Interviews - September 5, 2022
The Experts are the engine behind the Solar Impulse Foundation Label for efficient Solutions. Every month we share the story of the members of our Community that impressed for their dedication and the quality of their Assessments.
Giorgio is an Italian chemical engineer and independent Expert who is volunteering for the Foundation since February 2019 and has assessed 40 Solutions. In his career path, he covered different roles including Project Technical Advisor for the European Commission and Business Developer for the EIT RawMaterials.
Would you share a little about yourself?
I live with my wife and my two kids in a green and hilly area just outside Rome, Italy. I am a chemical engineer and passionate about sustainability and innovation.
Please tell us more about your area of expertise and profession.
In the last 20 years I have always been involved in innovation, before working in R&D on energy efficiency, and then as a consultant for startups supporting technical-economical feasibility studies, market analysis and business planning, proposal writing and fundraising.
You work for Lira.ltd as Managing Partner. Would you share with us a few things about your work with Lira.ltd and how it relates to sustainability?
At Lira we support high-tech startups to accelerate their innovation, through public grants or private investments. For us, this means analyzing new innovations every week, including many sustainable solutions in energy and cleantech.
What are some of the exciting projects or themes that you have worked on, at the moment or in the past?
The latest case I have personally supported to raise 6.5 million euros from the EIC Accelerator is the German startup Magnotherm. They are developing the first commercial refrigerator based on magnetic cooling, which will consume much less energy than traditional ones and will not use refrigerant gases that are harmful to the environment.
In your consulting experience, how do you perceive the approach of companies to sustainability?
In the last 20 years, the approach to sustainability of both the innovation ecosystem and of the companies has completely changed. Now there is a strong focus on reducing the carbon footprint and finding new solutions to solve climatic and energy problems. Just to make an example, one of the biggest challenges faced by startups now is to look for new solutions to improve sustainability.
You joined the Expert Community in February 2019 and you have completed 40 Assessments! What kinds of Solutions have you assessed, and which stand out as the most impactful?
I have assessed solutions dealing with energy efficiency, generation, and recycling. Many of them are very interesting and impactful. To name one in the recycling sector, the Canadian company Geomega is developing an innovative and clean process to extract rare earth elements from permanent magnets. This can have a very relevant impact on securing the raw materials required for the green and digital transformations of our society.
What are your hopes for the Labeled Solutions, and the Solar Impulse Foundation more widely?
I hope most of the labeled solutions will find a way to scale up in the market, also thanks to the contacts with clients and investors provided by the Solar Impulse Foundation, and make a large impact in real life for a more sustainable world.
Anything else you would like to share?
I urge everyone to support the politicians who put climate change and its negative consequences on top of their agenda. There are now profitable solutions to tackle the problem and it is only a matter of leveraging investments to adopt them. The pandemic has shown that innovation can fight a global problem with fast answers if we make this a global priority. The time to act is now.
Interested in becoming an Expert with the Solar Impulse Foundation? Find out more here.