The historic collaboration agreements between the Compagnia di San Paolo and five Universities have been renewed for the three-year period 2022 - 2024: €15 million for the University of Turin, €10.5 million for the Turin Polytechnic, €3.3 million for the University of Eastern Piedmont, €4.5 million for the University of Naples Federico II and €2.4 million for the University of Genoa. The agreements will give the universities the opportunity to access competitive European and national resources, such as Next Generation EU, Horizon Europe and the Pnrr calls, as well as initiatives defined and managed with the Foundation and co-designed for digital, ecological and social transition.
The aim is to support universities in innovating their teaching and matching the skills acquired during studies with the needs of the labour market, to improve the evaluation of universities' performance in order to achieve ministerial awards, and to promote strategies for managing, protecting and exploiting the intellectual property generated by academic research and development.
Indeed, the data concerning the market success of academic research results in Europe are not encouraging. For example, in terms of the birth and growth of successful start-ups, the United States currently boasts four times as many "unicorns", i.e. start-ups with a valuation of over $1 billion, as Europe. The universities and the Compagnia di San Paolo have decided to focus on using the Proof of Concept method to enhance the development of academic know-how in order to create entrepreneurial development paths for the best PoCs and build a technology transfer process aimed at aligning research results with the market.
These actions will contribute, in the vision of the Compagnia, to make Turin and the rest of the Region more and more central in the innovation ecosystem worldwide as it is already happening thanks to the programmes of Techstars, the Startup Genomeguide, the venture builder Vento or the incubator ESA BIC Turin.
Francesco Profumo, Chairman of the Compagnia di San Paolo, commented: "For our Foundation, supporting the development of the university system represents a consolidated commitment. Education is an important element of economic competitiveness, especially if it contributes to the definition of skills systems that represent one of the crucial resources of contemporary urban economies".