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Energaid. Controlled coolness without environmental impact

Innovation / -

energaid startup intervista

Maintaining a constant and controlled temperature in warehouses used for maturing cheese, wine or cured meats, with minimal electricity consumption… This is the mission of the innovative Energaid system, whose concept is inspired by the temperature-maintaining conditions inside caves.

Franco Venturini, an engineer with experience in the field of energy and thermotechnics, took his inspiration from the origins of food conservation techniques in order to create a temperature control system designed for warehouses for storing cheese, wine and cured meats. Energaid (Energy-Gain Active-Insulation Device) maintains a constant indoor temperature in a similar way to a storage cave. How? With special walls and surfaces covered in thermal insulating material, inside which fluid circulation eliminates undesirable condensation and makes it possible to control temperature exchanges. In this way, the warehouses exploit geothermal and hydrothermal energy, taking a big stride towards sustainability and energy saving.
How was the Energaid idea born, and what technologies is it based upon? What are its most innovative aspects?
Just as caves have been exploited for thousands of years as environments which limit temperature fluctuations, so Energaid works to reproduce a stable microclimate using active thermal insulation technology. The walls and surface coverings inside the warehouses are filled with thermal fluids naturally present on the site, and these bring about constant climate control using renewable energy. This system aims to substitute traditional warehouse air conditioning systems, which are expensive and environmentally unfriendly.
Where are you active? In which field or food process innovation trend can your startup be placed?
Our activities are divided between Lombardy (where our experimental plant is situated) and Veneto. Our operational sector is basically that of energy saving, using renewable energy and improving warehouse hygiene. And creating substantial economic advantages.
Who are your competitors? What are your strong points and competitive advantages?
Our main competitors are traditional air conditioning systems and resistance to innovation. Our strong points are numerous and extremely significant: energy consumption close to zero for temperature-controlled indoor environments, in line with EU directives; elimination of surface condensation with consequent hygienic advantages; extraordinary temperature stability, leading to elevated long-term reliability. Bearing in mind these multiple advantages, our goal is to activate further industrial collaborations as soon as possible, in order to demonstrate our success in a wide range of applicative contexts.

Makr Shakr, the robot that serves up cocktails

Innovation / -

It is able to shake, mix, strain and measure out over 40 ingredients with complete accuracy. And it does so by using the Makr Shakr’s pair of automated arms. The first robotic bartender in the world, the Makr Shakr is currently fully functioning at Expo Milano 2015.

Fancy a cocktail? The robot will take care of that. Among the novelties at Expo Milano 2015 presented at the Future Food District, from the end of August there is also the Makr Shakr, the first robotic bar tender in the world. The brainchild of Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT Senseable City Lab, the robot greets visitors in Piazza Italia, but its rightful place is of course in the Thematic Area that hosts the Supermarket of the Future, designed by Carlo Ratti Associati in partnership with Coop Italia.
"The invention consists of two industrial robots, traditionally used for foods”, explained Ratti, “with a safety mechanism that stops them if a user gets too close. As in the Future Food District, technology is used as a means of empowerment: the robot operates as an extension of the client’s arms, becoming a real bartender."
With Makr Shakr, via a smartphone App, anyone can search, create and order, according to their own personal tastes, different combinations of drinks. Shown on screens, in real time, is information on the ingredients used, the mixes created and who else is interacting with the robot. The cocktail of the future, therefore, is to be shared.

Marco Settembri. Not even a drop should be wasted

Economia / -

We are made up of water, and preserving this vital nutrient is essential to life. But for Nestlé Waters a sustainable management of water resources is also beneficial to the maintenance of the business.

At a time when Italy, with Expo Milano 2015, is welcoming visitors from all over the world, the key Italian corporate players must be part of that welcome and lead the way. And among these brands there is also the global brand S. Pellegrino, which around the world is synonymous with Italian style. Speaking to Simone Molteni, director of ExpoNet, is Marco Settembri, Executive Vice President of Nestlé, and the head of Nestlé Waters worldwide. He spoke about the importance of water, a fundamental nutrient for life as well as for producing the food we eat.
"We can live a few days without food, but not even a day without water. The theme of nutrition must include this resource: we are made up of water. It is proven that for a long healthy life you have to have a proper diet, an active lifestyle and proper hydration. That’s why, as a company, we feel we can contribute to this virtuous triangle and we want to be promoters of a healthy hydration that is based on water. It’s a nutrient that we are committed to preserving also to secure our long-term business. We’re protecting our sources which are unique and we want to maintain their same quality, even in 100 years, by protecting them from pollution. For us it’s crucial that every drop of water is bottled respecting the natural cycle with a positive recirculation. For this reason we want to make the necessary investments to keep this resource unchanged".
The theme of water will be covered at Expo Milano 2015 through different debates and discussions.

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