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© Andrea Orsi

Off we go with the 4th edition of the Lagazuoi Winning Ideas Mountain Awards

The Prize dedicated to the most innovative and avant-garde projects in the Italian mountain sector

In 2023, three categories will be explored:
Equipment and clothing, Services and apps, and the Enogastronomy industry.
The nomination mechanism has been renewed: alongside the spontaneous participation, the Prize has three exceptional "talent scouts" called to identify noteworthy projects and products:
Marco Di Marco, director of Sciare Mag, Denis Piccolo, director of The Pill Magazine and Alberto Lupini, director of Italia a tavola.

The deadline for submitting applications to this call is 5th February 2023


Cortina d'Ampezzo, 19th December 2022_Being a special observatory for the mountains of today and tomorrow is the aim that the Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti - a museum and exhibition centre at an altitude of 2,732 metres above Cortina d'Ampezzo - has pursued since 2019 with its curatorial project Lagazuoi WIMA (Winning Ideas Mountain Awards), committed to enhancing and spreading the perception of the mountains as a place of innovation and virtuous interaction between man and the environment.
The research, now in its fourth edition, puts the spotlight  on products, solutions and original proposals from companies, start-ups and associations.

"With this Award – explains Stefano Illing, creator of the Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti and promoter of the WIMAs - we aim to enhance the innovation and design capacity of those who work in the mountain world. During the first three years, the WIMAs have given space and visibility to the many concepts developed in our country by companies, start-ups and individuals who promote the highlands and their exploitation through innovative, accessible and sustainable products and services."
"For our Award, it is important to witness the continuous meeting of consolidated companies with expanding realities - continues Illing - because the WIMAs’ role is to collect and amplify the best that the mountains can offer to those who live there all year round or frequent them for passion and vacation. Over the first three years we have chalked up over 34 award-winning projects, products and services: just a first but significant milestone which for sure will lead to others".

This year, the spotlight is on Services and apps for the mountains (innovative solutions using digital, augmented reality and social networks to experience and tackle the mountains at various levels), Mountain equipment and clothing (technical clothing and equipment for high altitudes and specific climatic conditions) and the Mountain enogastronomy industry with a special focus on the innovation of products and manufacturing processes as well as on the fight against waste.
In a rapidly changing and evolving society, WIMAs are looking for original and eco-friendly items, food, advanced technologies and services. Because the mountain world is a microcosm with the real and urgent challenge to combine innovation with sustainability. And the goal of the Lagazuoi EXPO is not only to highlight - through an exhibition and thanks to ad hoc cross-media communication - the excellences that will emerge from the 2023 call but at the same time to generate constant attention and dialogue on the future of the mountains.

The exceptional partners
This year, alongside the self-nomination procedure, the pre-selection mechanism is entrusted to three journalists specializing in the three thematic areas. Thanks to the support of important media partnerships, this year the range of applicants has grown: in charge of providing suggestions are: Marco Di Marco, director of Sciare Mag, for the category Mountain Equipment and Clothing, Denis Piccolo, director of The Pill Magazine for the category Services and Apps for the mountains and Alberto Lupini, director of Italia a Tavola, for mountain enogastronomy concepts.
Three special observers, specifically researching for the assigned categories, will be able to suggest original and interesting projects and include them in this competition. The collaboration with these three authoritative newspapers will allow the Prize to promote its cultural aims in various sectors and stimulate new realities to apply for.
But that's not all: five Italian corporations have joined the WIMA project to support the promotion of the call for tender so as to reach an ever-widening range of companies and start-ups.
These are ANGI - Italian Association of Young Innovators, the first non-profit organization in Italy entirely dedicated to the world of innovation, chaired by Gabriele Ferrieri. ASSI Manager - Italian Sport Business Manager Association, which brings together established professionals involved in sports management who, under the direction of president Federico Fantini, are focused on the economic and marketing front of sports management. Assosport - Association of Italian Sporting Goods Industry, chaired by Anna Ferrino, which represents, supports and promotes, both in Italy and worldwide, companies manufacturing and/or distributing clothing, footwear and equipment for the sports sector in Italy. Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti, an important Italian Industry Association chaired by Maria Lorraine Berton which supports the development and enhancement of the local economy linked to the unparalleled Dolomites, a World Heritage site, with a particular focus on innovation and internationalization. And UNCEM - Italian Union of Mountain Towns and Communities, which, headed by Marco Bussone, brings together the localities and companies operating in the mountains, and has dedicated the last decade to the issues of energy efficiency and sustainable development. Thus, five major corporations have recognized the value of the Award and become advocates through their respective communication platforms.

The selection
The jury will be chaired by engineer Stefano Illing, creator of the Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti, who will bring in the perspective and experience of those who live and work in the mountains.
At the end of the recruitment phase, which will end on 5th February 2023, the names of the jury members will be announced: six experts who are  asked to determine a winner in each category and to assign a special mention to the most deserving start-up.
The projects will be showcased in an exhibition that will be inaugurated with a preview in April 2023 at the LED. This will be a moment of encounters, study and promotion of the mountains to anticipate the exhibition that will be open to the public from the end of May 2023 to the end of March 2024.
In a unique setting amidst the spectacular Dolomites, a UNESCO heritage site, it will thus be possible to discover the innovative potential of the companies and economic entities who believe and invest in our mountains.

You can find the call for application and the form for submitting your project (by midnight on Sunday, 5th February 2023) on the website lagazuoiwima.org

Development and coordination of special projects Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti and DOC-COM Press Office