Pnrr, 11 billion for ‘from research to business’ programs and PniCube dedicates the 2021 Innovation Award

The ‘From research to business’ component of mission 4 of the NRP dedicated to Education and Research is worth over 11 billion euros, which aims to ‘raise the growth potential of the economic system, strengthening research systems and their interaction with the world of businesses and institutions’. “An unrepeatable development opportunity that even the university incubator network is determined to seize” underlined the President of PniCube, Alessandro Grandi, announcing that precisely ‘From research to business for a sustainable future’ will be the theme of the 2021 edition of the Pni-National Award for Innovation, the most important and widespread business plan competition in Italy promoted by the Italian Association of University Incubators – PniCube.

“On the other hand, supporting the creation of companies with a high innovation content, spreading the corporate culture in the academic field and fostering the relationship between researchers, companies and finance, have always been the aims of the National Award for Innovation, and the startups born from research help the country to respond to the challenges of the present and build the future “said Grandi, announcing that it will be the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” to organize the Pni this year in Rome – on November 30 and December 3 – at a decisive moment for the country, thanks to the support of the Lazio Region, Lazio Innova, Unindustria, with the main partnership of the Iren Group and the main sponsorship of Intesa Sanpaolo, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Gilead Sciences.

“The choice to organize this year in Rome, at the University of ‘Tor Vergata’, the Pni – observed Rector Orazio Schillaci – it is further testimony of the desire to give substance to the value of research and the university for sustainable progress, in a crucial moment for the recovery of the country and of Europe “. Schillaci spoke of” an important opportunity also for discussion and planning on the issues of cooperation between universities and companies, an urgent topic for the country and among the priorities of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “.

A unique generative path at local and national level that of the Pni that the OECD (Report 2019) has recognized as best practice for its ability to network local networks, public bodies, investors,
businesses in the territories and the 51 universities participating in the circuit, with the aim of promoting innovation and academic entrepreneurship. Since the first edition, held in 2003, the Pni has selected and accompanied 899 startups to the market, about 50 a year. “A strategic contribution in innovation and sustainability for a homogeneous development of the regions and of the entire country that allows us to be able to say that thanks to Italian research for young talents we can build a future that is truly better for everyone”, underlined Professor Paola Paniccia, coordinator for the ‘Tor Vergata’ university of Pni 2021 and of Start Cup Lazio.

“We are very happy that this year for the first time our Region is hosting the Pni” said the councilor for Economic Development, Commerce and Handicraft, University, Research, Startup and Innovation of the Lazio Region, Paolo Orneli “An important initiative – added Ornel – that is fully part of our convinced strategy of support for startups, real ‘enzymes’ that accelerate the transition to a new, more dynamic, creative and sustainable economy”.

Orneli also recalled that “in the past years we have played ‘Lazio Startup!’, An ambitious and articulated program thanks to which innovative Lazio startups have grown from 49 in 2013 to over 1,600 today. And our commitment does not stop, thanks also to the new European Funds 2021-2027 on the way, with which we will implement new actions. An example: the birth of a new regional hub of innovation and startups which will be based in the center of Rome in the Termini station district, near the National Innovation Fund which is creating Cdp “.

The format of the National Innovation Award 2021 revolves around the pitch challenge among the best Italian hi-tech business projects born in the university environment, with a total prize pool of approximately 1.5 million euros, which can be accessed by the over 60 winners of the 15 regional Start Cups activated by the universities that adhere to PniCube. The Pni 2021 will take place in mixed mode over 2 days: Tuesday 30 November (from 10 to 17:30) will be online while Friday 3 December (from 09:30 to 13:30) will be in presence in the university of ‘Tor Vergata’ and also broadcast in streaming.

Both days are open to the public through the platform and the over 60 finalists from
from all over Italy 4 sectoral prizes of 25,000 euros each will compete: Iren Cleantech & Energy, Ict Industrial and Life Sciences-MedTech. The title of absolute winner of the Pni 2021 will guarantee the academic institution of origin the Pni Champions Cup. New this year, the establishment of two Special Awards promoted by the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ for the Best innovative social startup, in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, and for the Best innovative young startup, in collaboration with Unindustria Young Entrepreneurs Group. The Liftt Innovation Contest Award, the Mito Technology “PoC of the Year by Progress Tech Transfer” Award and the Unicredit Start Lab Award will also be awarded.

Today the PniCube, the Italian association of university incubators and regional business plan competitions, called StartCup it counts 51 associates between universities and academic incubators and 15 active StartCups throughout the country in 16 regions.


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