In Italy high number of researchers and publications, but investments in venture capital need to increase

In the field of biotechnology, technology transfer is essential to bring innovations from the laboratory to the market. Licensing agreements, collaborations, and strategic alliances are crucial for disseminating patented technologies and scientific expertise among different institutions. In this regard, ITTBioMed by Edra and DLA Piper, with the support of Lendlease, MIND, and T-Factor, organized the event “Patents and Secrets: Technology Transfer in Life Sciences,” aimed at fostering productive exchange among experts in the biotechnology sector to strengthen the sector’s infrastructure in Italy and promote the protection of industrial property and technical-scientific know-how.

Sergio Abrignani full professor, department of clinical sciences and at the University of Milan and scientific director of the National Institute of Molecular Genetics (INGM), was present at the event, sharing his reflections on the challenges of technology transfer in Italy, especially in the life sciences sector. “Despite Italy’s distinction for a high number of researchers and publications, our country attracts significantly fewer investments in venture capital compared to other European countries,” observed Mazza. This situation not only highlights a problem with the attractiveness of our research system for investors but also reflects a lack of effective transformation of academic research into successful businesses. The Director also highlighted the lack of a consolidated culture of technology transfer in Italy, noting that “the most successful startups of the last twenty years have not emerged from the Italian academic environment.” To overcome these challenges, he proposed importing professionals with experience in technology transfer from abroad and creating dedicated training paths for this discipline, both in the academic and industrial contexts. “These initiatives,” Mazza concluded, “are crucial to bridge the gap between the potential of Italian research and its ability to generate economic value, thus encouraging the birth of innovative companies and strengthening our technology transfer system.”