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Italy4Innovation: Innovation and Technology Transfer Ecosystems, Sharing of Italian and British Experiences



Italy4Innovation: Innovation and Technology Transfer Ecosystems, Sharing of Italian and British Experiences

The Embassy of Italy in London dedicated the two-day Italy4Innovation event on 6-7 November to technological transfer, the instruments and methodologies used to convert the results of scientific and technological research into marketable products, services and solutions.

The event was organised in collaboration with Imperial College London and Kilburn & Strode, a law firm specialising in patents and intellectual property. It consisted of a day of talks at the embassy and a workday for researchers, start-ups and investors in the field, hosted by the two co-sponsors.

In his opening address, the ambassador, Raffaele Trombetta, highlighted the important role played by technology transfer in economic growth and employment and the value of international cooperation in creating efficient systems to facilitate the conversion of ideas and experiments into new products and services. He also noted Italy’s great academic tradition, especially in the field of science and technology, as well as the high number of technology-transfer centres affiliated with its universities and the high added value of scientific research and patents filed in Italy.

Professor Marco Cantamessa of the Turin Polytechnic said that Italy produces extremely high-quality research and has a vibrant technology-transfer sector, with activity distributed around the entire country. He explained that Italian researchers are of extremely high calibre and that the country’s scientific system is remarkably productive, in spite of significantly lower costs than in other countries. He said that Italy is a global leader in the development and production of products in many high-tech sectors, such as robotics and biotech, that make the country highly attractive to foreign investors.

This was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Paolo Taticchi of Imperial College, in which the panelists discussed the prevalent technology-transfer models used in Italy and the UK, shared their experiences and examined critical issues in the sector, including contamination among the various actors in the field. They concluded that the process of technology transfer is intrinsically linked to the ecosystem in which it operates and that universities can play a crucial enabling role, provided that they reinvent themselves to keep pace with the rapidly transforming context and become extended, heterogeneous communities.