Tech4Planet, the second national technology transfer hub of CDP Venture Capital Sgr, is born

Tech4Planet was created in collaboration with the Milan Polytechnic, along with the Bari and Turin Polytechnics, to support the birth of new startups conceived within laboratories and research centers: up to 55 million euros for the development of companies dedicated to Environmental Sustainability.

CDP Venture Capital Sgr announces the establishment of Tech4Planet, the second national technology transfer hub, which was created to facilitate market access and growth of new businesses conceived within research laboratories dedicated to Environmental Sustainability, particularly in the areas of energytech, circular economy, sustainable manufacturing, smart mobility e water management.

With a total investment of up to 55 million euros allocated by CDP Venture Capital Sgr’s Technology Transfer Fund, the Tech4Planet Cluster was created in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano and involves the Polytechnics of Turin and Bari. Part of the total investment will also be dedicated to supporting the launch of new Venture Capital Funds specializing in Environmental Sustainability sectors, which will be tasked with continuing to finance the most promising startups.

An investment strategy that allows, on the one hand, to increase the technological and business maturity of the inventions produced by Research and, on the other hand, to strengthen the Venture Capital system specializing in strategic frontier technologies for our country.

The Tech4Planet Cluster will involve important industrial players operating in the sector and will be distributed throughout the territory through the laboratories of the Polytechnics of Milan, Turin and Bari, which will contribute to the research of projects with a high market impact also with a catalytic effect for the regions of Southern Italy.

The researchers involved will benefit from economic resources and specialized expertise to carry out technical and business feasibility studies, thanks to the involvement of their respective incubators: PoliHub, I3P and the nascent incubator of the Politecnico di Bari.

The entrepreneurial acceleration phase for the transfer of inventions to the market will then be carried out at the Gasometri Innovation District of the Milan Polytechnic University of Technology in collaboration with PoliHub and specialized international partners, and will also be open to research projects already established in the enterprise of the entire network of Italian universities and research centers.

Milan Polytechnic Foundation is among the co-investors in the Tech4Planet hub and major agreements are being finalized with leading industry companies and institutional bodies, which will augment the €55 million investment being allocated by CDP Venture Capital, With an estimated total potential leverage of more than 130 million euros over 4 years for the creation and development of more than 60 new companies.

“Technology Transfer is a key process for bridging the still wide gap in Italy between research and the market,” says Enrico Resmini, Managing Director and General Manager, CDP Venture Capital Sgr, “A distance that a country with a strong industrial vocation and some of the best Research in the world can no longer afford. The establishment of the Tech4Planet Pole marks another important step in the path we are taking with the Technology Transfer Fund, aimed at creating a series of National Technology Transfer Poles capable of federating the best Universities and Research Centers and industrial partners, in order to network, support the birth of new companies and foster a Venture Capital culture specialized in frontier technologies capable of finding new and innovative solutions to the problems of our time.”

“Sustainability, territorial development and the strengthening of major innovation centers: priority aspects in the country’s revitalization policies that this initiative fully captures. The Politecnico di Milano, among the first universities in Italy to equip itself with a business incubator, today joins the Politecnico di Torino and the Politecnico di Bari in a project of national scope that demonstrates, to all intents and purposes, the centrality of the academic system in entrepreneurial development,” comments Ferruccio Resta, Rector of the Milan Polytechnic., “Within this network, the Gasometers Innovation District represents a strategic node: a meeting point between university research, companies and venture capital in a European comparison key. A resource that gives life to the new Tech4Planet hub thanks to the partnership with CDP Venture Capital. A concrete demonstration of a synergy that knows how to enhance the existing within a broader revitalization plan that looks to the future of new generations of entrepreneurs from a country-system perspective.”

“The collaboration with venture capital funds represents, for the Politecnico di Torino, a key piece in its Technology Transfer chain,” says Giuliana Mattiazzo, Vice Chancellor for Technology Transfer, Politecnico di Torino, “The last five years have seen our University, first in Italy, engage in the establishment of innovative Proof of Concept programs aimed at promoting academic entrepreneurship. These initiatives have, little by little, involved, in multiple respects, the main players operating in the field of Technology Transfer, contributing to strengthening the innovation ecosystem. And it is precisely for this reason that the foundation of Tech4Planet, CDP Venture Capital’s National Technology Transfer Pole, and the consequent collaboration with the Milan and Bari Polytechnics, represent a strategic opportunity that completes the picture and that we feel ready to seize to the fullest. We are aware that major global issues can only be effectively addressed through collaborations: in fact, they represent great challenges but also great opportunities for the revitalization of our country, research and the Italian production system. With this in mind, the Tech4Planet Pole initiative will be able to operate in full synergy with the PNRR projects to which the Politecnico di Torino will contribute through its “Platforms,” thematic centers of excellence where research, education and business are combined to maximize the impact on the territory of emerging technologies.”

“The collaboration between the three Italian polytechnics on the topic of innovation and sustainability, which are crucial at this historic moment of restart, is a great opportunity for the country and, especially, for Southern Italy,” comments the Rector of Bari Polytechnic University, Francesco Cupertino, “Supported by the Bari Polytechnic, the Mezzogiorno is bidding to become a reference point for a new model of development based on cutting-edge research, technology transfer and support for innovative enterprises. We want to support Italy’s ecological, energy and digital transition through an innovation ecosystem in which the world of research shares a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the most advanced and promising sectors of the economy with the best businesses. This public-private alliance, supported by qualified investors, will increase the attractiveness of territories and the international competitiveness of companies.”

Environmental sustainability is among the most pressing challenges of our century and is the key area on which the European Green Deal’s commitment to achieve progressive and complete decarbonization of the system by 2050 is focused. Venture capital in the world is definitely moving toward investment in this sector, which between 2014 and 2019 increased more than 8 times to $16.2 billion, a growth rate 5 times that of general venture capital investment.

In Italy, VC investments in the sector account for only 0.8 percent of those in Europe, partly due to a shortage of specialized funds. Nevertheless, Italy expresses great potential in terms of publications in the area of “Renewable energy, sustainability and the environment, ” in which it ranks fifth in the world and third in Europe. Italian companies rank first in Europe in terms of eco-efficiency, and our country was the best among large countries in the ratio of CO2 emissions per capita and the percentage of energy from renewable sources. A strongly branched ecosystem of research and innovation that also enjoys the advantage of the presence of abundant renewable resources.