Press Release – The 2012 Leonardo Prizes awarded to the most outstanding representatives of Made in Italy

Press releases   20 February 2013

Rome, 19th February 2013 – Today, at the Quirinale Palace, the President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano, in the presence of the Minister for Economic Development, Mr. Corrado Passera, the President of Confindustria, Mr. Giorgio Squinzi, the President of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency, Mr. Riccardo M. Monti and the President of Comitato Leonardo, Ms. Luisa Todini, awarded the 2012 Leonardo Prizes to Italian or foreign entrepreneurs and individuals who significantly contributed to promote and strengthen the “Made in Italy” and the Italy’s image throughout the world.


The initiative has been promoted by Comitato Leonardo, a committee established in 1993 as a result of an intuition by Senator Sergio Pininfarina and Senator Gianni Agnelli, Confindustria, ICE, and a group of entrepreneurs with the aim of promoting and encouraging the “ Italian Quality” in the world.


“Italian companies, even in a year of crisis as this one, have stood out for their international vocation” said Luisa Todini. “In 2012, the overall turnover of the Committee’s 111 member companies accounted for about 300 billion Euros, with an export share of 53%. Reliability, quality and variety of products are the key elements to reconfirm our leadership in foreign markets. Exports are the main driving force of our country’s economy : the whole supply chain of Italian entrepreneurial excellence with large, medium, small and very small companies shall be protected and supported through easy access to cooperation and business pooling initiative in order to strengthen internationalization”.

“This year again, the prizes have been awarded to entrepreneurs whose commitment and actions have contributed to promote our Country in the world” underlined the President of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency, Mr. Riccardo Monti . Twenty years after the establishment of the Comitato Leonardo, we have decided to include a new, special prize in this year’s edition. The Leonardo Start-up Special Prize has been awarded to new companies, that ICE has started to promote and support closely, which have stood out in terms of innovation and industrial technologies”.  

“The trade balance of our country has shown a surplus again for the first time after many years. This is good news” said Giorgio Squinzi, President of Confindustria. “Now, we shall support many companies which have strengthened their positioning on the international markets and have become world leaders in niche production sectors which are as rare as valuable for our economy. Being proud of and rewarding them is not enough. We shall help these successful enterprises harness their potential by establishing an economic and productive environment where the high costs of doing business they pay today, too high indeed, are reduced as much as possible. As a matter of fact, too high costs hamper their development and lower their competitiveness. Never before have we faced such an ambitious challenge that requires a joint action in order to undertake immediate and decisive reforms. It is time to relaunch growth and employment in a Country that is still great, thanks to the work of entrepreneurs who can keep the flag of “made in Italy” flying high in the world”.

The Leonardo Prize 2012 is awarded to an individual who has particularly contributed to promote the image of Italy in the world. This year the prize has been awarded to one of the most outstanding Italian entrepreneurs, Mr. Roberto Colaninno, President and Managing Director of Gruppo Piaggio.


The Leonardo International Prize 2012 is given to foreign personalities whose special contribution has developed and strengthened the economic and cultural relations with Italy. This year the prize has been awarded to the Turkish entrepreneur Mustafa V. Koç, President of the most important industrial group of his Country and strategic partner in the major Italian investments in Turkey.

The Leonardo Italian Quality Prizes 2012 have been awarded to companies which have stood out for quality and export potentials. They are Adler Plastic (President Paolo Scudieri); Artemide (President Ernesto Gismondi); Gruppo Cremonini (President Luigi Cremonini); Pomellato (M. D. Andrea Morante); Prysmian Group (M. D.Valerio Battista).

The Leonardo Career Prize has been awarded to set designers and Academy Awards Winners Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo, outstanding representatives of the Italian creativity and ingenuity in the motion picture sector.


The Leonardo Start-up Special Prize has been established by Comitato Leonardo in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development and the Italian Trade Promotion Agency. This prize is awarded to new Italian companies that have shown outstanding results in terms of innovation, success, internationalization and social impact. This year the prize has been given to Silicon Biosystems.


Finally, during the prize awarding Ceremony – 2012 edition, the “Graduate Awards” have been awarded to young and brilliant graduates who have discussed outstanding graduation dissertations on topics related to the success of “Made in Italy”. These prizes are promoted by Companies, Members of the Leonardo Committee. Today, 11 dissertations have shown the best of Italy in various sectors, from fashion to luxury goods, from the nautical sector to renewable energies. “Since 1997 until now the Comitato Leonardo has awarded Graduation Prizes to over 100 graduated students of 100 universities” commented Luisa Todini. “This shows our commitment toward new generations, their projects and their future. Education and research are to be considered as a strategic asset and key to foster growth”.


List of Leonardo Prize Winners


Leonardo Prize 2012


Roberto Colaninno – President Piaggio & C. S.p.A.

Business man and Italian manager, Roberto Colaninno is President of Immsi Group, President and Managing Director of Piaggio Group and President of Alitalia. Roberto Colannino began his career in Fiaam, the Italian car component Company, becoming later its Managing Director. In 1981 he founded Sogefi in his home town Mantova which, led by him, became one of the main Italian companies in the field of car components. In September 1996, he took on the role of Managing Director of Olivetti, which he quickly reorganised and turned into a telecommunication holding with percentage ownership in Omnitel and Infostrada as well as minor interests in Information Technology. In February 1999, as head of Olivetti he launched the largest OPA ever attempted in Italy up until then, which concluded in the buying of majority shares in Telecom Italia. He became its President and Managing Director, keeping these roles until 31 July, 2001. In 2003 he took over Piaggio and changed the Company into the greatest producer of two and three wheeled vehicles in Europe, the fourth in the world, through the implementation of a winning expansion strategy in the Asian markets. In 2008, he was amongst the founder members of CAI (the Italian Air Company). Since 2005, he has been a member of the Council of Confindustria. In 2001, he received an Honorary degree in Business and Economics from the University of Lecce and in 2013 an Honorary diploma in ‘Management, Innovation and Engineering Services’ from the Sant’Anna High School in Pisa. Throughout his long career Roberto Colaninno has managed to be a living example of a visionary managerial style, facing the numerous challenges in the global market with a strong sense of leadership and devoted commitment.

Leonardo International Prize 2012


Mustafà V. Koç – President Koç Holding

Mustafà V. Koç is Chairman of Koç Holding, a leading Turkish industrial and financial Group, and a strategic partner of the most important Italian investments in the Country: Tofas, joint venture with FIAT, Yapikredi with Unicredit, and TürkTraktor with CNH. Mustafa V. Koç, in his role of Chairman for the first two and share-holder in the third joint venture, has succeeded in strengthening the leading role of these important industrial realities. He has also managed to build a successful model for Company management, alongside the Italian counterpart, based on the complete equality of its members. A man of Cosmopolite education, Mustafà V. Koç has held important positions in Turkish business associations like TÜSIAD (the association of Turkish industrialists) and in many companies and cultural associations. In 2005, he was awarded the medal for the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. Key figure of the Turkish industrial and financial world, and strategic partner for the largest Italian industries in Turkey, Mustafà V. Koç contributed significantly to the growth of the economic and trade relations between Italy and Turkey.







Leonardo Italian Quality Prizes 2012


Adler Plastic S.p.A. – President Paolo Scudieri

Managed by Paolo Scudieri, Adler Plastic is the world leader in the production and marketing of thermal and sound insulation components and systems for the car industry. Founded in 1956 by Achille Scudieri, the Company throughout the years has successfully carried out a strategy of growth and expansion in foreign markets, while still paying constant attention to quality and the improvement of materials and products. Today, the Company counts on 58 factories and 5 research centres in 19 countries throughout Europe, America and Asia, relying on a total of 8,100 employees. Amongst its clients the main car producers such as Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Ford, BMW, Suzuki, GM, Toyota and Daimler. Furthermore, in 2009 the Company bought the majority share of the German multinational HP Pelzer, noticeably increasing its business that reached an overall turnover of above a billion Euro in 2012. Every year the Company invests around 3.5% of its turnover in research and development in order to maintain its leardership in technology and to meet the needs of a fast changing international market, to the best of their ability.


Artemide S.p.A. – President Ernesto Gismondi

Founded in 1960 by Ernesto Gismondi, Artemide is one of the world leaders in high quality lighting products, for residential and professional use. The Company has always been known for its search for excellency, a result of constant testing, technological innovation, design and respect for the environment. Nowadays, Artemide can count on a wide range of international channels of distribution with 60 single brand showrooms and shop-in-shops in the most prestigious lighting and interior-design shops. At present, the Company has 5 production units in Italy and abroad, 2 glass works and 2 centres for research and development. It employs 740 employees, and invests 4% of its turnover in research and development each year. Artemide’s objective is not only to light up an area, but rather to render light an important element which is capable of bettering the life of each individual. This is the basis for the philosophy “The Human Light”, which says that man and the search for his well-being and respect for his environment, are at the centre of the Company’s projects and creativity. In 2011, Artemide’s turnover was 130,9 million Euro of which 72% came from exports. The continuous success in the national and international market confirms the strong position and international fame of the brand, synonymous of design, innovation and Made in Italy.

Cremonini Group – President Luigi Cremonini

Based in Castelvetro Modena, Gruppo Cremonini began its life from the entrepreneurial initiative of Luigi Cremonini, its president. In almost 50 years, it has distinguished itself on a national and international level, not only in the meat industry, but also in the distribution and catering sector. The Company’s entrepreneurial venture began in 1963 in the meat sector with the establishment of Inalca Company, contributing to the creation of the modern meat industry. At the end of the 70s, the Company started a successful policy of diversification, by starting up business in the distribution of food to caterers and restaurants. Nowadays, production, distribution and catering are the three major columns of the Company’s structure that relies on 12,500 employees and a turnover of 3,5 billion Euro. In the past 2 years, a forward looking strategy has been carried out to reinforce the Company’s presence abroad. This has lead Gruppo Cremonini to achieve major results in international markets, doubling its productive capacity in Russia and opening new distribution sites in Angola, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Mozambique.



Pomellato S.p.A. – President Andrea Morante

The Milanese jewellery Company was founded in 1967 by Pino Rabolini. Today it is the fourth jewellery brand in Europe. Pomellato stands out in its sector because it has introduced the revolutionary concept of ‘prêt-à-porter’ jewellery: jewels that can be worn at any time of day, with style and elegance. Throughout the years, Pomellato has been able to continually innovate its style with new ideas and know-how,working on the texture of gold to the appreciation of coloured stones, to unexpected shapes and sizes. In 1995, Pomellato created Dodo, a brand aimed at a young target with jewels, which for the first time in the history of jewellery, communicates their message. A Further essential characteristic is the versatility of the jewel, in fact every single part can be changed and assembled according to the consumer’s taste. Dodo, which recalls the name of the now extinct animal, is also proof of the Company’s efforts in dealing with environmental problems. And this is also reinforced by its collaboration with WWF ITALY. In 2012, Pomellato made 146 million Euro, 57% of which from abroad, and from 2009 – 2012 it prides itself of a growth of 43%. Pomellato, with its 86 single brand shops – 45 Pomellato shops and 41 Dodo shops – has a remarkable presence in Italy, France, Germany, the USA, the UK, China and Japan. Creativity, research, original style and a solid tradition in hand made jewellery are the Company’s strong points, which over the years has made the brand successful and has accompanied it in its growth in the global market.


Prysmian S.p.A. – CEO Valerio Battista

Prysmian Group is the world leader in cables and systems for the energy and telecommunications industry. Based in Milan, it works in over 50 countries, employing 22,000 people in 97 factories and 24 centres for Research and Development. Prysmian Group was born in 2011 after Prysmian took over the Dutch Company Draka. With the two commercial brands Prysmian and Draka, the Company is at the top-end of the market for technological content and it offers a wide range of products, services, technology and know-how in the two businesses: Cables & Energy Systems and Cables and Telecomunication Systems. Now the Company relies on the experience and the know-how of the two Companies matured in over 130 years and to well established relationships with true leaders in its sector. The Company develops important projects throughout the world, such as the construction of energy distribution networks in the biggest cities, extensive under-water energy connections -being the leader for offshore wind farm cables and in the field of renewable energy – and the installation of fibre optic cables for broadband networks. Prysmian Group is also particularly active in the petrochemical, automotive and transport sector as well as in the field of elevators. The Company is quoted in Milan‘s Stock exchange in the Blue Chip market sector.


Leonardo Career Prize 2012


Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo

United in their private lives as they are in their professional ones, Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo are considered to be the greatest set designers living today. Known world wide thanks to numerous partnerships with important Hollywood productions they have obtained prestigious recognitions and the Oscar for the best set-design “for Hugo Cabret” by Martin Scorsese. Their amazing creativity, remarkable flexibility and professionalism in their care for detail, has significantly contributed to the dissemination of the culture and tradition of Italian Cinema which is an excellent example of Made in Italy.





Leonardo Special StartUp 2012


Silicon Biosystems S.p.A.– President and Managing Director Giuseppe Giorgini

Born from the PhD thesis of a young researcher in electronic engineering at Bologna University called Gianni Medoro, Silicon Biosystems has developed a highly innovative system in the field of diagnostics (DePArray) which allows cancer cells in blood to be isolated, identified, manipulated and retrieved. The patented technology allows the patient to avoid having to undergo more intrusive medical procedures and the oncologist to make personalised strategic treatments which are more effective and have fewer side effects. Silicon Biosystems, has benefited from a rapid growth, also thanks to risk capital loans. Today, it counts on 31 active patents and a team of 33 employees, 23 of whom are researchers. Moreover, the Company can also pride itself of its important presence in the international market, including amongst its clients the most prestigious Oncological Research Centers in Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Japan and the U.S.A.. Distinguishing itself for the content highly innovative and technological of its applications, aimed at bettering patients’ well-being, Silicon Biosystems has shown its ability to significantly contribute to oncological research and diagnostics, both on a national and international level.




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