as well as the starting point of the New Silk Road.
Health and Life Sciences (in October), The program took place in Italy, in Rome, at the Faculty of Medicine of the Sapienza University of Rome. Companies presented advanced solutions ranging from testing methods to treat tumors with stem cells, to tests for cancer screening and liquid biopsy to innovative tools for eye care to communication services that allow deaf people to make phone calls, without a third intermediary.
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data (in October) with presentations of solutions ranging from the application of AI in language learning systems, to technological solutions for Virtual Retail and Cloud Manufacturing to fashion brands, retailers, manufacturers and designers to companies specialized in Edge Computing, AI, IOT and DLT (Distributed Ledger). The mission was held in Wuzhen, Suzhou and Beijing.
The edition for 2018/2019 ended in November on the occasion of the Grand Final in which the 6 companies selected during each semi-final participated. The activities took place in the 5 Chinese cities of Foshan, Dongguan, Beijing, Nanjing and Wenzhou. The companies had the opportunity to meet the Minister of Education, University and Research Lorenzo Fioramonti and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang.
They took part in the tenth edition of the Italy-China Week of Science, Technology and Innovation, the 2019 Innovation Songshan Lake Entrepreneurship Program and various matchmaking meetings with investors and potential business and technology partners.
The first company which ranked in the Grand Final was Genenta Science, a biotechnology company pioneering the development of therapies for cancer treatment that has already raised over 30 million euros in funding. Vaxxit, the second awardee, is a startup operating in the biomedical sector, specialized in the development of vaccines for the treatment of various diseases including AIDS and cancer.
The third winner was Edugo.ai, an e-learning company that uses artificial intelligence to develop highly personalized study paths and accelerate the learning process.