For a Human-Centered AI

10 million euros for the “Innovare in Rete” programme

October 8, 2018

Startup and Innovation: Banca Etica selects the best projects that will be supported with high-quality loans and consultancy

[PRESS RELEASE] Rome, July 12, 2018 – Banca Etica, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Giacomo Brodolini Foundation and Entopan, with the operational coordination of Oltre Open Innovation Hub are looking for innovation projects capable of generating significant social and environmental impact. The best ideas will turn into reality thanks to the support of top-level advice and loans of up to 700 thousand euros.

The call “Innovare in rete” (Innovating on the network), for which Banca Etica provides a ceiling of 10 million euros, starts today.

The call is open to:

  • Innovative start-ups and university spin-offs;
  • Innovative start-ups in the process of being launched, with priority for those involving women and young people under 35;
  •  Small and medium-sized enterprises, including cooperatives and social enterprises;
  •  Third-sector associations, foundations and other entities.

Projects will be accepted that are capable of responding to concrete social and environmental innovation and community empowerment needs in the following areas: digital manufacturing, ICT, agrifood, welfare; health, IOT, robotics, mechatronics, smart mobility, smart building, smart energy, smart retail, quality of life, energy, open and big data, smart tourism, creativity and culture.

The selected projects will obtain a loan of between 100 thousand and 700 thousand euros to be repaid over 10 years with a pre-amortization period of one year that will give the initiatives the time necessary to become sustainable, thanks also to the technical assistance of the project partners. The loan granted by Banca Etica will benefit from the Guarantee of the Fund for SMEs from Medio Credito Centrale.
The projects will receive support with technical assistance and incubation/ acceleration/integration/consultancy services provided by the expert consulting ecosystem made up of Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Giacomo Brodolini Foundation and Entopan.

The know-how of Fondazione Bruno Kessler (chaired by Francesco Profumo, and considered among the top research centers in applied science and technology in Europe and globally), of Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (established provider of national and international open innovation, engaged in the exchange of knowledge between the academic community, policy makers, institutions, civil society and private sector) and Entopan (a company providing strategic and integrated advice for innovation) will be made available to candidates and recipients to guarantee high quality and efficiency standards.

We have decided to invest in those who have innovative ideas to create a positive social and environmental impact. We provide a unique mix of funding and support services towards the full development and long-term sustainability of these projects. Creditworthiness will be assessed according to the parameters set up by Banca Etica to assess the social and environmental repercussions alongside the economic ones of the activities to be financed.”- says Alessandro Messina, General Manager of Banca Etica.

“Start-ups, Digital Transformation and Social Innovation are trending topics, but with so much background noise it can be difficult to identify really good projects.” – says Andrea Simoni, Secretary-General of Fondazione Bruno Kessler. – “The rate of startups that fail before having achieved real results or that drag themselves without ever really taking off is very high. And also the processes of Open Innovation and Digital Transformation of existing companies and organizations have high complexity issues. With this call, we decided to aim at the quality and the real sustainability of the best projects. We aim to identify a few truly innovative and feasible ideas that can quickly become self-sustainable. Banca Etica is one of the first banks to activate such a complex, extended, integrated and qualified project in the context of Open Innovation strategies and policies, within the framework of Industry 4.0 and of Digital Transformation. For the quality of the skills and the structure of the consulting network and innovation spaces made available, this initiative is among the most significant in the national scene. The support of the advisory system will speed up and make the start-up launching process more effective.”

For the projects approved, Banca Etica will also consider the activation of further forms of equity financing, with respect to which the bank and the consulting ecosystem will take on the role of facilitators for potential investors.

The “Innovare in rete” program was conceived and designed by Francesco Cicione, CEO of Entopan.

To participate in the call
Interested parties can find information at the following link:
Applications should be submitted at by 12 noon on October 30, 2018.
For any concerns or questions, you may write an email to , with the following subject: “Info Innovare in Rete”.

The contact person for FBK is Vittorio Guarnieri, Research Liaison Officer – Knowledge Transfer Area.

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