The Peres Heritage Initiative 2022 | The European House - Ambrosetti

The Sixth edition was held at the 48th Annual Forum “Intelligence on the World, Europe, and Italy

Cernobbio, September 2-3-4, 2022.

The Initiative in brief

The Peres Heritage Initiative is a social award launched at the 43rd edition of The European House - Ambrosetti Annual Forum “Intelligence on the World, Europe, and Italy” to commemorate the legacy of Shimon Peres, whom for 24 years participated in our Annual Forum, among which his very last public appearance, becoming for us all a mentor and a source of great inspiration.

To pass on his legacy of technological innovation and pursuit of peace to the future generations, each year the Peres Heritage Initiative awards three young innovators at our Annual Forum. Recipients of the Peres Heritage Initiative are hosted at the The European House - Ambrosetti Annual Forum with a slot in the main conference program, where they will have the chance to benefit from exposure to the global business, political and institutional communities, as well as to the media. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to receive a minimum investment of 250,000 USD, carried out by New Era Capital Partners.

The Peres Heritage Inititiave enjoys high institutional support. The award ceremony of the first three editions of the Peres Heritage Initiative were celebrated in 2017 by former Italian Prime Minister and currently EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, in 2018 by former Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and in 2019 by former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 2020 and 2021, due to the need of social distancing, the initiative took place in digital format only.

With the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, in cooperation with Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, in partnership with New Era Capital Partners, with the support of Teva

Sixth edition (2022)

The Sixth edition of the Peres Heritage Initiative took stage during the session «Empowering the generations of the future», moderated by Gianni Riotta, at the 48th edition of the The European House – Ambrosetti Annual Forum. Below are listed the names of the selected young people and their projects:

Judit Giró Benet, CEO & Cofounder - The Blue Box

Judit is a former Jr. Lab Specialist at the University of California Irvine and Associate Engineer at Roche Diagnostics. Currently, Judit is Cofounder & CEO of The Blue Box Biomedical Solutions S.L., a deep tech European start-up developing a medical device based on Artificial Intelligence, capable of detecting late-stage breast cancer using urine samples, with 95% accuracy. The Blue Box presents higher performance and safety features as compared to competing technologies. 

Oksana Matiiash, CEO - Teach for Ukraine

A lawyer by training with a Master of Public Policy from Oxford, Oksana currently serves as the CEO of Teach For Ukraine, one of the most prominent educational non-profits in Ukraine, working to eliminate education inequity in the country and now providing emergency support to Ukrainian children. In 2021, the President of Ukraine appointed her to serve on the Board of the Presidential Fund on Support to Education, Science, and Sports to launch the first state-funded scholarship program for Ukrainians to study abroad.

Marco Pagani, CEO - Wizkey

Marco is the CEO of the Italian Fintech Wizkey, the decentralised platform that enables the valorisation of illiquid assets, such as credits, by transforming them into safe, transparent and liquid tokens. Thanks to the blockchain technology, Wizkey can help reduce trading costs by disintermediating the credit market and automating processes that are usually lengthy and repetitive. Since 2018, he has also served as a lecturer in various masters in law (with particular reference to the blockchain technology), sanctioned by key institutions.

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit a brief description of their innovative project, research activity, or business models, along with all relevant supporting materials.

Evaluation criteria

The recipients are chosen according to their alignment with the key words of Shimon’s political acitivism:

  • Commitment. Self-dedication to a cause will be a major element of the Peres Heritage Initiative winners.
  • Pursuit of Peace. Strong ethics and morality are the backbone of a functioning and peaceful society, the one Shimon Peres strived for.
  • Entrepreneurship. Transforming visionary dreams into successful businesses, employment, and growth is one of the reasons Shimon Peres will be remembered.
  • Impact. Those with the best intentions and utmost commitment are to be admired, but the award will only be presented to those who really make a difference.
  • Inclusivity. In a world of alienation and rising inequality, those who distinguished themselves by tearing down walls – rather than building them – will be the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Innovation. Facing new challenges entails finding new solutions. The global leaders of tomorrow will be those capable of thinking out of the box to elaborate elegant solutions to complex problems.
Target and eligibility

Young innovators below the age of 35, who have distinguished themselves in one of the following fields, are eligible for the Peres Heritage Initiative:

  • Pursuit of peace
  • Green Economy and Sustainability/Circular Economy
  • Entrepreneurship and inclusive business models
  • Innovation and Scientific Developments
  • Social Innovation
  • New Challenges in Education
  • Poverty eradication
Selection process

Candidates are selected through two different channels, application and nomination, according to the following process.

  • Step 1. The European House - Ambrosetti will publish a call for action, supported by a social media campaign, to solicit applications from young talents.
  • Step 2. After applications are closed, the The European House - Ambrosetti working group will define a long list of 20 high potential candidates.
  • Step 3. The whole The European House - Ambrosetti company then will vote their best three candidates to reach a short list of 8 candidates.
  • Step 4. The top 8 candidates will be then submitted to the Advisors of the The European House - Ambrosetti Annual Forum, who will select the three winners.

Previous editions

Fifth edition - 2021 (digital)

The Fifth edition was held during the session «Building the future through young talents», moderated by Mauro Ferrari, of the 47th edition of the annual Forum of The European House - Ambrosetti. Here are the names of the young winners and their projects:

Stefano Casagrande, CEO and Co-founder of Davinci Healthcare, a telemedicine start-up that aims to improve the performance of healthcare systems at local level, providing medical assistance with a focus on preventive care, through monitoring, consulting and creating the patient’s digital twin. The start-up’s activity was strongly accelerated by the pandemic: in the second half of 2020, it managed 30,000 appointments and remotely monitored more than 2,000 patients affected by Covid-19.

Naomi McKenzie, CEO and Co-founder of Kitro, a Swiss start-up founded in 2017 to meet the great challenge of reducing food waste and ensuring that food is valued. During her first-hand experience in the Food and Beverage industry, Naomi has witnessed the significant impacts of food waste and this lead her to a commitment to reducing waste in the industry.

Or Retzkin, CEO and Co-founder of EyeControl, a start-up that was created to support individuals in therapeutic isolation, and improve their communication skills. Or serves as Major of the Israeli Army, collaborates as a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and is Alumnus Director of the 8200 Impact Accelerator. He holds a multidisciplinary degree in Physics and Economics from Tel Aviv University and a Master of Finance.

Fourth edition - 2020 (digital)

The Fourth edition of the Peres Heritage Initiative took stage during the session «The good News: the positive narrative the world needs», moderated by Alec Ross, at the 46th edition of the The European House – Ambrosetti Annual Forum. Below are listed the names of the selected young people and their projects:

Chiara Cecchini, Cofounder of Future Food Network (Italy, sustainability). Working with a team of designers, chefs, scientists, nutritionists and economists, Florence-born Chiara Cecchini’s Future Food Network delivers international educational programs to build capacity on food and sustainability, engages the broader community though physical and digital activations, as well as helps major companies become more eco-friendly through R&D activities. Future Food Network is a purpose-driven company that supports food and beverage companies into their innovation journey towards more sustainable solutions, providing the tools and the skillset to perform SDG-centered innovation and regenerative design, as well as to assess outputs.

Olga Dubey, Cofounder and CEO of Agrosustain, a Nyon-based start-up that develops and brings to market novel, efficient, and natural antifungal solutions to extend the freshness of fruits and vegetables infected with molds. Currently in the pilot phase, AgroSustain aims for a full market entry in 2022, by targeting the highly-traded exotic fruits segment first – avocado, banana, and pineapple – and then scaling up to other highly-stored crops, such as potatoes and carrots

Lex Hoefsloot, Cofounder and CEO of Lightyear, a tech company on a mission to create clean mobility for everyone. Currently, they are developing their first solar car, Lightyear One, which will come to market in 2021. Since the launch of the company in 2016, Lightyear received many awards, grants and support from key investors. With over 32 patents pending and more than 100 pre-orders, they are scaling-up towards start of production.

2019 - Third edition

The third edition of the Peres Heritage Initiative took stage during the session «The good News: the positive narrative the world needs», moderated by Alec Ross, at the 45th edition of the The European House – Ambrosetti Annual Forum. The winners were awarded by Tsvia Peres Walden.

Below are listed the names of the selected young people and their projects:

Enass Abo-Hamed, Co-founder and CEO of H2G0 power - Isreal, Energy

Co-founder and CEO at H2GO power, an award winning spin-out company from the University of Cambridge (UK) developing energy storage technologies, she is passionate about entrepreneurship and clean energy technology policy. She has 10 years of research and business experience in hydrogen production, nanotechnology, catalysis, renewable energy and energy storage.

Listen to the interview

Lucrezia Bisignani, Founder and CEO of Kukua – Italy, Social entrepreneurship / Education
27 years olds, she is Founder and CEO of Kukua, an education entertainment company building a pan-African children’s franchise around Sema, Africa’s first animated child heroine. Sema is brought to life with an animated TV Series, educational games and toys. She was listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 2019 Social entrepreneurs list, and was selected to speak at WIRED 2016 as one of the women who are changing the world.

Dhruv Ghulati, CEO of Factmata – United Kingdom, AI
CEO of Factmata, a company he founded together with two professors of the universities of Sheffield and UCL, he is also one of the leading developers of Wikipedia. Factmata’s goal is to combat online disinformation found on the web by utilizing human-assisted artificial intelligence to identify abusive content, hate messages, spam, propaganda and fake news. The company was founded in 2017 and Dhruv Ghulati has already raised $1 million in seed funding.

2018 - Second edition

The second edition of the Peres Heritage Initiative took stage during the session «The good News: the positive narrative the world needs» at the 44th edition of the The European House - Ambrosetti Annual Forum. The initiative was awarded by Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and Mr Chemi Peres.

Below are listed the names of the selected young people and their projects:

  • Julian Melchiorri, CEO and Founder – Arborea (Italy)
  • Samantha Payne, COO and Cofounder – Open Bionics (UK)
  • Elad Walach, CEO and Cofounder – Aidoc (Israel)

2017 - First edition

The first edition of the Peres Heritage Initiative was inaugurated by the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Chemi Peres, Shimon’s son, during the Gala Dinner of the The European House - Ambrosetti Annual Forum “Intelligence on the World, Europe, and Italy” (September 2, 2017).

Below are listed the names of the selected young people and their projects:

  • Massoud Hansani, Co-founder and Managing Director at Mine Kafon Lab (Netherlands/Afghanistan) “Mine Kafon”, project for a wind-powered landmines detector
  • Sandra Rey, Founder and CEO at Glowee (France) “Glowee”, project “Harnessing bioluminescence for sustainable lighting solutions”
  • Christian Salvatore, Researcher, Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology (Italy) Artificial Intelligence for automatic diagnosis of Alzheimer and Parkison

For further information:
Matteo Polistina,
Tel.: +39 02 46753.314