8 July 2019

Most stories of excellence are based on genius and enterprise, a combination of technical and managerial competencies that stem from creativity and entrepreneurship. “Genius and Enterprise” – a project by Assolombarda in collaboration with the Lombardy Region and the Regional Council of Lombardy – celebrates the interaction between Leonardo da Vinci and Ludovico the Moor 500 years after Leonardo’s death. This project sheds new light on the legacy of that partnership, which paved the way for innovation and contemporary geniuses and entrepreneurs.

Our story starts with an idea by Francesco Butera supported by Diego Andreis’ entrepreneurship. A partnership that has won the challenge of digitisation of fluidics. “Why do what everyone else does?” Creativity flows in my veins. I want to make a change and solve problems in an innovative way.” With this mission in mind and 25 years of studies and work with shape memory alloys under his belt, Francesco Butera (the Leonardo of this story) met Diego Andreis (the Ludovico of this story), an entrepreneur driven by the passion for combining people, technologies, and competencies to overcome the limits that people and companies have created around themselves. Together, they have revolutionised the world of precision fluidics by using shape memory wires like muscles.

This is how Dolphin Fluidics was born within the Fluid-o-Tech Group in 2014. Dolphin Fluidics makes use of this technology in its valves and fluidic systems, which control liquid and gas flows with great precision and accuracy. Using these materials in electronic valves and integrated sensors allows for “fluid digitisation”, i.e. converting the characteristics of flows and their control into digital data, thereby ensuring the smart management of a fluidic system. Moreover, wireless communication allows data to be managed and exchanged with the valves in an IoT network.

The Fluid-o-Tech Group has been operating in fluidics for various sectors for over 70 years. Now, in addition to systems that can move, dose, and measure fluids with great precision, with Dolphin Fluidics, the Group can also provide devices that can control fluids with great accuracy. Digital transformation has opened the doors to an all-new type of fluidics, i.e. digital, smart fluidics. Life sciences are one of the sectors in which digital fluidics can bring incredible benefits with a positive impact on the lives of people and patients. A huge opportunity that has become a concrete solution, thanks to our very own “Leonardo and Ludovico”.

Milan has certainly played a primary role in translating this idea into a business. Connections and partnerships with universities and research centres across the territory have not only led to the design and development of these devices but also ensured access to top-level expertise, which results in a team of excellent young engineers who now represent Dolphin Fluidics’ backbone.

The search for the new Leonardo da Vinci and Ludovico the Moor started in early 2019 with Assolombarda’s call to the companies across the territory, to which over 130 companies replied. After evaluating all these contemporary stories of innovation, the Leadin’Lab – Leadership Design and Innovation Lab of the Polytechnic of Milan, the scientific partner of this project – selected 51 of them from different sectors ranging from new materials to healthcare and from electronics to business services. These companies have become the subject of the Polytechnic’s research on what lies behind a collaboration, what gives it the strength to overcome difficulties and win the challenge of innovation.

Our story, together with the other protagonists of “Genius and Enterprise”, will be showcased in an innovative immersive fit-out at the exhibition in Palazzo Lombardia from 9 July to 15 September 2019.

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