Manuela Brotto
Giving a second life to steel waste

Manuela Brotto



Supported by:

EIT RawMaterials The EIT RawMaterials is supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union


To boost circular economy in the steel industry

Main product


The Project

  • The idea

    Opigeo converts waste into new materials for construction or manufactured goods. Offering a "zero waste" service to the steel industry, we develop geopolymeric formulations to produce hydraulic binders and market their low environmental impact applications.

  • Inspiration

    We believe that the reshaping of value chains to make them more sustainable offers many opportunities for innovation. These can affect our communities in the most positive way while being of interest to large industrial groups.

  • Unique selling points

    Our innovative technology enables the aggregation, separation, recovery, and enhancement of iron oxide particles. The open structure of our formulations enables the mixing of waste produced by different steel industries in a common treatment site, thereby diminishing costs and making our secondary raw materials economically viable.

  • Societal impact

    By converting production and efficiently using raw materials, our solution greatly contributes to the development of circular economy solutions.

  • EIT Community support

    Since 2019, we have received excellent support from the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator, including professional training in both business and financial analysis.

  • Overcoming adversity

    The creation of Veneto Green Cluster, the Veneto regional innovative network for circular economy and waste management, of which I am a director, greatly helped us in our endeavour.


The Nominee

  • The beginning

    I have been involved in the development of about 50 research projects in different fields, from the plastics industry to pharmaceuticals and agriculture. I have always wanted to achieve innovation that combines this background with enthusiasm for local development strategies and builds efficient bridges between supporting public entities and private companies.

  • Rewarding moments

    Starting a business that links innovation policies to industry needs is truly rewarding. It is the result of 15 years of collaboration with research teams and the founding of OPICE and CIRCE, two organisations specialising in the development of technologies and materials for the building industry.

We believe that the reshaping of value chains to make them more sustainable offers many opportunities for innovation.