Grant instrument connecting R&D results with industrialization and economic exploitation, aimed at creating economic value for the regional system.
In Piedmont the gap between R&D results and production /commercialization could push the companies to leave the Region and reach company friendly contexts. Its aim is favor the transition from R&D into production and access to market, by supporting all the crucial phases for the development of new products/processes/technologies and by providing companies with instruments for the production phases, including highly qualified staff, through the connection with high education institutions.
This instrument is funded under the Regional Operational Programme ERDF 14-20 combined with ESF and is managed by Piedmont Region with the technical support of Finpiemonte. It also links to other regional instruments, upstream (supporting strictly R&D) and downstream (on productive investments) and it works in synergy with other national instruments, such as the “Sustainable Growth Fund” of the Ministry of Economic Development.
IR2 Funded projects should:
• be aimed at the industrialisation of R&D activities partially achieved (patents, licenses, publications) to complete the whole innovation chain
• be relevant in terms of size (min 5M €) and for recipient companies and for the region
• develop late stage activities, focusing on pre-industrialization and pre-commercialization phases close to economic returns, in order to exploit the developed innovations into new productions/processes
• be submitted by a single company or by a partnership among several industry intensive players.
Currently, this grant funded 11 projects for a total of 22 million Euros of public resources from ROP ERDF 2014-2020. On average, each company granted received 1.2 million Euros.
Evidence of success
IR2 is the missing link between the research phase and the industrial production phase able to generate economic returns.
It supported 11 projects for a total public investment of 22 M€, which generated a total investment (public+private) of 75.8 M€: every euro granted generated 3,34 euro investment.
It works in synergy with the ESF funds: recipient companies are committed to employ a number of people, to be trained on dedicated topics (the expected number of people to be employed is around 80
Companies had some difficulties to find agreements with education institutions
Not always companies were able to propose projects including production/commercialization phase
Some projects were proposed by subjects not structured for the industrialization phase
5 M€ threshold was too selective
Potential for learning or transfer
IR2 is an example of regional instrument trying to face one of the main challenges for European regions bridging the so-called “valley of death”, from R&D results to market.
IR2’s proposes a way to try to face the need of mitigating the gap between the know-how and the commercialization phases, in line with the recommendation of the EU which heavily emphasized the importance of supporting the whole value chain that integrates R&I, especially supporting phases closer to market.
In addition, IR2 shows to be able to create added value by tripling the total granted (22 M€ granted generated 75.8 M€ investment).
Finally, IR2 is an example of a strong cross-integration of Structural Funds (ERDF and ESF) and of instruments at national and regional level, that leads to achieve wider impact and economies of scale.
This integration between Structural Funds was so successful that the Region adopted the same model for all the R&D aids.