In the field of advanced technologies, our country, with the announced investment of 730 million euros by STMicroelectronic for the construction of a semiconductor plant in Catania, can play an important role in the implementation of the European “Chips Act” which aims to creating a more self-sustaining supply chain and addressing shortages of semiconductors needed for a wide range of products, from automobiles to industrial applications.
If there is the support of constant funding for scientific research, an increase in researchers’ salaries, the implementation of a solid network of technology transfer hubs and heavy investments for innovative companies, Italy can put itself in a position to enhance and actors already present today, thus demonstrating the impact of our innovation ecosystem.
For this reason, the National Fund for Innovation (Cdp Venture Capital) has been active for almost three years (of which the author is president, ndr), with 5.3 billion under management, which has already invested 960 million directly in over 300 innovative startups in its portfolio, and indirectly in 22 venture capital funds, 18 new generation accelerators and 5 tech transfer poles in supply chain logic with the Champions of Research, focusing on national strategic sectors such as robotics, technologies for sustainability, aerospace, life sciences, intelligent agriculture, quantum and artificial intelligence.
The strategy for start-ups in Italy as in Europe must therefore be reconciled with the need for a systemic industrial transformation, which is reflected in the strategy and in large-scale industrial alliances such as Ipcei (Important Projects of Common European Interest) in the case of hydrogen, raw materials and batteries. You have to think both fast and slow, combining fast and agile financing of innovation through venture capital, together with a public mission, patient capital and well-orchestrated industrial alliances.
Europe has been rightly praised for its leadership in digital governance and regulation, setting global standards in antitrust, privacy, data sovereignty, and AI and cybersecurity governance. Now it must demonstrate that it is also able to compete in terms of scientific, technological and industrial innovation to face the great challenges of the present, first and foremost the energy transition.