Lazio Innova Study Visit: Scaling Up Best Practices in the fields of Open Innovation, Venture Capital and Aerospace

On the 20th of October 2020, the Lazio Innova virtual Study Visit was held during which 3 best practices (BPs) on Scaling-Up which are operating in the fields of Open Innovation, Venture Capital and Aerospace were presented to the project partnership as well as the network of European and regional stakeholders.

The meeting was opened by the President of Lazio Innova, Nicola Tasco, and by the Director of Lazio Innova Innovation Hub Network, Luigi Campitelli. Over seventy participants were actively involved in the event, which was coordinated by Ilaria Corsi, Head of European Projects and Enterprise Europe Network Office. 

The first BP, Open Innovation Challenge, was illustrated by Laura Santarelli, Innovation Manager of Lazio Innova, Eugenia Murabito, Data Analyst of Telsy and Salvatore Carso, Head of PMO & Strategic Initiatives of Keyless. Ms. Laura Santarelli described the 5 different steps that make up the BP:  

1. Identification and definition of Innovation needs; 

2. Definition and launch of the Open Innovation Challenge;

3. Selection of the best solutions;

4. Mentorship Program aiming at improving the proposed solutions;

5. Innovation Day and Lazio Innova Prize Award.

Ms. Santarelli also listed the results reached so far: 18 Innovation Challenges have been launched, 15 large and medium sized corporates have been engaged, 100 startups and innovators have been involved and more than 250 applications have been received.

Telsy is a company founded in 1971 operating in the field of cybersecurity.  Ms. Eugenia Murabito illustrated the company as they participated in Lazio Innova’s Innovation Challenge called “Innovative authentication for mobile devices”. 

One of the selected teams was the cybersecurity company called Keyless. Mr. Salvatore Carso analysed the company’s start-up structure and goals as well as described the innovative solutions they elaborated for the Open Innovation Challenge launched by Telsy. 


The second BP, Fare Venture, was presented by Lorenzo De Fabio, VC Manager of Lazio Innova, Niccolò Sanarico, Investment Manager of Primomiglio SGR and Chiara Russo, CEO & Co-Founder of Codemotion.  Fare Venture aims at developing private VC operator market in Lazio Region. The beneficiaries are VC Funds and Startups&Scaleups with an operational base in Lazio. 

One of the 4 selected Funds is Primomiglio SGR. Mr. Niccolo Sanarico illustrated the goals and the portfolio of the Fund concentrating on the profile of the 4 companies supported by Fare Venture.  One of the 4 start-ups that received investments through Primomiglio and Fare Venture is Codemotion, an omnichannel community platform supporting developer’s professional growth. Chiara Russo Ceo& Co-Founder, illustrated the goals and the structure of the company along with the impact that Fare Venture’s investment had on the growth of the start-up. 

The third BP, ESA BIC Lazio, was presented by Stefan Gustafsson, who is responsible for managing the ESA BIC Network, Roberto Giuliani, ESA BIC Lazio Incubator Manager and Thomas Moranduzzo, Vice-President and Co-Founder of Colombosky.  Roberto Giuliani from Lazio Innova explained that ESA BIC Lazio was born within the Technology Transfer Program (TTP) of the European Space Agency (ESA), to facilitate the use of space-derived technologies in other sectors of activity. The Program selects innovative ideas through public calls that are repeated 4 times a year. Each selected project is entitled to a maximum of €50.000,00 for the costs related to the prototyping phase, development of the new product/service and the protection of intellectual property. The winners are incubated for a maximum of two years at the Spazio Attivo Roma Tecnopolo. Mr Gustaffson illustrated the structure and the functioning mechanisms of ESA Bic Network, the frame within which ESA Bic Lazio operates.

Thomas Moranduzzo, Vice-President and Co-Founder of Colombosky, a start-up active in the sector of aquaculture founded in 2017, explained that the company was selected by the Technology Transfer Program in the same year that they joined the BP. Mr. Moranduzzo illustrated the goals and the structure of the start-up and the main benefits in terms of growth obtained from the supporting services of TTP focusing in particular on the 2 years of incubation period. 


After each BP were presented, a round of Q&A was allotted for participants to interact with the speakers and the beneficiary companies of the BPs. At the end of the study visit, a quick discussion panel also took place wherein some questions were further discussed. Overall, the Italian study visit provided additional information which partners and stakeholders of the project found useful in their evaluation of which BP to transfer into their regional setting.