Awardee Interviews | Biography: Paolo della Porta

Paolo della Porta

Paolo della Porta
Paolo DELLA PORTA was born in Milan on March 7, 1924. He graduated from the Polytechnic of Milan with a degree in Engineering in 1949 and spent a few months in his own business as a civil engineer and architect, Then, he was asked by his father, and his partners, to make a technical evaluation of a small company (SAES) in which they have been investing for some time but which was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Paolo took on the challenge and, in 1950, he discovered how to produce a stable barium alloy and, in 1952, he invented. the ring-shaped getter both for radio receiving valves and B/W TV sets. This invention made SAES Getters the European leader in the production of getters. In 1954, Paolo convinced Edwards High Vacuum, which represented SAES Getters' products in the UK, to create the "Edwards Alto Vuoto" joint venture. This began a decade of cooperation which brought highly important benefits both in technical knowledge and business. From 1962 to 1966 Paolo was Co-Managing Director of "Edwards High Vacuum (U.K.)" Group, gaining experience in the management of a large international group. From 1954, for more than 40 years, Paolo della Porta He was Vice President and Managing Director of SAES Getters S.p.A., and Chief Executive Officer of SAES Getters group since 1954 and. has been President of SAES Getters SpA and Chairman of the Board since 2006.

Despite his many business engagements, Paolo maintained a direct involvement in the research activities of SAES. He invented a new getter for color TV tubes in 1966 and managed the research for both the first non-evaporable, industrial scale getters and mercury dispensers. He has published about 60 technical and scientific articles and obtained 50 patents. He organized symposia on residual gases in electron tubes in 1959, 1962, 196767 and 1973.

He has also played significant roles in other areas. In the late 1960's, he founded, together with an English financier "Scienta", a holding company for investments in high technology, Many important European financiers, such as IFI International, have made investments. From 1972 to 1979, Paolo was a member of the European Commission's Advisory Committee for the Research and Development and he served as President of the Alternative Energy Commission. In the late 1980's, he became a Director of the Board of EIRMA (Association for the European Industrial Research. In 1999, he became President of Inventor S.p.A., a partnership between Politecnico - Bocconi for sustaining Innovation.

Paolo della Porta has received several awards, including the Leonard in 1997, the Italian Entrepreneur of the year for the Research and Development in 1998, the first E&Y Italian Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and, in 2001, the first E&Y World Entrepreneur for the Year.