Innovation to promote Italy's competitiveness
Intesa Sanpaolo’s innovation objectives are delivered through a dedicated company – the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center – that explores and learns new business models and acts as a driving force for Italy’s New Economy, by adopting the principles of the circular and data-driven economies.
In terms of innovation, Italy shows a wide gap compared with other European countries and ranks at the bottom among European peers in the Assirm Innovation Index that measures a country’s ability to promote and generate innovation. The ratio of R&D investment to GDP is approximately 1.4% and venture capital investments are still low compared with other European countries (approximately US $250 million invested in the third quarter of 2019, out of US $25.8 billion at the European level). Nevertheless, innovation in Italy can still find fertile ground: the range of players in the innovation ecosystem is wide and varied. It is therefore crucial to identify opportunities to ensure the support and development of innovation, as well as policies that promote innovation in Italy.
Intesa Sanpaolo has taken up the challenge of innovation in Italy and intends to play a primary role in the development of the New Economy. This is refl ected in the Group’s leading position in the market of innovative companies:
a. The Group’s share in the startup market is around 24%, actively engaging with some 2,500 startups out of a total 10,600 (source: Min. Econ. Dev.); and
b. The Group’s market share among innovative SMEs is around 50%, with some 600 out of a total of over 1,200 (source: Min. Econ. Dev.).
Initiatives by the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, the company dedicated to the continuous search for innovation on behalf of clients, are concentrated in four key areas:
- Analysis of trends, megatrends and frontier innovation: research activities for highly innovative and complex solutions through the creation of artifi cial intelligence and neuroscience labs in partnership with top research centres;
- Startup development and support: evaluation and development of the growth potential of startups, development of scoring and fi nancing products for innovative companies, coaching for internationalization, networking and partnerships with the main players in the ecosystem (investors, accelerators and consultants);
- Open innovation: advising in the development of programmes for continuous innovation and the transformation of companies, services for matching companies and startups, and initiatives dedicated to technology scouting to support companies transitioning to the New Economy;
- Spreading of an innovation culture and development of innovation networks: initiatives aimed at strengthening the Group’s position as a stakeholder that promotes innovation by its customers and the matching of supply and demand, taking advantage of the Group’s widespread presence and its partnerships with players in a variety of ecosystems.
The programme’s figures to date:
1. Analysis of trends, megatrends and frontier innovation:
- Innovation reports on the main technological trends and product sectors;
- €3 million in 2019 to support R&D in the fi eld of artifi cial intelligence by leading research centers;
- Six active research projects and fi ve concluded in 2019 in the fi eld of artifi cial intelligence, that led to signifi cant improvements in decision-making processes and risk assessment/
- Creation of humanoid robotics applications involving the use of Pepper-type robots for the promotion of Banca dei Territori products (more than 40 events created, including Panini, Lucca Comics 2019, XME Dindi), the NAO robot as a therapeutic aid in rehabilitation contexts (in collaboration with the University of Turin) and a robot for human interaction;
- Two patents fi led (in the fi elds of cybersecurity and investment strategy risk analysis), one currently being submitted (early warning – analysis on the solvency of corporate customers); and
- Six active projects (and six completed in 2019) in neuroscience, pertaining to various areas of investigation including art, training, human resources management, customer experience and cognitive ergonomics.
2. Development and promotion of startups:
- Approximately 1,300 start-ups analysed in 2019, of which more than 120 were supported through six accelerator programmes and presented to 850 investors and ecosystem players;
- Techstars accelerator programme to support ecosystem development and open innovation by Italian companies, attracting international startups; and
- Supporting access to capital markets: _100 million for direct investments through Neva Finventures and the crowdfunding equity platform BackToWork24 (with investments from Neva).
3. Open innovation:
- Approximately 400 companies were analysed in 2019, of which around 90 were selected to take part in transformation programmes; and
- 30 business development contracts signed to support the growth of startup businesses (e.g. Yobs, Enerpaper).
4. Spreading innovation culture and development of innovation networks:
- Six internationalization programmes carried out in the main foreign innovation ecosystems;
- 26 impact events held both nationally and internationally to promote the dissemination of the knowledge and culture of innovation and to facilitate the matching of companies and startups; and
- Attracting international players to Italy in order to develop an innovation ecosystem through new agreements and major partnerships.
Last updated 21 February 2020 at 16:25:32