Article published on n. 33 of Management Innovation Newsletter
Leading Technology in Ground Improvement
Consolidating the soil before a deep excavation in order to build tunnels, subways and major works is a very complex operation, costly and subject to a thousand risks. It is necessary to check in advance the real ability of the consolidants to penetrate the soil and their actual ability to make it adequately resistant and waterproof.
The team of Prof. Riccardo Castellanza, Associate Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at the Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences (DISAT) of the University of Milan Bicocca has created a system to reproduce in the laboratory injections of fluids into the ground through a valve tube and allow observation and analysis of soil changes before, during and after treatment. Its fine-tuning will make it possible to significantly reduce the uncertainties related to the costs and risks of direct intervention in the field.
To this purpose, the new Spin-Off of the University of Milan Bicocca was born, which Management Innovation intends to develop together with some technological partners already well known on the international market such as the company SIREG GEOTECH Srl and the engineer Andrea Pettinaroli.
The objective of the Spin-Off is to create a center of excellence in the field of soil and rock management where it is possible to perform:
– research activity through new experimental equipment and advanced numerical modeling;
– development, innovation and certification of materials, instruments and procedures;
– provision of services for operators in the sector (designers, producers of materials and equipment, contractors, supervisory and works management authorities);
– possible development and sale of products and equipment that allow the improvement of geomaterial treatment techniques.
The business idea arose from the development of a machine called ITS (Injection Tube System) able to study fluid injection in a very precise manner.
Currently, a first prototype was built which was well received following the first demonstration carried out at the University of Texas (USA), for which a patent application has already been submitted and it has already received an excellent evaluation.
Considering the strong interest of the market, the company we are going to set up will deal with different existing methods of treating soil and rocks, such as freezing, innovative structural reinforcements and other grouting techniques, biogrout, as well as the reproduction through numerical modeling with advanced codes the real phenomena that these techniques induce in the ground. This will also allow to intercept other strategic sectors interested in the development and improvement of existing techniques where the methodological path proposed with ITS can be successfully replicated.
The strong synergy between the multi-sector scientific expertise of the University of Milan Bicocca and professionals specialized in the design, construction and management of geomaterial treatment interventions will enable this new company to enter a niche market that is very interesting, with a perspective of revenues, turnover and profits already from the first months of life. The Research & Development activity will allow to obtain a high level of innovation in this very specialized sector.
THE MAIN GALAXY CONTINUES ITS EXPANSION!
With the new company GroutFreezLab Srl (or GFLab) in the sector of Geotechnical Research and Development and consolidation of soil and rocks, Management Innovation continues its work of scouting technologies and investing in innovative Startups.
This new company will be set up in a few weeks, it will be a Spin-Off of the University of Milan Bicocca and Prof. Riccardo Castellanza, Engineer Andrea Pettinaroli and the company Sireg Geotech Srl will participate.
Bruno Perra, already shareholder of MAIN and member of the Investment Committee, will be appointed CEO of the new company.