Home 9 Comunicati 9 The Italian Marine Industry Association presents the fourth edition of the Design Innovation Award at the Milan Triennale

18 July 2023

The Italian Marine Industry Association presents the fourth edition of the Design Innovation Award at the Milan Triennale

The award ceremony will take place on 22nd September at Genoa’s Palazzo della Borsa, during the week of the 63rd Genoa International Boat Show

Maria Porro, president of Milan’s Salone del Mobile, has been nominated Design Innovation Award Jury President

Milan, 18th July 2023: an exceptional location, the Milan Triennale, was chosen to present the fourth edition of the Design Innovation Award, where 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.

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 award ceremony will take place on Friday 22nd September during a dedicated evening at the Palazzo della Borsa in Genoa as part of the Genoa International Boat Show week.

“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,” continued Marina Stella. “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 about the research and innovation that drives its conception. For all intents and purposes, the Italian yacht is a ‘moving showcase’ of Made in Italy design that exhibits the excellence of Italian production throughout various manufacturing sectors, all over the world. These are all elements that reflect the hallmark features of our country’s cultural heritage. A heritage that the Genoa International Boat Show has been interpreting for over 60 years and that mirrors the history of Milan’s Salone del Mobile, which has been an international reference point for the furniture and design sector for the same number of decades. Collaboration between the yachting and furniture industries means sharing a common Italian heritage and coming together to envision future development levers that are increasingly focused on the design, innovation, functionality and sustainability of products”.

Marco Sabetta, General Manager of the Salone del Mobile.Milano: “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 furniture and the use of new materials, perhaps better suited to extreme climates such as can be found at sea, designed to withstand more wear and tear, are products conceived by companies that work and succeed in the miracle that is presenting Italian excellence to the world. I am therefore delighted to announce that the Steering Committee of the Design Innovation Award has chosen Maria Porro, President of Milan’s Salone del Mobile, as President of the Award Jury”.

“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 – commented Alessandro Campagna, Sales Director of Genoa International Boat Show. “For 63 years the Genoa Boat Show has been the platform where the international yachting industry is represented as a whole. It is also the home of Confindustria Nautica, the Italian Marine Industry Association. 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. Within this context, the way in which the Genoa Boat Show has developed has been a clear success. With the new Eastern Waterfront, designed by Renzo Piano, the Boat Show will benefit from a unique platform. The navigable canals, the spectacular island that frames the Blue Pavilion, the new exhibition quays, and the extension and renovation of spaces and services, already offer the Show an exhibition layout that is as functional as it is spectacular, with a strong impact. A truly unique location. An exceptional project inspired by the excellence of the international yachting sector”.

Receiving the Design Innovation Award is not just a formal acknowledgement, but a real boost to companies’ commitment and ability to look to the future. An example of this is Fabio Bignolini’s Northern Light Composites: “our company is 100% Italian in spite of its English name, and made its first public appearance at the very first edition of the Design Innovation Award in 2020 during the 60th Genoa International Boat Show. On that occasion 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, a 7.69-metre racing sailboat made of totally sustainable flax fibre and thermoplastic resin. From then on, the response from the market and press was astronomical. The Ecoracer went on to win the Italian sailing championship in 2022, proving that sporting success and sustainability can go hand in hand. We have recently launched the Ecoracer 30, a larger version of the previous one, and started to work for other sectors, including design with the first prototypes made for the Moroso company, again in completely sustainable and recyclable materials”.

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

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”.

The Design Innovation Award is dedicated to ten categories, each of which is assigned an Award. In identifying the winners, the Award highlights the designers’ and manufacturers’ ability to conceive and implement design, research, innovation and sustainability. Two Honourable Mentions and three Special Prizes for Outstanding Innovation, Career and Talent – are also handed out, together with the Liguria International Prize assigned by the Liguria Region to the Liguria-based company that has distinguished itself in terms of innovation, materials used and design process.

Design Innovation Award – Genoa International Boat Show