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The future in orbit: the “spatial” innovation of startups and investors begins in Turin

A new chapter in the “Edison Pulse and StartupItalia!” contest – chasing new successful and innovative businesses around Italy. The future starts from Turin and develops all around the world and into space

February 22, 2017
Giampaolo Colletti

For a while now, Italian has been among the most spoken languages in space.

Italian food, and even coffee (obviously strictly espresso) is served. This was made possible thanks to Argotec, an aerospace company founded in Piedmont and exclusive European NASA partner. The company is based in Piedmont and it employs engineers from all over the world. The innovation journey “made in Piedmont” starts from a different one, a journey to space.

On Wednesday, March 1 from 9 am a new chapter in the “Edison Pulse” contest will take place in Turin, at the Valentino Castle. The contest is promoted by Edison who is engaged in hunting for startups and innovative ideas around Italy. This is an event not to be missed that will get you an insight in the future of the innovation ecosystem. The event is promoted by EDF Fenice and Edison and has been organized in collaboration with the team from StartupItalia! magazine. (Free but compulsory registration available at The event will cover successful stories in research, innovation, startups and future through talks and debates.

It will be a busy morning aimed at unraveling the intricacies of the future shaping up in front of us. The workshop will also cover topics such as innovation in the energy industry and the future of sustainable households for connected citizens. The spotlight will then turn on resources optimization and energy efficiency and its unbreakable bond with research. Paolo Quaini, EDF Fenice’s CEO will be covering these topics in his talk.

Riccardo Ghidella (Territory Manager, Market coordinator and Energy efficiency campus manager for EDS Fenice), Florian Ciornei (Edison) and Francesco Ardito (founder of LastMinuteSottoCasa – will be the opening speakers.

Turin’s mayor Chiara Appendino will then great the audience and then the journey will continue and cover many more kilometers higher up, above our heads, reaching for the space.

The coffee in orbit through space startup

The first talk on successful startups will be given by David Avino, Argotec’s CEO ( Avino has been involved in the aerospace and defense industries in Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. He has been a member of a number of NASA and ESA committees in space operations. Avino argues that “Working from the space can help human kind as it allows for a better observation point on some physical phenomena in microgravity situations that are not entirely observable on Earth”.

His company, Argotec was founded nine years ago, and focuses its activities on research, innovation and development in different fields: engineering, information technology, systems integration. Argotec conducts research and development in the food industry within the aerospace sector. Argotec’s production of space food for astronauts has been promoted around the world. The food prepared by Argotec contains organic ingredients, it can be stored up to 24 months without using the cold chain and does not contain any dyes or chemical additives. Its production, involves the implementation of innovative dehydration and thermostabilization methods, while always ensuring utmost respect of organoleptic and nutritional quality of the food.

“All of Argotec’s research and products are carried out in order to develop patents and knowledge that can have a significant impact and an improvement of everyone’s day to day life”

The company’s headquarter and laboratories are located in Turin but their operations span internationally. One of Argotec’s teams located at the European Center in Cologne and a subsidiary, Argotec Space France, is based in France. Argotec’s ambitious goal is to develop innovative systems and services that can be implemented on Earth which are aimed at improving the current living conditions, products and services. With this in mind, Argotec developed a number of eingineering systems such as ISSpresso, the first capsules espresso functioning in microgravity conditions. Argotec is currently working on the design and manufacture of small satellites. ArgoMoon, is the first European project of this kind and has been selected by NASA for its EM-1 mission.

Recipes for startups and success innovators come from Turin

The attendees of the Turin event of the “Edison Pulse” contest will be exposed to the the success stories of other excellences whose journey began in Italy and which are now gaining interest and making revenues. Samuel Rocca from ( Alberto Barberis from Protocube Reply ( and Marco Palminiello from Evo Pricing ( will be speaking about their successful experiences.

Following the talks, two captive panel discussions with all the protagonists of this hi-tech revolution will take place. Among others, the panel attendees will include: Stefano Paolo Corgnati (Vice-Rector for Research of Polytechnic of Torino), Giuseppina De Santis, (Councilor Energy of Piedmont Region), Marco Cantamessa (President I3P – incubator of the Innovative Companies of Polytechnic of Turin), Marcello Baricco (Vice Rector for simplifying University of Turin), Silvio Aime (President 2i3T – Enterprises Incubator and Technology Transfer at the University of Turin), Daniele Russolillo (Environment Foundation), Marco Gay (President and Vice President of Confindustria for Young Entrepreneurs Group), Stefania Milo (President of Young Entrepreneurs CNA) Massimo Marcarini (Managing Director of Link Foundation), Paolo Quaini (EDF Fenice CEO), Michele Novelli (Innogest). Lastly “the barcamp” will present additional Italian excellence stories.

The hunt for startups continues

The new edition of the 2017 Edison pulse contest ( has started and is looking to find passionate, competent, tireless globetrotter innovators to reward. The contest for startups and innovative projects promoted by Edison entails four categories, and many insights to bring to scale. The hunt for innovative ideas “Italian sauce” is on also thanks to “Archimede”. The 2017 edition is focused on energy, smarthome, consumers and earthquake reconstruction. These are the stories of excellence in production, culture and tourism in the areas of Italy that were stroke by the devastating earthquake in August 2016. The contest is also oriented at understanding the innovative management solutions for seismic events. This year Edison Pulse along with StartupItalia! started a tour around Italy in different stages to get insights on the ecosystem that generates innovation and to present Italian stories that make a difference. The first stop of this tour took place in Padova on February 9th and will be followed by events in Turin, Palermo and Rieti.


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