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Cdp Venture Capital sgr invests 40 million euro in RoboIt, the first National Technology Transfer Hub dedicated to Robotics in Italy

RoboIT is the first of the National Technology Transfer Hubs that CDP Venture Capital SGR will finance through the Technology Transfer Fund to support the emergence of new start-ups created within universities and leading research centres.

Rome, 28 May 2021 - CDP Venture Capital SGR announces the establishment of RoboIT, the first National Technology Transfer Hub for Robotics. The Hub’s objective is to capitalise on the success of Italy's scientific and technological research (which ranks amongst the best in the world for the number of citations in publications ) by creating start-ups conceived in the laboratories of universities and leading research centres. 

CDP Venture Capital SGR, through the Technology Transfer Fund, which was established with an initial amount of 275 million euro, will invest in the entire technology transfer chain by establishing national hubs throughout Italy. Agreements will be made with leading universities and research centres to finance early-stage start-ups, and support will be given to sector-specific venture capital funds to foster the growth of the best companies on the market. A systemic approach that leverages the most promising opportunities in Italian research to create new generations of entrepreneurs and investors.

RoboIT is the first of these hubs and was established in conjunction with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa with the involvement of:

  • the University of Naples Federico II, the University of Verona, and the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, which are among the leading research centres in Italy specialising in the sector.
  • Pariter Partners, an investment holding company that leads the first and only Italian syndicate network specialising in deep-tech and which will provide specialist services to researchers as well as being a co-investor in the initiative.
  • Leonardo, an Italian multinational company involved in monitoring strategic technologies affecting Italy's security, which will contribute its know-how in terms of both technology, including through Leonardo Labs - the central and cross-sector research infrastructure - and the market and in terms of the impact on industry.
  • Eureka! Fund I - Technology Transfer, EUREKA! Venture SGR's Venture Capital Fund, specialised in Science and Engineering of Innovative Materials, also applied to robotics.
  • Cysero EuVECA, Venture Capital Fund of AVM Gestioni SGR S.p.A., a EUVECA Manager specialised in investments in Robotics.

Agreements are also being finalised with institutional entities and other companies that will supplement the 40 million euro investment already allocated by CDP Venture Capital and other specialised VC funds, with a total leverage estimated to be over 100 million euro over four years for the creation and development of over 50 new companies.

The RoboIT Hub will be based on a Hub & Spoke model, providing researchers with financial resources and specialist skills to carry out an initial technical and business feasibility study within the participating Universities and Research Centres (Spoke), followed by entrepreneurial acceleration services to support the creation of new national robotics champions at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa (the Hub).  The Hub will be located in the Valpolcevera area, a few metres from the new "Genova, San Giorgio" Bridge, where what is considered Europe's first Robot Valley is being created. An important urban renewal project is currently underway in this area which has received considerable support from the Ligurian Regional Government and the Municipality of Genoa and which includes, starting from the IIT Robotics laboratories already present in the BIC - Business Innovation Centre (the incubator of the Region's financial company), the planned realisation of a "Green Factory", a unique integrated research, start-up development and acceleration centre.     

The industrial robotics and automation sector in Italy is developing rapidly and is a world leader for its competence centres with over 104 thousand companies (+10% in the last 5 years), 429 thousand employees and a turnover of about 5 billion euro in 2020. Today, there are over 615 start-ups and innovative SMEs in this sector  and over 6000 European patents in robotics filed in Italy in the last 10 years : a rapidly developing ecosystem within a global market that over the next 5 years is expected to grow by +245% in logistics applications and by +189% in the biomedical field .

"The creation of the RoboIT Hub symbolises the importance attributed to outstanding research and innovation," said the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti. "We now need to capitalise on these resources, turning technology transfer into innovative companies with very high potential for expansion that will create jobs for future generations and boost growth in the region. The Region, also through FI.L.S.E., will support the Hub's growth by implementing policies aimed at encouraging the incubation, acceleration and development of innovative start-ups".

"Technology Transfer is an outstanding opportunity for our country, where scientific research is of extremely high quality and needs to be supported to foster the emergence of new start-ups and successful businesses," said Enrico Resmini, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of CDP Venture Capital. - Through the dedicated Technology Transfer Fund, CDP Venture Capital seeks to encourage this process by creating Technology Transfer Hubs that unite the leading-edge universities and research centres in the most innovative fields, promoting an exchange of ideas that will guarantee the possibility of transforming them into businesses, thanks to funding from specialised investment funds. RoboIT, which will be based in Genoa, is the first of these hubs whose aim is to guide the transformation of the most promising inventions”.
"IIT's collaboration with CDP Venture Capital in the Technology Transfer Hub for Robotics, the first of its kind in Italy, is a concrete sign of support for one of the most promising areas of IIT's research, which has already yielded significant results with robotics being applied in the health and industrial sectors," - states Giorgio Metta, scientific director of the Italian Institute of Technology - "For IIT, the technological transfer of research to the market represents a total commitment that needs to be fuelled by ideas, capital and organisation in order to achieve tangible results. These elements are the essence of the Robotics Hub, for which we have made our scientific and technological expertise and capabilities available, together with our experience in technology transfer. This initiative will allow researchers from IIT and the other prestigious universities involved to transform their research in robotics into reality, transferring it to companies and ultimately to the market”.

The ecosystem supporting innovation in Italy