Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2019 Pavia Silicon Valley 2019

67 replies, 12 voices Last updated by Giovanni Agrone 1 year, 10 months ago
  • Valerio Demontis

    Dear readers,

    I apologize for this message; the fact is that I forgot to complete the discourse on the “three words”. I am attaching below the text to which I am referring to:

    “This led me to formulate an argument that I want to build on three words. Money, productivity and flexibility. Money, what is money? It is often identified as the ultimate goal of a company, the main objective for which it is dealt with, so much so that many entrepreneurs are so obsessed with concentrating entirely, losing sight of other aspects (for example: the well-being of the community, the happiness of their employees). While I was studying macroeconomics from Oliver Blanchard’s book, chapter 2 (2014), I concluded that it makes me understand money, not as a source of wealth, but as a tool of production. What really creates wealth is productivity. This, in my opinion, explains why macroeconomic economists study production aggregated very carefully, so productivity is the determining factor that allows the company to create added value to its product, it is the productivity that creates the v added value that consumers are willing to pay and that tends to place a company within the market. To reach, in conclusion of this brief reasoning, the flexibility or, better, the adaptability of the company. The SAES Group is a perfect example of how important it is to produce, so much so that in order to remain in the market they have changed their production several times (from getters to functional chemical)”.

    I am sorry again and I wish you a good night,

    Valerio Demontis.

    Margherita Tambussi

    Hello everyone!


    Today’s visit to the 3D lab at the faculty of engineering was interesting.

    I didn’t know much about this topic and this visit opened my eyes. I had already heard about 3D printings, but I hadn’t realized their importance before.

    Moreover, I couldn’t imagine that they could be used in many different sectors like surgery and architecture.

    I was impressed by the models of body parts. They are obtained from MRI scans of patients and so doctors can study the disease easier and can find a solution.

    In this lab, engineers are also working on infrastructure. They are trying to print a strong material which will be used to build big structures. For example, the world’s first 3D – printed stainless steel bridge was built last year in the Netherlands.

    In my opinion, 3D printing is innovation. It will change the world of production. 3D printing can create a part of a machine in a few days, while this part can be produced in a month using the “traditional” process.

    As always, the costs are high at first, but then it will be more convenient to use 3D printings than the old process.

    Everyone can use 3D printing, “It’s democratic”. There are different types of printings depend on which material is used to create the desired object.

    People can make experiments with new and sustainable materials and everyone is free to express their creativity and imagination.

    Finally, NASA is developing two projects using the 3D printing: one concerns the possibility to print a design for habitants on Mars and the other is about the opportunity for astronauts to create materials that need during the journey in space.

    3D printing is changing the production process and it is revolutionizing the world of industries because it represents an innovation.


    I share with you this article about the sectors where 3D printings are used:

    https://www.archdaily.com/909306/the-golden-age-of-3d-printing-innovations-changing-the-industry .


    What do you think about this topic? Is 3D painting an innovation, isn’t it?


    Thank you,

    Have a nice evening!


    Giovanni Agrone

    Good evening everybody,


    I’ve been stimulated by Lorenzo’s comment, so I’ve done a little research on the evolution of mobile phones. According to this interesting website (https://flauntdigital.com/blog/evolution-mobile-phones/) “today, the average person touches their phone an unreal 2,617 times per day. More people in the world have access to a mobile phone than a toilet. In an average year, we spend just under 800 hours on our mobile phones (that’s over a whole month!). And with these figures rising all the time, it’s no surprise that the last ten years have been labelled as the ‘decade of the smartphone’”.

    Nowadays smartphones have almost no limits: you can do literally everything.

    As a matter of fact, “the increased demand for mobile phones has caused technology to advance rapidly, with prices continuously falling (until the last few years, where prices have shot up)”.


    Answering to Lorenzo, I don’t know if folding phone will have success in the short term, but I think that Samsung, Huawei and Apple, as big innovative companies, know the market needs (i.e. the demand) and can take risks investing in innovations.

    Personally, I don’t like this kind of smartphones, model after model they are bigger and bigger (the first smartphones had around 3in. screen and now around 6in) and I prefer smaller one in order to keep in my pocket.


    I think that 3D printer is more than an innovation it is a revolution! I was very fascinated about last day’s visit to 3Dlab of Università di Pavia. During the visit I’ve better understood the potentiality of these printers, as Margherita said 3D printing is democratic and everyone can choose according to their exigence which 3D printer buys. Moreover, I think that 3D printers are a revolutionary innovation because they are completely changing surgery and soon architecture and a peculiarity of this innovation is the multidisciplinary in fact 3D printers need engineers (i.e. electronic engineers, material engineers, mechanical engineers), architects, doctors, economists and who knows what else.


    Thank you,


    Have a good Sunday,



    Hello there !

    I have two considerations about the last conference with engineer Massimo Della Porta :

    – i’m very happy and surprised that his enterprise has assumpted italian students who have studied in Italy, recognizing their skills and competences, and confirming the quality of italian Universities, even if  the investments in research are decreasing.

    – Della Porta told us that an entrepreneur should have much passion for his job, otherwise the enterprise achives bad results. This is one of the ingredients of a good work environment. Not only the entrepreneur, but also each worker should have passion and the same target of the enterprise.

    Regarding the Samsung Galaxy Fold, i think it will be an innovation in short term because it is arriving on the market in this month (in Italy in may)  even if at the beginning only few persons will have money for buying it. Such as other innovations (iphone, mac, etc.) the price will decrease in the middle/long term, and more and more people will buy it. Otherwise they will buy it with installments or financements in the short term. I think it will have success because in the last year many people were attracted and habitued by big screens. I  think the big screan isn’t a real need, but this companies (Samsung, Apple, Huawei) want to create new needs. Before their innovations, no one wanted or thinked at the smartphone with touch screen, camera, internet and big screan.   Steve Jobs said that If we was in the past (before the creation of the car) and we  demanded at the people what they wanted for to travel faster , they probably answered us that they wanted a faster horse. But after the creation of the car all people wanted a car. Car became new need. This is the logic used by these enterprise. They know the market’s needs but their target isn’t only to satisfie them but also create new needs.

    About 3d printing I think it will be a revolution in the sectors already cited (surgery and architecture). I think it will have economic and social impact on the jobs. Much human work will be substituted by 3d printing, but it will also create  new kinds of jobs. For example it will be new technicians who will have to  assembly or repair, they will do technical, mechanical or IT assistance. The history teaches us that every industrial revolution has caused these changes.

    Thank you !

    Have a good night !

    Valerio Demontis

    Dear readers,

    I would like to say thank you to Margherita Tambussi for talking about the visit at the 3D Lab at the Faculty of Engineering here in Pavia. I also find that this experience was very interesting because let me understand closely how the 3D printer is changing. In 2016 I had visited the Lab “Make in Nuoro” in Sardinia, that was principally specialized in the production of traditional objects of Sardinian tradition (probably today they are expanding in other fields); while during the last Tuesday visit I saw that they are principally specialized in surgery and engineering (in general).

    Comparing these two visits I realized how this technology is applicable to basically every field, that’s why I agree with Giovanni Agrone and I also think that this technology is revolutionary, and I feel like saying that is going to change our everyday lives. That’s why I think it’s important to talk about the potential of this innovation.

    This is not the first time that we have been in such a situation, I have found two graphs that show the development of technological innovation. The first one is called “Hype Cycle”, and the second one is the “Schumpeterian patterns of innovation”.






    I think that 3D print technology is following these directions. For example, if we compare the evolution process of personal computers, we can notice a similar trend. In the beginning, the computer was a huge object used by companies or States to translate secret or indecipherable codes, with years now we have that technology in our hand whenever we want. As the guide at the Lab told me, we have big probabilities that in few years we will have 3D printers in our houses. They are ready to revolution our lives, but we will be able to adapt quickly? How can we prepare for big technological revolutions?


    What do you think about it?


    Thank you for your attention and have a good night,


    Valerio Demontis.

    Giovanni Agrone

    Hello guys!

    In response to Valerio, I do not think that we have to adapt quickly to 3D printing, of course it is a revolutionary invention, but if we follow this innovation, we will be able to surf this wave. Let me explain better, humankind is afraid of changes and sometimes innovation, and of course 3D printing, can be seemed as something dangerous, that is why in 2013, President Barack Obama mentioned 3D printing as a major issue for the future in his State of the Union speech, which finished to make “3D printing” an absolute buzzword. However, many innovations have provoked unemployment in the short term, but in the long-term new kind of work will be created, and as I said in the previous comment I’m fascinated by the multidisciplinary approach of this innovation. Anyway, if we study and discover the potentialities of this amazing innovation we won’t be scared.

    Nowadays, more and more small and big companies take advantage of the low prototyping price that 3D printing offers, and have fully integrated it in their iteration, innovation and production processes, and that it will be useful for the consumers.


    Moreover, we have to remember that 3D printing is not as new as we may think, in fact the first 3D printing techniques and its first patent was filed as early as the 1980s. I have found this website about the history of 3D printing (https://www.sculpteo.com/blog/2016/12/14/the-history-of-3d-printing-3d-printing-technologies-from-the-80s-to-today/).


    Recently with the FDM patent expiration, 3D printing is getting into common imaginations and practices and in 2011, Cornell University began to build a 3D food printer. At first sight, it could seem slightly trivial, but NASA is now researching how astronauts could 3D print food for in space.

    I have found this funny video on YouTube about “3D Chef” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2wpCwri8rw).


    What do you think about the implication of 3D printing in kitchens?

    Have a good afternoon,


    Margherita Tambussi

    Hello there!


    Throughout history, Innovations have changed our lifestyle, our relationships with other people and the world around us.

    The steam engine started the first industrial revolution while the second industrial revolution was drive by discovery of electricity and the spread of mass production, transports and telephone. The third one began with the transition from analogue to digital.

    We are going to witness to the fourth industrial revolution, also called “Industry 4.0”. It concerns the birth of new models, strategies and paradigms. It refers to a new concept of industry, to the development of new products and services, to R&S with a high degree of automation and interconnection.

    The evidence of Industry 4.0 is all around us. What makes this industrial revolution different from previous ones is that it is merging the physical, digital and biological realities in a way which re-defines us as humans.

    According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) “Compared to the previous industrial revolution, the fourth is developing exponentially and it is transforming more or less every sector in each country”.

    Technology adoption is faster than ever, thanks to the accessibility of information and to the use of internet.

    In response to Valerio, we should adapt quickly to innovations. New generations can use technology easier than the older ones. New generations are growing up surrounded by technology like computers, phones and internet and they learn soon how to use them.


    To answer to Giovanni’s question, 3D printed food offers new possibilities like automated cooking, personalized meal and mass manufacturing. It will become a common feature in restaurant kitchens and in the commercial enterprises.  Moreover, we’ll be able to make our own ingredients and print them ourselves.

    I want to share with you an article about the possibility to create food with 3D printing:

    https://www.techrepublic.com/article/heres-how-3d-food-printers-are-changing-the-way-we-cook/ .

    According to this article, fresh food retailers or even big supermarkets will have 3D-printable food freshly made on-site, just like when you go to a cheese counter or a deli counter today.

    With 3D printing, the entire process of making a food idem could be initiated solely by a single click of the mouse or a single tap on a touchscreen on a website.


    As incredible as this topic sounds, is 3D printing ever going to replace the traditional methods we know today?


    Have a nice afternoon!




    Paolo Giovanetti

    Hello everybody,

    I find the discussion on 3D printing to be really interesting. I believe that this innovation, which is still in its early stages of development and usage, has the potential to transform many aspects of our lives and the economy in general.

    Indeed it is going to be much easier to produce very quickly virtually everything, from high-tech components to body parts and to food. Of course at the beginning it is going to be extremely expensive to use 3D printing for mass production and a lot of people could lose their jobs, as noted by some of you. We could also object that such a method of production does not necessarily guarantee quality.

    However, in my view, 3D printing should be introduced in a gradual way, as a complement to more traditional ways of producing goods. For examples, cars and airplanes will most likely continue to be built in large factories, however many of their components could be produced by 3D printers.

    As far as the issue of job losses, I will say that, as many of you have suggested, there will be new and possibly better employment opportunities linked to 3D printing. In general, automation increases productivity and spares humans from particularly hard tasks, like in production chains. So it is legitimate to worry that robots and in the future 3D printers might put people out of the workforce, however if there is a good strategy new jobs will be created and productivity will increase.

    To conclude, I find the use of 3D printing to produce food to be particularly interesting and useful, especially given that it will become impossible to feed every person in this planet. 3D printers will be able to recreate, for instance, meat in a much more environmentally substainable way. In this regard, I found a Silicon Valley startup called Impossible Foods that, even without using 3D printers, is able to produce 100% vegetal hamburgers which have the exact same aspect, taste, consistence and smell of normal burgers: https://www.ft.com/content/0f44365e-5785-11e9-a3db-1fe89bedc16e

    Fascinating, isn’t it?

    Have a great night!

    Nicole Guzzetti

    Hi guys!

    I’d like to throw my two cents in 3D printing discussion. The visit to 3D lab was interesting and stimulating. I already knew something about this technology, but having the opportunity to see what kind of things they are able to produce, and listen engineers explain how does 3D printing work was precious.

    Nowadays 3D printing has already spread up, it’s not that expensive and it’s quite easy to find places where you can get your idea printed. But what is better is that many other things have to come. Engineer Auricchio illustrated us some applications of this technology, but with experimentations new ideas will surely come, and it will be interesting to know how 3D printing will be applied in large scale production.

    In my opinion, new technologies have to be sustainable and have to be used to make old processes more “environment friendly”. While visiting 3D lab, I was wondering the relation between 3D printing and sustainability. Is it possible with this technology to use recycled materials and make the production process more sustainable? Well, I discover that, firstly, 3D printing reduce waste by using only the material needed, adding layer after layer. So, for example, it’s possible to make a structure thinner when it’s not needed a lot of strength, and higher where it has to handle more weight. Moreover, 3D printing can reuse plastic waste to generate printing filaments. This make possible a circular economy scheme of production.

    Concerning 3D food printing, I’d go along with Paolo when he says that it could be a solution to world hunger. With 3D printing, two goals may be achieved: feed more people, and reduce food waste. In fact, aliments can be produced by adding water to hydrocolloid cartridges to form gels. In this way, it’s possible to create food starting from grass, algae and even insects (not very appetizing, but useful).

    What do you think about sustainability aspect in 3D printing?

    Have a nice day,


    Valerio Demontis

    Dear readers,

    In response to Giovanni Agrone. I totally agree with you when you said that we don’t have to be scared about technology innovations, but I would like to move the conversation to another direction According to the previously posted graphs, Economists had studied different models of the innovation process, and the exogenous is the much used from Central Banks and International Organizations. They affirm that the growth of one economy is natural (the cause of the balance is not the effect of the exogenous variable, but it is the effect of other variables that do not belong to the model) as the technology progress. They think that there is a trend to consider as right the phenomenon that interrupts the growth. Sometimes this technological progress had a deceleration or exogenous shocks. For the opinion of the exogenous theory, there is nothing to do, in the meaning that the shock is temporary, and it decelerates the growth, but in a certain natural moment, “it fixes” and restart to grow.
    What I want to say is: it is the only way to let happen the innovation process or we can slow down the growth and try to adapt better the population and avoid the economic loss?
    I think that if it happens every time we have the duty to find a possible solution.

    I bring you an example:
    A lot of “futurists” are agreeing that in few times we are going to have a robotic society, where the services are offered by the robots (a 3D print is actually a robot), it means that a lot of actual jobs are going to disappear. One solution to slow down this process could be the graduate introduction of a basic income. Why this should be a solution for the deceleration? Because if jobs that people do now will be replaced by robots, one possible solution is to guarantee an income to let live people. How can it be possible? As the trend suggested by this article:


    Half of all jobs in the US are subject of automation, and if we look to another trend, the multi-billion companies are gaining billion and billions of dollars but they are hiring few and fewer people and they have a bigger revenue per employee.




    What will these trends bring us? I think they will cause structural inequality. I don’t think that is nothing to do or that it is the destiny/nature of capitalism. One of the possible solution that Economists and futurist are arguing is “free money for everybody” that is unconditionally distributed. One possible question is “how can give all that money if people stop working”? We could tax the big companies (that will always earn a lot) and redistribute this money to people. In this way, we could stop using our time to do unnecessary things, like go to the supermarket, and start to do things that we love, like travel.
    What do you think about this proposal?

    In response to Paolo Giovanetti, regarding the 3D print used for producing food, I think of course that could be a good solution to produce food in poor areas of the world, but it is possible that there will be problems to allocate the expensive technology. I have found an interesting Italian startup that faces up this problem with an aquaponics system. I am attaching the link here:

    An innovative way of production, achievable anywhere in the world and economically viable.
    It could be a good solution to solve this problem?

    Have a good evening,

    Valerio Demontis.

    Margherita Tambussi

    Hello there!


    In response to Nicole, I want to focus on the relationship between 3D printings and environment.

    I think that there are today two key elements that have given 3D printing the quality of being green technology. The first point concerns the accessibility of 3D technology: it is possible to decrease travel and logistics problems because products can be printed directly in the firm. The second element refers to the fact that 3D printing reduces waste because it uses only the materials it needs.

    Nevertheless, a study suggests that 3D printings could have a negative impact on the environment. According to this study, it can potentially lead to an increase in the number of disposable consumer products.

    There are two other points of view to analyze that consider 3D printing unsustainable: the first point is the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be dangerous in the closed work spaces. However, researchers believe that it is easy to find a solution and to take the right precautions. The second one concerns the material used to create the 3D printed products.

    Moreover, another problem to stress regards the creation of products within the home using 3D printing technology because everyone will soon have a personal 3D printing. These products will be made from plastic.

    Luckily, these problems could be solved: researchers are trying to make 3D printing more eco – friendly. For example, an experiment at the Pennsylvania State University is looking to make 3D printable thermoplastic derived from squid DNA.

    I share with you the article about this experiment:

    https://news.psu.edu/story/338374/2014/12/15/research/squid-supplies-blueprint-printable-thermoplastics .


    3D printing can revolutionize the world, but it still isn’t perfect.


    I look forward to attending tomorrow’s conference!


    Have a nice afternoon!



    Paolo Marenco

    Hey all, how amazing is your debate!

    I’m happy to see such an interest growth in Pavia students for our project.

    I’m happy to announce that you will have a third prized, thanks the great job of Prof Roberta Rabellotti.

    Due the excellent debate we close the Forum challenge in advance on April 20. Remind to update at the best yr Linkedin Profile as soon as possible.


    I think that the 3D Printing will be the future. The 3D Printing has many uses as waste reduction, it is ecofriendly and it will resolve many actual problems, but what will make it truly revolutionary is that the astronauts will have the chance, not a joke, to be able to go into space and establish themselves by creating an entire colony.

    NASA launched a competition in 2015 for the design of a 3D printed house to allow astronauts to live on Mars. This makes you think about the potential of this technology. next May 2019 will be revealed the winners among the last remaining for the final phase.

    This is a real and concrete possibility for humanity to enter in a new phase of discovery. It sounds like science fiction but it really isn’t.


    My dream nature makes me think that everything that has always been shown only in movies can soon become reality.


    See you tomorrow for the last conference,

    have a goodnight.



    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Lorenzo.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Lorenzo.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Lorenzo.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Lorenzo.
    Margherita Tambussi

    Hello guys!


    Today’s conference was interesting!

    We have already talked in this forum about the gender gap and today we have got in touch with an association that is trying to solve this problem.

    This association, called “SheTech”, is dedicated to female entrepreneurship. It is was born as a community with the aim of making women more familiar with tech and digital.

    SheTech is based on three main activities like bootcamp, networking, female founders. These activities are important because they help women to speak in public, to develop their ideas and to meet entrepreneurs.

    If you are a member, these activities are free because they are sponsoring by big firms like Google, Apple, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

    There are very few female developers, and this is a problem for the companies.

    This association was created by women, but it isn’t only focused on empowering women in entrepreneurship. It is opened also to men. Indeed, the 93% of member are women, and the remaining 7% are men.


    I think that the second part of the conference was fascinating.

    During her PhD, Alice had an incredible idea. She wanted to use 3D printing to create complex and personal medicines.

    We have already discussed about 3D printings and their utility in every sector.

    Nobody has ever had this idea. She succeeded in patenting her idea and she created a start – up.

    Moreover, she had to write article and publications about her start – up in order to have credibility and to attract more investments. Indeed, in the US there is a big interest around start – ups but there is not much knowledge and transparency.


    These two girls told us their experiences and their stories, and It was a pleasure to meet them.

    Thanks to SVST that gave us this opportunity!


    What do you think about today’s conference?


    Have a nice evening!



    Giovanni Agrone

    Good evening everyone!


    I would like to thank Ms Rabelloti for her great job! We’re an amazing group, congrats!


    Today’s conference was amazing, isn’t it?

    First, we analyze gender gap, and as we already said in this interesting and stimulating forum is a real problem especially in regard to female entrepreneurship. For this reason, I would like to thank “SheTech”, an incredible Italian no-profit association, who is focused to the gender gap and female entrepreneurship.

    Furthermore, I really appreciate Alice Melocchi’s speech and I’m grateful to SVST and Ms Rabelloti that gave us the opportunity to listen and meet such innovators. I think that MultiLab is a revolutionary innovation factory, how cool it is!

    As we already mentioned during our interesting discussion 3D printing is and will be the tomorrow, this innovation is more and more in use and new products and productions are done. During today’s conference, we had the confirmation: 3D printing is also in use in pharmaceutical fields and I’m fascinated by personalized medicine.

    I think and hope that personalized medicine will be the future medicine, this revolutionary approach may change our medical habits and why not our health! What do you think about it?


    Thank you!

    Have a good night


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