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London: Italy for Innovation platform kicks off

‘I4I – Italy4Innovation’, the programme developed by Italian Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta and dedicated to innovation in Italy and in the United Kingdom, has kicked off in London.  In the perspective of discussing innovation, especially in the field of companies and start-ups, on Monday, 17 September, the Embassy hosted a debate featuring Stefano Firpo (Director-General for Industrial Policy, Competitiveness and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises at the Ministry of Economic Development) and Sharon Ellis (Director of International Science & Innovation within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).

In his opening remarks to the debate on the new ‘I4I’ platform, Ambassador Trombetta pointed out that it is not only aimed at networking the innovative start-ups of the two Countries but also at drawing a comparison between the two development and regulatory models so as to share the best practices adopted in Italy and in the United Kingdom. On the part of Italy, interest mainly focused on presenting the most innovative projects capable of attracting London-based foreign investors.  

(Ambassador Trombetta)

Stefano Firpo pointed out how, over the last few years, Italy has fostered the birth of a dynamic innovation and start-up ecosystem also thanks to favourable tax policies. In actual fact, the number of people that start new activities of this type has greatly increased, even if there are still problems linked to their capacity to access credit facilities in order to grow. Firpo also recalled the great contribution made to the European Space Programme by Italy, which is world leader in key sectors such as instrumental robotics. Sharon Ellis illustrated the programme launched by the United Kingdom through which the Government facilitated innovation with more than 7.5 billion Pounds, with the aim of promoting more direct and effective exchanges between the academic and corporate worlds, foster research and development and encourage innovation in every sector.  Ms Ellis added that the decisions passed by Apple and Microsoft to invest in Naples and Milan respectively, where they will open operating headquarters, is undoubtedly a signal that Italy is headed in the right direction in attracting great multinationals of innovation.   

(Sharon Ellis and Stefano Firpo)

The ‘Italy4Innovation’ programme will continue over the next few months by featuring events dedicated to specific themes, such as the role of incubators and accelerators, the importance of public funding for research and development, technology transfers, fintech, artificial intelligence and venture capital involving start-ups and public and private entities, both Italian and British. London has now become a global technology hub (the third after Silicon Valley e New York) also thanks to the great availability of investment funds and the proximity of high-level academic institutions.