Cluj Napoca, 8 December 2020 - HyperSurfaces and Artiness are the winning startups of the eleventh edition of the Open Innovation Contest, an international competition organized by NTT DATA Corporation in more than ten cities around the world.
Growing year after year, the contest aims to promote technological innovation, identifying and enhancing the most innovative startups all over the world. In this 2020 edition, Open Innovation Contest, held online due to the Covid-19 health emergency, has seen the participation of more than 50 startups, coming this year not only from Italy but from all over Europe, in particular from Germany and Romania. This year, the Open Innovation Contest has reaffirmed itself as a competition with a wide international scope with 10 finalists.
"Younger people can leverage on extraordinary creativity and a natural propensity for innovation: investing in them is not only a winning bet for NTT DATA, but also for the whole society - said on the sidelines of the award ceremony Walter Ruffinoni, CEO NTT DATA EMEA and - In this moment of crisis, the Open Innovation Contest acquires, if it’s possible, an even greater importance, because it allows young talents and startups to establish virtuous and profitable relationships with small and large companies".
Responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, which highlighted the need for more inclusive and transparent interaction tools, this year's Open Innovation Contest focused on "human -friendly" technologies. The areas of application with which all the competing startups have been confronted were: “The Empath Computer", “Digital Doc Trainer”, "Transparent Technology: Augment Things!", “The Digital Shop”, “A Place to Live In” and“Smart Offer Creation in Manufacturing”.
“The effervescence of the registered companies and the diversity of ideas presented in the Open Innovation Contest XI confirm that the innovation of a company cannot come only from within it, but must be an open action, of cooperation with the business and academic community. By supporting such events, we want to continuously improve and expand the services we offer our customers and identify and support activities aimed at creating well-being and sustainability. This justifies the special award provided to the company OpenStage, whose innovative solution combines technology with entertainment, fun and urban interconnectivity, "said Cantemir Mihu - CTO NTT DATA Romania.
Among the 10 finalists selected, this year's winners, Artiness and HyperSurfaces, competed respectively in the Digital Training and Transparent Technology fields, proposing cutting-edge solutions in the medical field and in terms of Artificial Intelligence.
“Each edition brings on the stage many valuable startups with an eye on the future, and today the winners are reflecting the social worldwide change process in progress. Doctors are precious resources especially in rural areas, aging society and pandemic, and Artiness has a technology to increase the performance of doctors as well as the number of doctors. On the other hand, we all know that IoT will be the norm of the future and HyperSurfaces’ technology can transform 20th century things into smart objects just by attaching cheap and simple sensors. I am looking forward to creating amazing services with both as I see a great potential to create a business together” said Kaz Okada, Open Innovation Specialist, NTT DATA Corporation
NTT DATA will provide the winner of the Grand finale in Tokyo with a prize valued of $100,000 delivered in services and support to develop an innovative business together. This prize demonstrates that the Open Innovation Contest is a true opportunity for valorization of startups: a starting point for profitable business collaborations. The winner can count on the support of a dedicated team of consultants and experts who will work side by side with the startup to implement its business project. Finally, NTT DATA will contribute to activate contacts for finalists and winners drawing from its customer base and professional networks.
The jury has assigned a Special mention for social impacts to Open Stage for its urban entertainment for artists, citizens and tourist.
The Open Innovation Contest is one of the many initiatives and collaborations launched by NTT DATA to promote innovation, education, and the development of new ideas. Some of these are for example the partnership with Politecnico di Milano and POLI.design, realized last October to contribute to cultural transformation by enhancing training and digital alphabetization, and the ELIS semester of presidency of Water Ruffinoni, CEO of NTT DATA Italy, during which initiatives will be promoted to encourage the southworking and integration between school and work.