The fourth edition of the Design Innovation Award was presented in Milan in the Triennale Palace. It is an award established by Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica and I Saloni Nautici (organizers of the Genoa International Boat Show) in 2020 with the aim of supporting the excellence of the nautical sector and enhancing innovation by promoting the image of the exhibitors of the Genoa International Boat Show through their most recent products. (Here all our posts about the Design Innovation Award)
Ten categories for the Design Innovation Award
The Design Innovation Award was established by the Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica and I Saloni Nautici in 2020 with the aim of supporting excellence throughout the yachting industry and enhancing innovation by promoting exhibitors through their latest, cutting-edge products.
Nine winners for ten categories were selected by an independent Jury made up of national and international experts from different sectors – professional designers, industry journalists, academics, shipowners, and representatives of the industry’s bodies and institutions – to allow for a cross-sector vision and evaluation. In identifying the winners, the Award highlights the designers’ and manufacturers’ ability to conceive and implement design, research, innovation and sustainability. Three special awards for Innovation, Career and Talent are added to the 10 categories that include sailing and motor boats, pneumatics and superyachts as well as accessories, electrical and on-board equipment.
Exceptional parterre for the Design Innovation Award 2023
The presentation of the fourth edition of the Design Innovation Award, the awarding of which will take place on Friday 22 September during a dedicated evening at the Palazzo della Borsa in Genoa as part of the week of the Genoa International Boat Show (21-26 September) opened with a greeting from Marco Sammicheli, Director of the Museum of Italian Design at the Triennale, welcomed Saverio Cecchi, President of the Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica, Marina Stella, the Association’s General Manager, Alessandro Campagna, Sales Director of the Genoa International Boat Show, Marco Sabetta, General Manager of the Salone del Mobile (the Milan Furniture Fair), and Fabio Bignolini, CEO and co-founder of Northern Light Composites, alongside architect Luisa Bocchietto, who moderated the event.
An independent award the Design Innovation Award
In his opening speech, Saverio Cecchi explained how the Design Innovation Award was established by the Italian Marine Industry Association and the company I Saloni Nautici in 2020, as an integral part of the 60th edition of the Genoa International Boat Show, with the aim of promoting the best designs across the yachting industry on display at the event every year and enhancing its commitment to innovation, research, formal and technical quality, and sustainability. Cecchi went on to emphasise the independent aspect of the award, which, in its choice of the organisers, does not make use of sponsorships linked to the yachting sector.
The “Bello e Ben Fatto” of the Design Innovation Award
“L’imbarcazione italiana si contraddistingue non solo per la ricerca estetica – dal design elegante delle linee, all’attenzione meticolosa ai dettagli nelle finiture, alla decorazione degli interni -, ma anche per la ricerca tecnologica nella costruzione dello scafo e nelle soluzioni innovative dei materiali utilizzati. È quindi un perfetto connubio di Bello e Ben Fatto: non solo classe ed eleganza, ma anche ricerca e innovazione, ed è a tutti gli effetti una “vetrina mobile” del Made in Italy che esibisce l’eccellenza della produzione italiana di vari settori manifatturieri, in tutto il mondo” ha spiegato Marina Stella.
The Italian yacht stands for more than just the aesthetic research behind its design – from elegant lines, to meticulous attention to detail in the finishes, to the decoration of the interiors. It stands out for the technological research that inspires the construction of the hull and the innovative solutions concerning which materials are used.It is therefore a perfect combination of what we would call Bello and Ben Fatto (aesthetically appealing while also being exceptionally well-made): it is not just about a model’s class and elegance, it is also a ‘moving showcase’ of Made in Italy design that exhibits the excellence of Italian production throughout various manufacturing sectors, all over the world” said Marina Stella.
Maria Porro president of the Design Innovation Award jury
For Marco Sabetta, General Manager of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, who announced that the Steering Committee of the Design Innovation Award has chosen Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, as President of the Award Jury: “The Salone del Mobile and the Genoa International Boat Show are travelling a common path, the events are on equal footing. The beautiful boats that are built are houses customised by architects and designers. The marriage of furniture and yachting is getting closer and closer.
The excellences of the Boat Show for the Design Innovation Award
“The Genoa International Boat Show acts as a showcase of excellence, but it is also a workshop for ideas, an incubator for innovation and research. The Design Innovation Award is an expression of the industry association’s key role in representing the entire yachting sector and of the Boat Show’s ability to give a new drive and visibility to yachting industry products” commented Alessandro Campagna, who also took stock of the new Eastern Waterfront, designed by Renzo Piano, where the Boat Show will be able to take advantage of a unique platform in the world that already offers a functional and spectacular exhibition layout, with a strong impact and one of a kind. A project of excellence for the excellence of international yachting.
The Design Innovation Award as an impetus for growth
Receiving the Design Innovation Award is not just a formal acknowledgement, but a real boost to companies’ Fabio Bignolini’s Northern Light Composites brought his testimony:At the very first edition of the Design Innovation Award in 2020 we received an honourable mention for presenting the ecodinghy, a totally recyclable sailing dinghy. The following year we won the sustainability award with the Ecoracer prototype made of totally sustainable flax fibre and thermoplastic resin. From then on, the response from the market and press was astronomical”.
The Design Innovation Award to create new synergies
Closing the press conference, Luca Pangrazzi, from the Design and Furnishing Group of Assolombarda (the Italian Business Association for Milan, Lodi, Monza, Brianza and Pavia) and Communication Manager at Cleaf SpA, took the floor to illustrate a further opportunity for synergy between the worlds of yachting and design, with the continuation of a collaboration project with the Italian Marine Industry Association that began in 2019.
Finally, Stefano Pagani Isnardi, Head of the Italian Marine Industry Association’s Research and Market Intelligence department, continued, stating that: “The aim is to create synergies between the various sectors that represent Italian excellence, such as yachting and the design sector. The project will be resumed this autumn with the organisation of an invitational tour dedicated to Assolombarda design companies who will be invited to discover the main superyacht shipyards associated with the Italian Marine Industry Association located along the La Spezia Blue Mile”.