Research: 2.5 million fund established to "bring” new technologies to industry


ENEA launches the new "Proof of Concept" program which foresees the allocation of 2.5 million euros over three years to "bring" the results of the Agency's research to industrial use. The fund will provide the Agency's researchers with the financial resources to build industrial prototypes, increasing the level of maturity of the technologies developed in the laboratory. The call for projects to be funded, which will subsequently be selected by a panel of external experts, has already started this month.

"In order to support the competitiveness of the Country, ENEA  has drawn the new three-year plan 2018-2020, which provides an ambitious strategy for strengthening the activities aimed at transferring the knowledge developed in the laboratories", Marco Casagni of the ENEA Industry and Business Associations Unit, explained. "The ENEA Proof of Concept - Casagni went on - is a self-financing program with the purpose of bridging the existing gap, the so-called valley of death,  which defines the distance between applied research and its industrial development.

It’s a novelty on the national and international scene and  it’s only the first of a series of instruments the Agency will deploy to achieve the objectives contained in  the new three-year plan.

In fact, the Program will be combined with long-term industrial partnerships and a series of agreements with the world of venture capital ".

In detail, ENEA researchers will have the opportunity to build and improve their prototypes, perform the necessary tests to verify commercial feasibility, reduce risks for potential investors or simply overcome a specific gap which underpins their attractiveness to companies. All these actions will be carried out in collaboration with an industrial partner -to be selected by the Agency- which will  contribute to the planned activities.

ENEA will hold the intellectual property rights  of the innovations resulting from the "Proof of Concept" program, while the partner company will be able to enjoy a pre-emption right or a fixed-duration  option in order to obtain an exclusive license on the results , in consideration of the contribution provided.

"The industrial structure of the Country is based on small-sized businesses operating in mostly mature sectors and investing relatively less in research and development than their European counterparts. This is a characteristic which is in itself one of the main impediments to technology transfer; this is why we must help the competitiveness of Italian SMEs by making our innovations immediately available ", Casagni concluded.



For more information please contact:

ENEA Industry and Business Associations Unit -