Climate change, Claudia Pingue (CDP Venture Capital): Technology transfer is a fundamental lever

Investing in technology transfer, patents, and companies can help combat climate change. The perspective of Claudia Pingue, senior partner and head of the Technology Transfer fund at CDP Venture Capital

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that mature technologies already present in the market can only reduce 25% of CO2 emissions. Instead, to address the remaining 75%, it is necessary to move the skills, technologies, and patents developed in research laboratories into the market. “This is why technology transfer becomes one of the fundamental levers for combating climate change” and “Investing in companies that fight climate change is the greatest business opportunity of the century,” says Claudia Pingue, senior partner and head of the Technology Transfer fund at Cdp Venture Capital. In 2023, it is the one that has invested the most in cleantech according to Dealroom’s analysis. This is reported by Il Sole 24 Ore.

Tech4 Planet, launched by the Technology Transfer Fund of Cdp Venture Capital

Sustainability is a mega trend that does not fluctuate based on the economic cycle,” Pingue continues. “Despite geopolitical and geoeconomic crises and unfavorable economic conditions, the only startups to withstand in terms of valuations have been those related to sustainability: it is the only sector in which unicorns have doubled globally, going from 22 to 45.”

The Technology Transfer Fund of Cdp Venture Capital has an endowment of 335 million euros, with a collection target of 450 million euros. It has various lines of investment and, for the specific sector of environmental sustainability, it has launched Tech4 Planet, a National Technology Transfer Hub, aimed at facilitating market access and the growth of new companies conceived within research laboratories dedicated to Environmental Sustainability, particularly in the energytech, circular economy, sustainable manufacturing, smart mobility, and water management sectors.

Tech4 Planet has a budget of around 30 million euros and, in 2023, invested 8.5 million euros in over 20 startups and raised third-party capital from companies specialized in the sector including Iren, A2A, and Intesa Sanpaolo.

Funding for start-ups and SMEs

Among the various investments, some particularly interesting startups like Rise Technologies and its solar panels metallized with copper instead of silver paste, drastically reducing costs. Or Synergy flow, and flow cell batteries that allow storing energy produced by off-grid plants by replacing lithium with sulfur, are some of the investments recounted by Pingue. Last October, Cdp Venture Capital launched the Green Transition Fund which uses resources allocated by the EU through the NextGeneration EU initiative (endowment of 250 million euros) and started the investment process both directly and with third-party managers. It is open to Italian start-ups and SMEs, which can apply on the Cdp Venture Capital website to obtain funding ranging from one to 15 million euros. The goal is to stimulate the growth of an ecosystem in which Italy is already a leader from an academic point of view.