Innovation and cybersecurity

Support to innovation and startups

Support for companies and start-ups embraces the development of their innovation processes, also through the promotion and support to business transformation and multidisciplinary research projects, key strategic levers for competitiveness in a constantly evolving market.


Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center is the Group's company dedicated to frontier innovation across five main areas: research, startups, ecosystems, open innovation, and spreading of the culture of innovation. As the Group’s competence centre for the circular economy (CE), it supports SMEs/Corporates in their path towards sustainability, contributing to make the Intesa Sanpaolo Group the driving force of a more aware, inclusive and sustainable economy.

Neva SGR is the venture capital of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, wholly owned by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. Through Neva SGR, Intesa Sanpaolo can provide venture capital to high-tech companies (in areas such as Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, AI, 5G, and Blockchain), acting as a financial vehicle for the hi-tech sector.


>800 innovation projects


€100 m investments by Neva SGR in startups


405 innovation projects launched
(204 in 2023)


>€85 m invested by Neva SGR in start-ups
>€31 m in 2023


In collaboration with research centers and universities, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center carries out applied research projects across multiple multidisciplinary areas: Agritech, Low Carbon Materials & Decarbonization, Energy Transition, Climate & Biodiversity, Health & Safety, Marketing & Communication, HR-Education & Inclusion, ART, Anti-Financial Crime & Fraud Detection, Finance, Insurance & Wealth Management.



65 applied research projects
activated since the start of research operations


16 projects ongoing in neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and robotics
of which 12 launched in 2023


9 scientific publications
on topics including environmental sanitization, interaction between humanoid robots and humans, and the use of robots to support autistic children.


27 seminars and workshops on frontier topics

Among the ongoing research projects:

 - one in the Climate & Biodiversity field, focusing on models for assessing consumer awareness of Climate Change and biodiversity-related aspects;

 - two in the Health & Safety and Wellbeing field. One is dedicated to the use of the humanoid robot Pepper for maintaining cognitive abilities and social skills in patients with initial cognitive decline. The other focuses on the development of models for the use of robots in assistive and social contexts.


Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center has distinctive competence in supporting the growth of startups; activities carried out through paths managed directly or in partnership, within the context of actions on innovation ecosystems or specific projects or for third-party clients. Within the scope of supporting startups, in 2023 the second edition of two important initiatives was realized. 

Up2Stars: promoted by Banca dei Territori, it is aimed at 40 startups across 4 vertical pillars: Watertech; Renewable energy and energy efficiency; AI for business transformation; IoT, infrastructure, and mobility. In 2023, it received 200 applications, and the acceleration of 10 startups is currently underway in the context of the second pillar.

In Action ESG Climate: promoted by the Insurance Division, it aims to promote new solutions to combat climate change and support the green transition through technological innovation and the development of new business models.


420 startups analyzed


56 startups accelerated of which 40 with "Up2Stars" Program


7 projects awarded for a total amount of €1.1 m with the 2022 and 2023 editions of "In Action ESG Climate"


24 innovative startups innovative brought by Intesa Sanpaolo to the  “3 Elite Lounge1

Ecosystems of innovation

Through the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, the Group oversees and develops the national and international innovation network and the fastest-growing ecosystems (Israel, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, New York) for technological scouting and support for the Bank's business division clients.

At the national level, initiatives for the growth of startups and the development of innovation ecosystems are underway in six cities (Turin, Florence, Naples, Venice, Ancona and Taranto).

Initiatives for the growth of startups and the development of innovation ecosystems

Initiatives in 6 cities

Initiatives in 6 cities
57 startups accelerated with 550 new hires since the first program launched in 2019
A new acceleration program on trend setting-advanced technologies, which follows previous programs on smart mobility and smart cities,

as part of a renewed partnership with Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Sviluppo e Crescita, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Torino and Techstars to strengthen the strategic positioning of the city as an internationally attractive innovation hub.

12 startups accelerated since launch in 2021 with 100 new hires
through the three-year “Italian Lifestyle Accelerator Program”
15 startups accelerated from launch in 2022
with the three-year acceleration program dedicated to the Bioeconomy “Terra Next”

in collaboration with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Cariplo Factory, local corporate and scientific partners and with the patronage of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security

7 startups accelerated to completion of first class with 6 new hires
with the three-year “Argo” program (Tourism and traveltech)

developed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, LVenture and with the collaboration of the Ministry of Tourism

Three-year acceleration program «Next Age» (Silver Economy)
for which the third class call was launched in January 2024, promoted by CDP and managed by AC75 Startup Accelerator
Faros Acceleration Program (Blue Economy)
the second class will end in February 2024 - promoted by CDP and managed by A|cube.

Open innovation

Open innovation is a strategic and cultural approach whereby companies, in order to create more value and compete better in the market, choose to rely not only on internal ideas and resources but also on ideas, solutions, tools, and technological expertise that come from outside, particularly from startups, universities, research institutes, suppliers, inventors, programmers, and consultants. 

The Group supports this approach by offering companies non-financial services and advisory through Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, in synergy with the Banca dei Territori and IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Divisions, to facilitate the matchmaking between demand and supply of innovation and promote the begin of paths towards transition to the circular economy paradigm. 
43 companies involved (2022-2023), of which 6 are in transformative projects in the circular economy area.

The participation of the Intesa Sanpaolo Vita Insurance Group, as an industrial partner, in an open innovation program dedicated to the health sector is also relevant. The program aims to involve international startups and key players in the healthcare industry (such as research institutes and healthcare facilities) to identify innovative solutions and prototypes to integrate into the core business of the insurance group. Participation in this program has, for example, allowed the identification of solutions in robotics, phytotherapy with wearable devices, and new digital platforms for promoting well-being, to be integrated into the insurance offerings.

Spreading the culture of innovation

Dissemination of knowledge and culture of innovation both through the new Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center website and through seminars and positioning and match making events to match innovation supply and demand.


36 positioning and match-making events  
for the meeting between innovation demand and supply, with 3,000 participants


9 reports published on innovative industrial technologies that can benefit businesses and the Group2.


Financial solutions for innovative businesses

The innovative transformation paths of companies also require financial support and Intesa Sanpaolo is active on this front both through its own financing solutions, such as NOVA+, and through agreements at European and national level to allow companies to access public benefits.

Financial solutions for innovative businesses

Financial solutions for innovative businesses
Medium-long term financing dedicated to supporting companies that invest in research and innovation
which involves the technical evaluation of the research project carried out by a structure of Bank engineers specialized in the technological sector.

If specific requirements are met, companies that complete projects financed with Nova+ can have a benefit on the rate, following a certification of the end of the project being financed by the Bank. The financing is divided into thematic lines: Digital & Industry 5.0, Green, Space & Security, Health, Mobility, Agritech.

InvestEU Program
Agreement with the European Investment Fund for the granting of guarantees to companies under the InvestEu programme
The guarantees are aimed at supporting access to credit for SMEs and Small Midcaps with: medium/long term financing focused on sustainability, thanks to a credit limit of 100 million and innovation financing thanks to a credit limit of a further 200 million.

In 2023, 68 investment projects were supported for over 139 million in loans granted. The program's resources are made available to companies until October 2026 (unless extended or exhausted early).



Sustainable Growth Fund
Intesa Sanpaolo is the bank concessionaire of public subsidies for research and innovation
in particular within the Sustainable Growth Fund managed by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy.

In this context, it approved 101 projects for approximately 985 million euro of eligible investments in favor of 223 beneficiaries. Overall, the projects approved on the Sustainable Growth Fund from 2014 to 2023 were 541 for a total of approximately 3.4 billion euro of eligible investments in favor of 990 beneficiaries.

1 International program to accompany the most ambitious companies in their development phases.
2 E.g. industry trend reports, reports on watertech and sustainable cities, publications on the silver economy, bioplastics and on the metaverse and social cognition.