Among the main initiatives of the Space Festival 2023 of Turin, Italy, the "Contest of Space Start-ups" (Contest delle startup spaziali) offered an opportunity to discover and explore new technologies that could help shape the future of human presence in the cosmos, but also in everyday life on Earth. The cutting-edge projects presented on stage by a group of young entrepreneurs included drones for lunar exploration and space suits for astronauts, as well as satellite data analysis systems for solving irrigation problems in agriculture and for monitoring offshore wind energy production.
The meeting on May 6th 2023, held in the Aula Magna of Politecnico di Torino and hosted by Marco Berry, showcased the innovativeness of Italian space start-ups, who presented their projects in an 8-minute pitch each, and the wide knowledge of Roberto Battiston, internationally renowned physicist and former President of the Italian Space Agency, who gave a speech on the technological prospects for the sustainability of human life on the planet. At the end of the event, during the award ceremony, Volta Structural Energy was proclaimed the winner of the competition and its €3,000 prize, which will be used to support the realisation of the project.
Volta Structural Energy develops innovative structural batteries: multifunctional elements that can support mechanical loads while storing electrical energy. The panels of a satellite, for example, the wings of an aircraft or even the roof of a car can be both battery and structure at the same time, thus saving mass and volume. A potentially decisive and disruptive advantage for a wide range of aerospace, automotive, marine and robotic applications.
Today the young company is incubated in I3P, the Innovative Companies Incubator of Politecnico di Torino, after being selected in May 2022 to enter the ESA BIC Turin incubation programme. Five of the other teams that participated in the competition are also part of the I3P network: Evolunar, Mespac, Nabu, ORiS and REA.
"We are delighted to have participated in the contest, for the interest aroused by our technology and the positive result achieved. We believe that the trust placed in us with this award will be repaid as soon as possible, with the debut of our first structural battery product for the space market," commented Chiara Mirani, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Volta Structural Energy. "The contest initiative was really inspiring, as the start-ups and projects presented were all very interesting and truly innovative. An aspect not to be underestimated in participating in events of this kind is certainly the opportunity to get to know other project teams, so that we can create synergies and future collaborations able to enrich the value of our entrepreneurial community".