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A "White Paper" to promote innovation in Italy

A new boost given to digital innovation and Made in Italy

A "White Paper" to promote innovation in Italy

Claudia Astarita


Digital Magics, the famous Italian startups incubator, has recently presented the so called White Paper to identify new strategies to promote and spread innovation in the country.

It essentially stands as a proposal to the Italian government, articulated in several points. Among them, worth to be mentioned are the tax breaks for new startups, subsidies to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) willing to invest in new equipment, crowdfunding, regional financing and the internationalization of Italian SMEs.

The main aim of the initiative is to improve the innovation system in Italy and to promote a political action supporting digital startups. Its main points could be summarized as follows:

1) Tax relief for startups: revision of the IRPEF tax credit (personal income tax) from 19% to 30-40% for investments in innovative startups, applying the provisions of the Anglo-Saxon model to Italy. Tax benefits for the subjects to the corporate income tax (IRES), by extending the deductible to 30%.

2) The importance of considering startups as vehicles of open innovation for SMEs. To achieve this aim, it is suggested to introduce tax relief for SMEs for activities of Open Innovation (purchase of products/services from innovative startups aimed at the internal innovation of the enterprise) and to remove obligations towards administrative expenses by new startups.

3) Upgrading crowdfunding. To achieve this goal, it is important to revise the current Consob Regulations on equity crowdfunding to revise upward the threshold of non-application of regulations relating to MiFID; remove underwriting bond by banks by 5%; and think about a provision of a single MiFID profiling form.

4) Favour investments in innovation, removing regulatory limits and providing incentives for Undertakings in Collective Investment (UCIs) for Asset Management Companies (AMCs) in direct or indirect investments in startups.

5) Support the asset management industry and startups, creating an open-ended funds to ensure the collection, through investment, of at least ?1 billion from the Asset Management Industry into startups.

6) Matching fund for seed capital. Creating a matching fund with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, involving Italian industrial players, institutional investors and qualified investors who co-invest with the Fund in the seed stage (up to ?1 million), with the possibility of subsequent operations up to ?1.5 million.

7) Accelerating the internationalization of Italian startups, creating an Italian Founders Institute, with international experts, for the active promotion of Made in Italy through accelerator programs, and application of incentives for the repatriation of qualified personnel from abroad, providing benefits to both workers and businesses.

8 ) Restructure regional fundings, favouring the harmonisation of the rules of engagement of the regional funds in order to ensure a national and systematic approach of funding matching and simplified possibilities of access to the same.

The White Paper was officially introduced by Enrico Gasperini (Digital Magics CEO and Founder) and by Layla Pavone (Digital Magics partner) in occasion of the 2015 Internet Festival in Pisa.

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