Takeoff accelerator launched in Turin: over €21 million for aerospace and advanced hardware

May 2, 2022
An idea of CDP Venture Capital, Fondazione CRT, UniCredit with Plug and Play Tech Center and OGR Torino to increase the country's competitiveness.

At OGR Turin has been presented Takeoff, the acceleration programme dedicated to startups developing solutions and services in the aerospace and advanced hardware sectors, to increase the competitiveness of the whole country, starting from the academic and entrepreneurial excellence represented by Piedmont in these fields. Applications are open until 25 May on the initiative's website: Italian and international startups wishing to open a registered office in Italy may participate in the programme.

Takeoff will be based at OGR Tech, a hub dedicated to innovation and business acceleration, where 11 courses dedicated to supporting startups, scale-ups and SMEs in collaboration with national and international corporations and investors are already active, and can be followed by participating startups in hybrid mode, both physical and digital.

Takeoff introduction video

Takeoff is part of the CDP National Accelerator Network, a nationwide network designed to assist the growth of young companies specialising in high-potential markets. It is a joint initiative of promoters and investors CDP Venture Capital, through its Accelerator Fund, Fondazione CRT, Fondazione CRT, through its Sviluppo e Crescita operating arm, and UniCredit. . The project also involves Plug and Play Tech Center, as co-investor and operational manager of the acceleration programme, and OGR Turin, in the role of innovation & networking partner. Unione Industriale Torino is an institutional partner, the Leonardo Group a corporate partner, which will make available to the startups its distinctive industrial skills and technologies, gained in the Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing sectors, during all phases of the programme.

With an initial budget of more than €21 million (di cui 10 milioni allocati dal Fondo Acceleratori di CDP Venture Capital Sgr, 10 messi a disposizione complessivamente da Fondazione CRT e UniCredit e 1,35 di Plug and Play Tech Center) per gli investimenti in accelerazione e per i successivi step di crescita delle startup, Takeoff sosterrà l’implementazione e sviluppo  delle società che operano nell’aerospazio, nell’aeronautica, nell’air mobility e nell’advanced hardware, caratterizzato dall’applicazione dell’intelligenza artificiale e dei Big Data al manifatturiero. 

There are many possible project applications, including the technological development of satellites and related software applications, space launchers, solutions for advanced and sustainable air mobility, autonomous aircraft, data-driven logistics services, as well as sensors, batteries, semiconductors, computing technologies, robotics and data centres.

Each year for three years, the programme will select up to 10 startups in the seed and pre-seed phase who will have access to a 5-month acceleration programme structured by the project partners, who will guide them towards the definition of their business model, thus helping them to correctly identify their target market and the most suitable commercial strategy for achieving their objectives.

The best teams selected by the accelerator will also have access to further investments already allocated by the promoters of the initiative, in order to integrate into the industrial fabric of the area and to strengthen the ecosystem in which the excellence in the sectors on which Takeoff focuses operates. 

Francesca Bria, President of CDP Venture Capital Sgr, ha commentato: “La Rete Nazionale Acceleratori CDP conta oggi più di 10 hub in tutta Italia, ciascuno focalizzato su un’industria a elevato potenziale di mercato e tutti connessi fra loro per far crescere una nuova generazione di imprese innovative. L’industria aerospaziale rappresenta un’eccellenza nel nostro Paese, anche per quanto riguarda la qualità della ricerca e sviluppo in tecnologie strategiche come semiconduttori, batterie, droni e intelligenza artificiale applicata al manifatturiero. Accelerare nuove startup che operano in questo settore strategico vuol dire consolidare Torino come hub tecnologico europeo, investendo nelle tecnologie di frontiera e stimolando, con il trasferimento tecnologico, le aziende del territorio ad aprirsi all’innovazione per contribuire a generare occupazione di qualità, competitività e autonomia strategica”.

Massimo Lapucci, Secretary General of Fondazione CRT and CEO of OGRMassimo Lapucci, the General Secretary of Fondazione CRT and CEO of OGR, said: "With Takeoff, the country takes off: we are truly proud of the agreement reached with CDP Venture Capital for this programme, unique at the national level for the development and strengthening of Italian competitiveness in a strategic and transversal sector such as aerospace and advanced hardware. In the OGR Tech international innovation hub, together with the Plug and Play global accelerator and in synergy with industrial and financial partners of national and global importance, Fondazione CRT invests patient capital to attract the best companies capable of proposing ideas and implementing projects with high industrial and technological potential: a virtuous path that enhances the OGR ecosystem and consolidates the area as a European hub for aerospace, vertical mobility and advanced manufacturing, creating value for the country system".

Niccolò Ubertalli, Head of UniCredit Italy, ha aggiunto: “Takeoff si inserisce all’interno del processo di trasformazione economica del Paese che ci vede parte attiva insieme alle Fondazioni di origine bancaria. E’ frutto della relazione positiva di UniCredit con il gruppo Cassa Depositi e Prestiti e con gli altri enti e associazioni con cui interagiamo con l’obiettivo della crescita sostenibile, rappresentando un investimento concreto a sostegno di un territorio, fortemente orientato alla cultura dell’innovazione. Ci consente inoltre di rafforzare ulteriormente il rapporto di stretta collaborazione con la Fondazione CRT, valorizzando anche gli investimenti già compiuti in OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, come hub dedicato all’innovazione ed all’accelerazione di impresa in cui UniCredit ha un ruolo importante anche nella sua qualità di azionista. Confermiamo così il nostro ruolo di Banca fortemente attenta al territorio, alle sue dinamiche e alle sue eccellenze, peraltro in una regione come il Piemonte da sempre all’avanguardia nel campo della produzione innovativa”.

Andrea Zorzetto, Managing Partner of Plug and Play Italia, concluded: "In the process of digitalisation we know that Italy still has a lot of ground to make up at a global and European level, but now that this transformation is increasingly involving the industrial sectors linked to hardware we can leverage the strengths that have always characterised our country. In aerospace, more than in any other sector, we need to think big, and Plug and Play's task is to bring this ambitious mentality from Silicon Valley to Turin".

(Source: Takeoff Press Release)

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Luca Coppolella
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