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The first national award dedicated to innovative SMEs has now come to its fifth edition. Applications open until 30 September 2021.

Rome, 1 September 2021 – Applications are now open to take part in the fifth edition of the Open Innovative PMI Award, the first national award exclusively dedicated to innovative SMEs, devised and organised by Grant Thornton, the Italian member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, a global network of firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, with more than 58,000 people in about 130 countries.

The Award is aimed to reward the bet Italian innovative SMEs and is part of the wider “Open Innovative PMI” multidisciplinary project, aimed at promoting the best Italian innovation and giving greater visibility to this specific type of company.

The project is also aimed at bigger companies, investors and to the Italian innovation ecosystem as a whole, of which it wants to represent a meeting point, as its purpose is to spread a real innovation culture.

To this end, the Open Innovative PMI project consists of six different but interconnected sections: the Award, the Conference, the Observatory, the Academy, the Incubator and the New and, in order to promote innovation, it is based on a dedicated web platform:  

Among the many activities and initiatives, we can list the analysis of the Observatory for Innovative SMEs – which works in collaboration with the University of Pisa –, which will be disclosed this year, too, and the second edition of the Open Innovative PMI Golf Race, taking place on 17 October at La Pinetina Golf Club, in Appiano Gentile (CO): an event combining sports and networking between industry players, journalists and entrepreneurs.

feroci foto cerchio.jpgFederico Feroci, partner at Grant Thornton and head of the Open Innovative PMI Observatory, commented: “The Award, at its fifth edition, still proves as an important occasion to promote small and medium enterprises with a high growth potential, i.e., those enterprises that prioritize innovation in their business model”. He added: “The promotion of an innovation culture is now more than ever important for the development of the whole Italian economic system, which is mostly made up by small and medium enterprises”.

Applications for the Open Innovative PMI award are free and accessible by all SMEs registered with the proper section of the Chamber of Commerce Companies’ Register dedicated to innovative SMEs, as well as to those that are going to register, provided that they have the requirements provided by law to obtain the status as innovative SME at 19 October 2021. Now, innovative SMEs registered with the orpoer Chamber of Commerce register are approximately 2000.

The competition categories of this fifth edition are three: “Research, innovation and digital”, dedicated to all innovative SMEs, whose economic and/or operational component is mainly dependent on their Research & Development activity and/or from technological applications; “Internationalization”, specifically dedicated to all innovative SMES that started developing their business abroad; “Millennials”, exclusively dedicated to all SMEs founded before 2010.

An independent panel of experts, made up of representative of the Italian academic world and business community, will meet on Tuesday, 19 October to examine applications and select the finalist businesses. Chair of the panel will be Federica De Santis, lecturer at the Economics and Management Department at the University of Pisa and scientific director of the Open Innovative PMI Observatory.

The award is sponsored by MAECI, CNR, AIFI, and ANDAF.

The fifth edition of the Open Innovative PMI award, so, has officially started. Applications can be submitted by registering on the website and filling in the online form by 30 September 2021.

The awarding ceremony will take place on 11 November in Rome and will be preceded by a conference, during which Grant Thornton will disclose, in collaboration with the University of Pisa, the results of the analysis carried out by the Open Innovative PMI Observatory.


For further information on the Award an on the Regulation: