On Friday 5 June 2020, the Contamination Lab of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in collaboration with the University of Bologna and Almacube, participated in the SUGAR Expo Cloud, one of the most important innovation events in the world.

The SUGAR project is 9 months long and involves 25 teams of students from 30 universities from all over the world who respond to the innovation challenges of 25 companies and global organizations. During the SUGAR Expo event, the solutions designed by the student teams are presented following the Design Thinking approach. The CLab of Unimore, in collaboration with Unibo and Almacube, attended the event with the team of students who responded to the challenge launched by Sanofi-Genzyme Italia during this edition of SUGAR.

Let’s find out how the SUGAR experience was directly from the team, which includes Ludovico Cavazzuti, Eugenia Dessì, Mirco Tincani, and Ugo Vergallo for Unimore, who worked with the students of the Politecnico di Milano to develop a solution for the challenge of Sanofi-Genzyme Italy.

It is not so easy to describe the Sugar project in a few lines, it is not easy because it has been a very intense 9 months journey both from a professional and human point of view. “How to improve the quality of life of people suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis“, this was the project entrusted to us by our corporate partner Sanofi Genzyme: we immediately understood both the impact that this project could have and the difficulties that we would have encountered in dealing with such a delicate topic, impressions which were then widely confirmed in the following months.

Looking back on the whole journey, which began with a wonderful trip to China and ended with an online event attended by more than a thousand people coming literally from all over the world, we can only remember with pleasure the challenges we had to face, from working with our Polimi mates to having to understand how to best apply the skills that each of us has in order to achieve a common goal. In some moments it was not easy, the direction taken did not always seem the right one, being honest most of the time we were not even sure of which way we were following and where we would have arrived, however, thanks to the commitment that each of us has put in this project, to the support that we have given each other and that has been given to us by our coaches we have managed to reach a solution that first of all makes us happy and proud and that has been received with great enthusiasm from Sanofi and the whole Sugar network.

Surely what we will carry with us over these months is the awareness of having grown a lot and having learned something that cannot be studied, must be lived in order to truly understand it; for the first time we had to face a real project, a budget to manage, deadlines to respect and an extremely heterogeneous team in terms of skills, cultures and personalities to manage. Working together, with us and with our mates from the Polimi, was truly enriching and stimulating, we started and ended a difficult journey together without ever fighting or desponding but always trying to keep everyone’s morale high so that we all got involved in the project and went in a common direction.

The result we have achieved, which we hope will be carried out by Sanofi, is the result of this ability that we have developed to work together, to take on each one their own responsibilities and to trust each other. The opportunity to participate in such a project, with brilliant students from all over the world, grate companies ready to invest and bet on us and our skills is a truly unmissable opportunity that we believe we have taken the best and that we can say of having dealt with the most commitment and enthusiasm.

We can only be proud of our journey, of the result obtained and above all of the people with whom we have shared everything, whom we thank deeply, especially Mario Di Nauta, Francesco D’Onghia and Elahe Rajabiani for encouraging us to always give our best by believing in us from the first moment and all the volunteers who actively participated in the development of our solution with countless days of testing. As soon as the Expo was over, our coach Mario wanted to remind us, quoting Seneca, that “Luck doesn’t exist. There is a moment when talent meets opportunity“, well we have cultivated talent together and Sugar has been a wonderful opportunity to do it.

Polimore team