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€260 million in investments from CDP Venture Capital and EIF to support technology transfer

  • This renews the CDP-EIF partnership for high-tech innovation market access formed with the launch of the ITAtech platform in 2016.
  • The funds will be directed to applied agriculture and food technology, environmental sustainability, robotics, life sciences and aerospace.

Rome, 28 September 2021 — CDP Venture Capital SGR and the European Investment Fund (EIF, part of the EIB Group) signed a partnership agreement yesterday enabling investments of up to €260 million made in equal parts to accelerate market access for high-tech projects.

In particular, the agreement signed yesterday by CDP Venture Capital SGR CEO and General Manager Enrico Resmini and EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard, in the presence of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti CEO Dario Scannapieco, aims to provide continuity to ITAtech, the investment platform launched by CDP and the EIF in December 2016 to drive technology transfer in Italy. This is a key process for bridging the current gap between the high quality of Italian scientific production and the limited possibilities for the resulting technological innovations to access the market.

CDP Venture Capital SGR and the EIF signed a joint commitment to foster the emergence of new funds for the development of deep tech startups — namely businesses developing cutting-edge technologies with scientific discovery as a key element and that are conceived in the laboratories of universities and research centres of excellence — in line with EU industrial policy. 

Under this new agreement, CDP Venture Capital SGR’s Technology Transfer Fund will direct up to €130 million of its total allocation of €275 million to the joint investment with the EIF. The EIF has committed to providing an equal contribution of its own, creating a partnership worth €260 million. 

The EIF’s substantial contribution will therefore bring the total investment in technology transfer to over €400 million. The Technology Transfer Fund will focus on forming National Technology Transfer Hubs and on financing highly specialised venture capital funds in sectors related to the energy transition and environmental sustainability, applied agriculture and food technology, robotics, life sciences and aerospace.

Technology transfer is a pillar of CDP Venture Capital SGR's strategic plan that, via the Technology Transfer Fund, aims to create a series of national hubs across Italy that work on the one hand with the main universities and research centres to finance early-stage startups and on the other with sector-focused venture capital funds to ensure the growth of the best companies on the market. 

The EIF will play an active role in supporting CDP Venture Capital SGR's Technology Transfer Fund, taking part in the screening, analysis and due diligence phases for potential new technology transfer fund managers and co-investing in the funds selected.

The target funds can be first-time teams/first-time funds or funds formed within investment management companies (Società di Gestione del Risparmio — SGR), including successor funds to technology transfer funds formed via the ITAtech platform, the first joint CDP-EIF investment programme to promote the development of technology transfer in Italy.

“Under this renewed partnership between the EIF and CDP, we will support key players in the Italian innovation ecosystem with the goal of accelerating the marketing of high-tech intellectual property,” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard. “In Italy there is a significant gap between the high quality academic production from Italian universities and research centres in technological sectors and investments from funds. This agreement aims to bridge that gap by financing investment funds in the Italian technology transfer sector.”

“Technology transfer is a key step in fostering technology skills, creativity and talent born from research centres and universities, promoting entrepreneurial growth and cooperation with established industry,” said CDP Venture Capital SGR CEO and General Manager Enrico Resmini. “We are extremely proud of this co-investment partnership with the EIF, which will enable the Technology Transfer Fund to substantially increase the resources directed towards the expansion of an ecosystem of venture capital funds dedicated to ensuring these businesses are sustainable, as there is fertile ground for developing the market potential including at international level.”

The ecosystem supporting innovation in Italy