Innovative SMEs

Open Innovative PMI: the winners of the first edition

Brainsigns, Viscount ed Ecofly are the winners

Brainsigns, Viscount and Ecofly are the winners of the first edition of the Open Innovative PMI award. The winners will receive services worth 10,000 offered by Bernoni Grant Thornton and Grant Thornton Financial Advisory Services as support of their growth and development.

The prize-giving ceremony of the “Open Innovative PMI” award, promoted by Bernoni Grant Thornton and addressed to Italian innovative SMEs, was held on 16 November in Rome.

The award is included in a wider project, focused, for the first time in Italy, fully on SMEs, which are such an important part of the Italian business community, but still not much known. The initiative conceived by Bernoni Grant Thornton is aimed at supporting innovative SMEs, helping them to know the tax, corporate, and financial advantages granted by current regulation and to grow, also through specific support plans. The winners of this first edition’s categories are:

Each of the three winning companies, which stood out for their ability to innovate, obtain good results in Italy and abroad and adopt successful business models, will receive services worth 10,000 offered by Bernoni Grant Thornton and Grant Thornton Financial Advisory Services, which will support their development on the market and the research for new investors.

Open Innovative PMI” has been conceived by Bernoni Grant Thornton and is part of a wider project entirely dedicated to SMEs, which is comprises an Award, a Conference, an Observatory, an Academy and an Incubator.

“SMEs are the heart of the Italian business community”, stated Alessandro Dragonetti, Co-Managing Partner and Head of Tax at Bernoni Grant Thornton, “innovative SMEs could be the pulling engine to boost growth in Italy. Technological innovation and skilled entrepreneurs are crucial to give value to SMEs and reach excellent performance. Today, we only rewarded three companies, but our hope is that all SMEs can grow and compete on equal terms with international competitors, investing in increasing innovative training, knowledge and technology”.

The award was sponsored and supported by important State Institutions, research centres and trade associations, such as the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the Department for European Policy of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the National Research Council (CNR), the Italian association of Private Equity, Venture Capital and Private Debt (AIFI), the Italian association of CFOs (ANDAF), the Italian Network of Scientific and Technological Parks (APSTI), and the Conference of rectors of Italian universities (CRUI).

The winners

Brainsigns S.r.l., spin-off of La Sapienza University in Rome, deals with the analysis of brain signals and other bio-feedback, using them in all those cases in which their monitoring can generate value for the business.

Viscount International S.p.A., located in Mondaino (Rimini), is a unique production and research centre in Europe in the manufacturing of musical instruments. 85% of their turnover is generated abroad.

Ecofly S.r.l., located in Castel San Giorgio (Salerno), deals with water disinfection, as well as pest and rodent control. The company operates with licensed and exclusive devices, which grant better results, the optimization of used resources, a lower environmental impact and better margins. Moreover, the total company’s shares are held by women.

63 were the total SMEs participating in the contest and the Jury was made up of: Filippo Buraschi (sub-editor at MF - Milano Finanza), Barbara Angelini (Technologist at CNR), Diana Agosti (head of the Department for European Policy of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers), Marco Allegrini (economics professor at the University of Pisa), Marco Cerù (Chairman of ANDAF, section for central and southern Italy), Gianluca Carenzo (Chairman of APSTI) and the MP Paolo Coppola.

Generic photos of the Open Innovative PMI award

The finalists

The following are the other finalist companies for each of the three categories:


The conference

The prize-giving ceremony was preceded by a conference aimed at promoting the exchange of best practices and ideas among business, university and institutional representatives. The themes of the debate where devoted to digital transformation and to 'industry 4.0" plan, focussing on the role of SMEs in this context.

Open Innovative PMI conference