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The Rome Prize

This year there was a major innovation at Maker Faire Rome: the best project presented within the Call for Makers (ended 30 June 2016) was awarded by the R.o.m.e.* Prize of 100 thousand euro.

The evaluation criteria followed two parameters:

  • The social impact of the proposed idea (understood as the one having the most widespread and effective impact on the greatest number of people)
  • The economic sustainability of it (concrete possibility of affirming and developing itself on the market).

Friday, October 14th during the Opening Conference were announced the 10 finalists for the award.

Saturday the 15 of October 2016 at 4,00 pm (Pav  10 room 1) the jury chaired by Neil Gershenfeld, Simona Maschi and Bruce Sterling proclaimed the winner of the R.O.M.E.* Prize: Talking Hands

The winner project was awarded by the Sponsors with a monetary prize of 100,000 euro.

*R.o.m.e stands for Rome Outstanding Maker of Europe.





Director, The Center for Bits and Atoms

Prof. Neil Gershenfeld is the Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. His unique laboratory is breaking down boundaries between the digital and physical worlds, from creating molecular quantum computers to virtuosic musical instruments. Technology from his lab has been seen and used in settings including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and rural Indian villages, the White House and the World Economic Forum, inner-city community centers and automobile safety systems, Las Vegas shows and Sami herds. He is the author of numerous technical publications, patents, and books including Fab, When Things Start To Think, The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, and The Physics of Information Technology, and has been featured in media such as The New York Times, The Economist, NPR, CNN, and PBS. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, has been named one of Scientific American’s 50 leaders in science and technology, as one of 40 Modern-Day Leonardos by the Museum of Science and Industry, one of Popular Mechanic’s 25 Makers, has been selected as a CNN/Time/Fortune Principal Voice, and by Prospect/Foreign Policy as one of the top 100 public intellectuals. Dr. Gershenfeld has a BA in Physics with High Honors from Swarthmore College, a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University, honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College, Strathclyde University and the University of Antwerp, was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows, and a member of the research staff at Bell Labs.

Neil Gershenfeld biography 



Co-Founder and CEO

Simona Maschi is a co-founder and director of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Leading the overall organisation at CIID she heads a team that encompasses a world class consultancy, education programme and a research lab. Simona is an expert in service design, scenario design and design methods and is passionate about design solutions that create a positive impact on the world. She supports this vision through creating a design culture that works in collaboration with academia and industry. Recent projects have explored topics such as private and public transportation, health and wellbeing, sustainable housing, and smart cities. Widely respected in industry, Simona regularly speaks at conferences and events, bringing inspiration on how people centred design can create new and reinforce existing innovation paths. She is a member of the jury for the IXDA Interaction Awards 2014 and part of a board of experts implementing new design strategies at the University of Macau in China. Simona has over 15 years teaching experience at various institutions including Denmark’s Design School (DKDS) and the IT University in Copenhagen. She has lectured at the Politecnico University in Milan, and was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Until June 2006, she was an associate professor and researcher at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy. Simona studied at the Polytechnic University of Milan where where she completed both her PhD in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication (2002), and her MA in Architecture (1996).



Author, journalist, editor, and critic

Was born in 1954.  Best known for his ten science fiction novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews, design criticism,  opinion columns, and introductions for books ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne.His nonfiction works include THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (1992),TOMORROW NOW: ENVISIONING THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS (2003),SHAPING THINGS (2005), and THE EPIC STRUGGLE OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS (2014).  His most recent book is a collection of Italian fantascienza stories, “UTOPIA PIRATA: I RACCONTI DI BRUNO ARGENTO.” (2016). During 2005, he was the “Visionary in Residence” at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.  In 2008 he was the Guest Curator for the Share Festival of Digital Art and Culture in Torino, Italy, and the Visionary in Residence at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.  In 2011 he returned to  Art Center as “Visionary in Residence” to run a special project on Augmented Reality.  In 2013, he was the Visionary in Residence at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State  University.  In 2015 he was the Curator of the “Casa Jasmina” project at the Torino Fab Lab.



Partners 2016


logo Camera di Commercio di Roma

Regione Lazio



Sviluppo Campania
Ambasciata americana
Regione Veneto
Food Institute