Made in Italy is considered a true brand, it is the third most famous brand in the world after Coca-Cola and Visa. In 2016, the estimated turnover of “Italy” as a brand exceeded $ 1,500 billion, ranking ninth among the 100 best performing countries in the world, according to the annual “Brand finance nation brands” research.
Products “Made in Italy” receive more attention from the market. On Google the term appears in 141 million pages and the ‘Made in Italy’ url is 611 thousand times present in the search engine. According to a survey conducted by KPMG Advisor, foreigners associate Made in Italy with values such as beauty, passion, creativity, luxury, culture and quality.
We all know that Made in Italy is a brand for food, fashion, furniture, and so on. But the list of Italian excellences is very long and sometimes includes sectors less known.
In this article we list products and sectors less known but equally excellent for which the Made in Italy stands out in the world.
Italian medical research has always collected primates. In recent years Italian medical teams described for the first time a biological mechanism whose inhibition is able to block tumor growth and found the first cure in the world for leukemia and a way to select stem cells from “waste” tissue for the treatment of degenerative diseases. The Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa has produced the first artificial retina: a hi-tech instrument able to cure different eye pathologies.
Graphene is considered the material of the future. The first European producer and fourth worldwide is a company from Como, the Directa Plus. The company has filed 16 patents on this innovative material that can be used is several ways, including producing fabrics with flame retardant properties to protect workers or structures from fires or making graphene sponges to clean up the sea.
The fast train business speaks Italian. Everyone talks about Hyperloop, the magnetic levitation train designed by Elon Musk, Tesla’s father, but very few people know that Italian engineers are about to undermine the primacy of Musk himself in the fast train business. A Tuscan start-up, Ales Tech, has in fact patented IronLev, a magnetic levitation trolley all made in Italy, designed to make the mechanism work on the existing steel rails starting from 2020.
Italy is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the robotics sector. It even exceeds countries like the United States, France and Germany, before it only Japan. In the near future, robotics will increasingly affect our lives by changing consumption and production patterns. Italy boasts the following centers of excellence: the Italian Institute of Technology, where the humanoid iCub and Walkman (specialized in emergencies) and R1 (for domestic assistance) and the BioRobotics Institute of the Sant’Anna School in Pisa specialized in robotic prostheses, robotic rehabilitation and exoskeletons for the disabled.
Fashion has always been the queen of Made in Italy excellences. Italian taste in creativity and in the production of Italian fashion companies have always been synonymous with quality. Fashion as other sectors is changing brands starting from changes in consumers lifestyle. If the animalist turn has led several maisons to stop the production of real furs and prefer the ecological ones, even vegetarian demands are becoming increasingly popular. For this reason, innovative realities are emerging in making fashion in an eco-sustainable perspective. For example, the Italian start-up Fera Libens produces accessories, bags, shoes all “cruelty free”. The Trentino-based company Vegea by Gianpiero Tessitore has succeeded in creating the first vegetable leather derived from wine and is planning to forge partnerships with major fashion brands to produce elegant and chic, all eco-sustainable accessories.
The start-up Deed of two Roman brothers, Edoardo and Emiliano Parini, has patented a bracelet called Get that uses technology based on bone conduction allowing to make calls or send texts by simply putting your finger on your ear. It’s a technological product ready to compete in the global market with important partnerships. Get is also used as an audio guide for visiting the Maxxi museum in Rome.
The new frontier of inventions will welcome flying cars: in Paris they are experimenting taxis flying on the Seine. In Italy the entrepreneur Pierpaolo Lazzarini has conceived the IFO (Identified Flying Object), that is a gigantic drone: a capsule mounted on an aircraft driven by eight propellers, powered by battery, carrying up to two people. It is currently tested in Dubai.
The Bicocca University of Milan is the first university in the world developing plastic plates equipped with nanoparticles capable of capturing light and transforming a window into a solar panel. If the experimentation will end successfully, we can say we are facing the birth of a new alternative source of energy.
Speaking of sustainable mobility self-driving cars is a topic of interest and Italians are promoters of interesting projects in this field too. It’s the case of the Paduan start-up Next Future Transportation which creates autonomously guided modules that can carry up to 6 people: they join for common journeys, but they can also be divided independently. FCA, provides Waymo, the division of Google involved in driverless cars projecst, with thousands of self-driving cars for its fleet.
Special effects for movies
Not everyone knows that Italy has many excellences in the film industry: sets, music or costumes. The Italian company Makinarium is making a name for itself worldwide in the special effects sector. They introduced an innovative method for the creation of combined physical and visual effects, starting from “Il racconto dei racconti” by Matteo Garrone. The technique is based on the superposition of digital post-production, 3D animation, mechanical effects, special make-up and traditional techniques. This technique was also used in the new cinematic adventure by Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.