The 2023 PROTO Challenge has started
March 2023

Last year's winner was a project that improved the movements of Robee, the humanoid robot used in the mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical and personal care industries. In 2021, the winning team was the one that worked on evoPad, a high-tech tablet for muscle stretching and postural rehabilitation.

The PROTO Challenge has reached the starting blocks again this year. What will be the most interesting project of this fifth edition of the Trentino Innovation Hub Foundation competition dedicated to additive manufacturing? We will find out in 10 weeks.

PROTO Challenge 2023

Optimising the mechanical performance of industrial products and components proposed by companies. This is the challenge faced by the 33 university students taking part in the 2023 edition of the PROTO Challenge, the HIT open innovation project aimed at facilitating dialogue between companies, the world of research and young engineering talents through participatory innovation.

The participants, divided into five teams, come from the universities of Trento and Bolzano and attend the Master's degree courses in Mechatronics Engineering and Materials and Production Engineering. They will work for 10 weeks on optimising the performance of industrial products proposed by companies using a software provided by nTopology, that allows them to simulate the performance of a component. They will start with a 3D CAD design provided by the enterprises to perform finite element analysis and use the data obtained to redesign the products so that they can also be produced using additive techniques. The students will be supported by mentors from ProM Facility, NOI Techpark, the University of Trento and the Free University of Bozen.

The companies participating in the PROTO Challenge 2023

The companies involved in the challenge come from Trentino (but not only) and have a high degree of technological innovation:

  • Dana (Arco): produces axles and drive shafts and mechatronics in general for commercial and non-commercial vehicles
  • GPALMEC (Rovereto): designs and manufactures technology to serve industrial automation
  • NTP Nano Tech Projects (Rovereto): realises solutions and products for optical sensing in the biomedical field
  • Valland (Piantedo, Sondrio): produces valves for the Hydrogen and Oil&Gas sectors
  • Werking (Vallarsa): produces handcrafted bicycles

PROTO Challenge 2023: the prizes

The PROTO Challenge includes two prizes, one designed for solvers, the other designed for companies.

The team producing the solution judged best by the panel of experts will receive a 3D space mouse, which enables easy, intuitive and precise navigation in 3D CAD models.

The company whose team has obtained the highest score will benefit the support of ProM Facility, Polo Meccatronica's prototyping centre, in the realisation of the product prototype.

The PROTO Challenge is an initiative of Fondazione Hub Innovazione Trentino, realised in collaboration with the University of Trento, ProM Facility, Confindustria Trento and NOI Techpark, in the context of the Digital Innovation Hub Trentino - Alto Adige/Südtirol.