Young Innovators Business Forum: the appeal of innovators for the relaunch of Italy


Putting young talents at the centre, supporting the business sector, promoting incentives for research and development, strengthening investments in startups and speeding up the ecological and digital transition processes for a more competitive Italy in Europe and in the world in the name of sustainability and made in Italy. This and much more took place during the third edition of the Young Innovators Business Forum, within the prestigious setting of the Testori Auditorium, promoted byANGI – National Association of Young Innovators in collaboration with the offices of the European Parliament in Italy and in the presence of the elite of the business world, institutions and digital opinion leaders.

To open the works the president of ANGI, Gabriele Ferrieri which he highlighted “the importance of relaunching that public and private partnership that is fundamental for the development of the Italian and European economy in the name of innovation, focusing on young talents and startups, on incentives and research to support the competitiveness of the country and the sector economic and industrial".

Following is the important message from Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin who commented as follows: “If Italy is a global leader in many sectors, we owe it to our ability to invent, to innovate, to create the new. This quality comes from our culture, from the will of scholars and businessmen. Italy is a country rich in inventiveness and poor in raw materials. This has always led us to seek original solutions, to assert our talents where others, however, had resources. Doing more with less, using what others discard, taking new paths that have never been taken before: it is a challenge, but this is one of the drivers of Italian genius. Where others slow down, we are able to accelerate. We see the fruits today. Italy is a G7 country, our economy appears healthier than others, it is among the greenest in the world and we export sustainable solutions. The other theme is the ecological transition, which is the twin of the digital transition. One without the other will not be able to resist, just as both go through challenges that are crucial for our future. This is why the Italy of today and tomorrow greets events such as the Young Innovators Business Forum with great favor. We need young people and innovators, so good job to all of you."

Next came the undersecretary to the presidency of the council, Alessandro Morelli which highlighted how “Technologies must be considered as a large mosaic to obtain the best possible result. There are many pieces; let's start from artificial intelligence, let's think about the cloud, 5G, the super computer... In Italy, thanks to the government's investments, thanks to the investments that are being produced regarding this national strategy of new technologies, we can smile at a near future that sees a path now traced. On the topic of super computers, Italy is among the first countries in the world to have one so powerful and the case is that of Bologna. As regards the arrival of data, the new cable duct is being inaugurated in Genoa these days, which is precisely necessary to transport data from half the world to Europe through the Genoa canal. Then there are important investments linked to the cloud and artificial intelligence: in this case I am referring to the government's announcement of its intention to invest around six billion euros precisely on this issue, on which the public administration must not lag behind, on the contrary , must be the locomotive of an entire supply chain to be formed that will follow. The task of young innovators is precisely this: to be protagonists also in the training of people".

Surrounded by the interventions of the technicians of the CNR, ENEA, the presidency of the council and the councilors Guido Guidesi of the Lombardy Region and Emmanuel Conte of the Municipality of Milan together with the main trade associations (including the intervention of Riccardo Di Stefano , national president of Youth Confindustria) and of the local universities. To pin down what to expect for the future, the speeches of the founder of Eataly Oscar Farinetti, the director of Wired, Federico Ferrazza and Giovanni Lionetti CEO of Swag.

On the ecological transition and sustainability front, A2A's intervention is of particular importance, through the testimony of Patrick Oungre, group head of innovation, CVC and Digital Hub A2A. “To confirm A2A's commitment to supporting the innovation ecosystem, we have recently launched two important initiatives. We are sponsors of the “360 Life II” fund, in partnership with 360 Capital, which aims to raise 200 million euros for investments in early-stage startups. The project involves the participation of institutional and industrial investors and has the ambition of becoming the largest national climate-tech sector fund and among the main in Europe in terms of endowment and relevance. '360 Life II' will identify pioneering solutions and technologies to promote the energy transition and the circular economy, the two strategic pillars of the Group's new 2024-2035 industrial plan. Furthermore, we have launched in parallel the corporate venture building program "Life Ventures", which has the aim of creating and bringing to the market new entrepreneurial realities capable of making a contribution to the decarbonisation process."

On the agritech front, it follows Patrick Gerlich, CEO Bayer Crop Science Italia, who stated in his speech: “Innovation drives us to constantly seek new solutions to support farmers to guarantee them greater productivity and at the same time respond to the needs of environmental sustainability, optimizing the use of available resources. This occurs through a multifactorial approach that integrates the use of innovative agrochemicals, digital technologies that combine big data with artificial intelligence and genetic solutions that offer seed varieties that are increasingly resistant to adversity. Bayer is constantly committed to increasingly strengthening synergies with all players in the supply chain, working closely with agricultural entrepreneurs and contributing to cutting-edge agriculture that supports Italian excellence". Gerlich in this context underlines the importance of regenerative agriculture which: “represents the new frontier that Bayer is working on. A production model that maintains high production and environmental impact standards by optimizing the use of available resources and, for example, regenerating the soil at the end of the biological cycle of crops.”

The central moment of the event was the presentation to the Milanese ecosystem of the "Manifesto for a competitive Italy under the banner of Open Innovation" which represents an important step towards a future in which Italy can be a protagonist of innovation on a global level. To speak on the topic undersecretary of the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy, Massimo Bitonci, who commented as follows “The manifesto is the mission of our ministry which, with the new name, aims to create innovation and new businesses. We have a precise idea about the various innovative sectors, the EU must indicate the objectives, leaving the member states free to achieve them independently, each according to their own national excellence. What is important is the technological neutrality according to which, once the objectives and parameters have been set, our excellences are able to freely undertake their own path". Together with the undersecretary, the voices of the startup world on the theme of the Manifesto were important, which saw the presence and intervention of: Federica Pasini, CEO and co-founder of Hacking Talents; Manila Di Giovanni, CEO and founder of D-World; Edoardo Di Pietro, innovation strategist, first graduate in the Metaverse, co-founder of KIIAI; Mirko Puliafito, CEO of Digitiamo; Giusi Fiorentino, CEO Artificial Intelligence Monitoring; Alessandro Fadini, CEO of Virevo; Lorenzo Feruglio, CEO of AIKO.

“Completion of the digital single market, harmonization of regulation between the twenty-seven Member States and a partnership on artificial intelligence between the EU and American tech companies around common values”. These are the priorities identified by Flavio Arzarello, Meta's head of economic and regulatory affairs for Italy. According to Meta “Europe has the possibility of making up for the accumulated delay if in the next 5 years it arrives at a harmonized regulatory framework that accompanies and does not hinder innovation.” In this direction, Arzarello proposed accompanying each new legislative proposal with an "impact assessment on competitiveness through a rigorous economic analysis."

In conclusion, of particular relevance is the III report of the Observatory on innovation and digital promoted by ANGI Ricerche in collaboration with Lab21.01 and edited by Roberto Baldassari, director of the Angi scientific committee. “The data collected and analyzed show the trend of innovation in Italy, the digital and ecological transition, the relationship with megatrends, the search for work and what the characteristics are for being an innovative company” – explains Prof. Roberto Baldassari, general director of the LAB21.01 opinion polling institute and director of the ANGI scientific committee. Young Italians put the first place “Request for experience” (69,7%) followed by “Companies' low propensity to hire” (59,3%;) and the “Difficulty for a graduate who is often considered too qualified”. Today we found a very strong drop in this figure (-8,8% or 30,1%) thus rewarding the most qualified. But what makes an innovative company for young Italians? Last year's podium is confirmed with the same order which sees in first place "investments in cutting-edge tools, machinery and technologies", to the second “a management team and in third place the knowledge of digital tools”. Among the Megatrends of new technologies for the future, we still find Artificial Intelligence in first place with (27,3% - +6,7 compared to 2023), followed by Blockchain (12,3%), Hyperautomation (11,2 .9,7%) and from Augmented Reality with (1%) and Nano technologies at the rear which however grow by (+9,6% or XNUMX%).

The topic of Cybersecurity always remains a topic of high interest even for very young people, as can also be seen from the results obtained. 30,8% of those interviewed stated that it should be introduced as a school subject from primary school.