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When the patience creates value, "Innovation takes time"

The company, based inTrieste, is active for nearly a decade in nanotechnology R&D but has landed on the market in 2013. Thanks to the first product, an anti-corrosion coatings’ range, was a finalist for the prestigious World Petroleum Council Excellence Awards.

It is said thatthe best dishes are the ones cooked on low heat. Perhaps it is this principle that has been inspired by the Nanto Cleantech company that deals with nanotechnology. This company was founded in 2011 as a project within the Nanto (Nano Technology Transfer Organization, founded in 2005), has spent most of his time and resources in making nanotechnology research and accumulating patents before enter the market with a line of products.

Ifyou start counting from the year of foundation of the parent company, this company has been patient for nine years. Following the Anglo-Saxon biotech and nanotech companies model, during these 9 years the company did scouting for innovations in different countries of the world including Israel, Japan and Brazil and has invested $ 4.5 million in laboratory researches, design and development, involving more than 50 people and launching more than ten patent portfolios.

The resultsare visible just now. To date, taking into account the patents held in more than 15 countries, the capital of the Nanto Cleantech, led by Roberto Cafagna, is 2, 6 million Euros. "Investing in nanotechnology means getting first results of research after many years," says the general manager.

At the timethe company can count on two product categories under the brand Nanto Paint. The first is a line of anti-corrosion protective coatings range for applications in the marine sector and marketed in the fall of 2013 after obtaining the necessary approvals and certifications. The second phase of industrialization (come on the market by the end of2014), isa line offlame retardantsapplied toplastics.

In both cases, the strength of the company at the international level consists in the application of nanotechnology, which provides to existing materials unprecedented functionality and performance. "Our scientific team - said the leader of the company - believes that nanotechnology is the revolution of the future, all new materials and new discoveries in chemistry and physics will be thanks to nanotech."

Nanotechnologyare able to increase the performance of coatings more than 40%. "The assets we protect with these paints, including tanks for storing crude oil, vessels for goods transportation or high-value infrastructures in the oil and gas sector, live longer," says the number one of Nanto Cleantech.

Regarding thefire retardant products, the advantage brought by nanotechnology would, according to the company, increase the fire resistance and provide greater safety for people and environment. "Our challenge is to introduce nanotechnology in consumer goods, even when dealing with expensive materials to industrialize, and reduce certain chemicals harmful to the environment," says Cafagna, heads a team of seven people, including engineers and managers.

Despite havinglaunched a single line of products, the companyhas already won many international awards. In June of 2014, has been selected among more than 600 companies around the world as a finalist in the category of technological development, which is reserved for SMEs, the World Petroleum Council - Excellence Awards, an international competition that awards every three years, the three best innovative projects in the oil and gas industry.

In 2009, the project Nanto Paint (anti-corrosion coatings and paints) won the international competition Nanochallenge business plan and gave birth to the company Nanto Protective Coating. The following year Nanto Paint was awarded as best startup in the selection Triveneto part of the Talent Competition of Ideas organized by Unicredit Bank and Confindustria. Nanto Protective Coating received in 2012 the award for the best new product from NACE International, an organization that brings together more than 30 thousand companies in more than 116 countries active in the prevention, control and certification of corrosion.

But awards are not enough.For the kind of investments and the development model chosen it’s necessary to receive funding. In 2013 Simest, an Italian company for business overseas, invested in the company in addition to Veneto Nanotech, another partner. With these resources, the goal is to make the company even more international by opening a new production facility abroad for the functionalization of nanoparticles and focusing on new lines of business development in emerging countries. "I've started a partnerships in the United States and we are approaching to the South American market," says the founder of Nanto Cleantech. "In addition, we intend to open a subsidiary in Slovakia, to manage the Eurasian market."

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