IIT takes part in the first Tech Transfer Day dedicated to robotics and innovation

Camilla Dalla Bona

The first results of RoboIT, CDP Venture Capital’s National Technology Transfer Pole with IIT as its scientific hub, have been presented

The first stage of the Tech Transfer Day “Italia tra eccellenze scientifiche e sfide industriali del future” (Italy between scientific excellence and the industrial challenges of the future), held at Magazzini del Cotone in Genoa, has just ended.

The event, organised by CDP Venture Capital, was initiated in the Ligurian capital as a result of the presence of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, the scientific hub for RoboIT, the Technology Transfer Pole launched last year by CDP Venture Capital and Pariter Partners, for an investment of €40 million, and it benefited from the participation of Italy’s leading academic research centres: the Federico II University of Naples, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa and the University of Verona, in addition to Finanziaria Ligure per lo Sviluppo Economico (Ligurian Finance institution for Economic Development, FILSE) and Leonardo as partners.

The day, designed to highlight the results of scientific research on Robotics and the importance it can have for Italy’s market and industrial supply chains, envisaged a session of talks and seminars with the participation of Maria Cristina Messa, Minister for Universities and Research, Gabriele Galateri di Genola, President of IIT, Giorgio Metta, Scientific Director of IIT, Giovanni Gorno Tempini, President of CDP, Francesca Bria, President of CDP Venture Capital Sgr, and many others.

Political and institutional leaders and investors were present, as well as researchers in the exhibition and demo area to illustrate the devices that have already initiated a process of technology transfer and are approaching the market.

IIT took part with the Soft Robotics for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation team and the humanoid robot AlterEgo, the Bioinspired Soft Robotics team with its leader Barbara Mazzolai, and the IIT – INAIL Rehab Technologies team with the robotic prosthetic hand named Hannes.

The event provided an opportunity to take a closer look at the role of scientific research in Robotics, in which IIT is one of the leading exponents, and in general Italy as the second-most important country in the world in terms of the ratio between the number of publications and citations, and the great opportunity that investing in Technology Transfer can represent for the digital transition of the country’s industrial processes.

“The high profile of the participants present today underlines the importance of innovation as an essential element for the country’s growth, development and revitalisation,” said Gabriele Galateri di Genola, President of IIT. “The Foundation was created precisely with this objective: innovation. IIT has accelerated in the life sciences but robotics is still one of the Institute’s most significant areas of research. We started the process of research by creating the iCub project, but robotics is not just the creation of humanoid robots, it is a field that even today can already meet people’s needs: with rehabilitation robotics, prosthetic robotics, surgical robotics, robotics that can help people in emergency scenarios, and in all possible applications in the industrial field.”

“Robotics needs independence to reach the market. We need to think about versatile robots and to do that we need AI and therefore data to train it,” said Giorgio Metta, Scientific Director of IIT. “We as a country, with a long tradition in manufacturing, have the necessary skills and could make a difference. The challenge would be to create an ecosystem of robotics and AI in our country and reach a critical mass to be globally competitive. In Italy, the skills are there.”