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Smau brings Italian startups to the innovation capitals

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Smau brings Italian startups to the innovation capitals

The Tech Cities of the Future study annually identifies the European cities that offer the best prospects in terms of technological development, investment in innovation and startups. The 2021 edition sees London in first place, followed by Paris and Dublin; in fourth place is Berlin, Milan is eighteenth.

Precisely with the intention of repositioning Italy at a European level in this area, in 2015 Smau launched a series of Roadshows, aimed at encouraging the encounter between startups and Italian companies with the major players in the European market. “The goal was to insert the ecosystem of Italian startups in the European geography, where we were the big absentees – explains Valentina Sorgato, CEO of Smau – we started from Berlin, then we added other cities and above all, startups were also added large companies that focus on Open Innovation and wish to compare themselves with other innovation models and come into contact with international startups “.

December 16-17

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This year there will be three stops on Smau’s tour: Paris, Berlin and London. It starts on March 23 in France with Smau / Italy RestartsUp in Paris. Forty Italian startups, selected through a call, will be able to present themselves at Station F., the largest startup campus in the world. The most active Italian companies in the field of Open Innovation will also be present, including Snam, Iren, Ferrovie dello Stato, Clementoni, to name but a few. After all, Smau, for over 50 years, has been involved in supporting companies in their innovation paths and the creation of this mixture of consolidated realities and young companies represents an important element. “All the pilot companies are very clear about the importance of Open Innovation and have pilot projects underway with startups – says Sorgato – in collaboration with Mind the Bridge, in the last three years we have drawn up the Open Innovation Outlook on Italy and in short, we see the glass as half full. Important steps are being taken to allow startups to enter the suppliers’ registers of large companies, trying to streamline procedures, and above all companies are willing to share experiences and best practices among themselves “.

At the same time, the presence of big names in the Italian industry in the Smau Roadshow can become an important attraction for the most interesting international startups, thus contributing to increasing the attractiveness of our country. All small pieces that contribute to the growth and positioning of the Italian startup ecosystem. “In the last year we have shown that we are ready to attract large operators, I am thinking of the example of the TechStars Smart Mobility accelerator in Turin”, comments Valentina Sorgato with a note of optimism. “In the last six months, Rainmaking has been looking at Italy with interest. There is a change taking place.”

Food and Digital Health are the strengths

The fields on which Italian innovation is most interested are Food, AgriTech and DigitalHealth. And in the Paris stage there will be proposals in this sense. In the healthcare field, Bio Building Block relies on a digital platform that allows the remote management of patients with cancer, significantly reducing the management costs on healthcare facilities and costs on the entire healthcare system. SoftMining uses AI to design new drugs and materials with unprecedented efficiency. As for the Food sector, Enismaro is a supply chain solution that aims to guarantee, in an objective, unambiguous and transparent way, that the quality characteristics of food and wine products are respected throughout the production chain. Safer is an intelligent label capable of communicating the degree of freshness of a food at any time, even beyond the expiration date.

Beyond these two sectors, explains Sorgato: “Since we have a highly qualified academic background in Italy, in all fields where innovation is related to vertical fields, we have excellent proposals, which are very popular abroad”. Among the other startups present, it ranges from augmented reality to energy management, passing through FinTech. Considering the centrality of the sustainability issue, the proposal by ESGeo, a player specialized in the management, monitoring and reporting of sustainability KPIs, is particularly interesting, through a proprietary tool certified by the main international standards.

In short, there is no shortage of quality proposals, all that remains is to make them known, to add another piece to the growth path of the Italian ecosystem. With an extra awareness, as Valentina Sorgato underlines: “On the issues dictated by the 2030 Agenda, thanks to the NRP, Italy has great economic resources to invest and has what it takes to carve out an important role at a European level”.

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