I3P inaugurates its new headquarters, thanks to the contribution of Fondazione CRT


In the heart of Politecnico di Torino's citadel, the new headquarters of the I3P incubator will become the meeting place for young people, research and business.

The new headquarters of the Innovative Companies Incubator of Politecnico di Torino was inaugurated today. The project of recovery and restoration of part of the former OGR workshops, carried out in strict compliance with the original design, was made possible thanks to funding from Fondazione CRT: one of the symbols of 20th century industrial Turin thus becomes the emblem of entrepreneurial growth that focuses on research, innovation and technology.

Forty offices for businesses, a centralised secretarial service, administration, meeting rooms and the Agorà, a large hall equipped to host events: in total, almost 3,000 square metres of space located in the area of the Politecnico's doubling (since 1999, when I3P was founded, the space available had been about half that size). But the Incubator's new headquarters is innovative above all in terms of the comfort, quality and conception of the spaces and services offered to businesses: badge controls and access, fully equipped meeting rooms, a break area, and above all the Agorà, the space designed to be the beating heart of the Incubator and of the entire Citadel, a showcase for those interested in creating innovative enterprises.

The future of the incubator

The incubator is not only a building to host businesses. "In our vision," explained Professor Vincenzo Pozzolo, President of I3P, during the inauguration ceremony, "the Incubator wants to be, above all, a strong stimulus for cultural change both in the academic world and in the socio-economic context, a laboratory where public research and entrepreneurship, innovative finance and technological development find a ground on which to measure themselves, confront each other and give rise to ever new initiatives". The Agorà will be the point of reference for this cultural change: the place where entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and students can organize events, presentations, but also informal meetings such as the well-established appointment 'Aperitif with...'. 

Present at the inauguration ceremony were all representatives of the Incubator's partners: the Rector of Politecnico Francesco Profumo, the Councillor for Productive Activities of the Province of Turin Giuseppina De Santis, the Vice Mayor of Turin Tom Dealessandri, the President of Finpiemonte Mario Calderini, the President of the Torino Wireless Foundation Rodolfo Zich and Giampiero Masera of the CCIAA of Turin. For the Unione Industriale di Torino, strategic partner of the Incubator, spoke the President Alberto Tazzetti. The Vice President of the CRT Foundation, Giovanni Ferrero, had the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon. 

"The development and growth of a territory must today pass through innovation: for Fondazione CRT, innovation is strongly anchored to knowledge. Knowledge of the 'real' context, of the market and its challenges, of strategic objectives: these are the foundations on which it is possible to build innovation," said Giovanni Ferrero. "If knowledge is the basis for producing innovation, then people and the system of relationships created between them are the strategic resources, the pillars that make it possible to trigger processes of economic and social growth. It is around the axis of the development of human capital and the promotion of networks that Fondazione CRT operates, also in the field of scientific and technological research, with an ever-growing commitment, directed at both tangible and intangible assets. We believe it is strategic to support the creation of 'places' where a profitable process of osmosis or convergence can take place within the world of research and between research and business, also providing material support to the development of collaboration: for this reason," Ferrero concluded, "we have guaranteed a substantial contribution to the creation of the Innovative Companies Incubator of the Politecnico di Torino (I3P), which brings together in a consortium the Politecnico, the Province of Torino, the Chamber of Commerce of Torino, Finpiemonte, Fondazione Torino Wireless and the City of Torino. Similarly, on the side of intangible assets, we support the creation of networks, the support of consultation tables and the development of human capital oriented to the competitiveness of the territory".

A system project

"In the Citadel, one piece after another, the new model of local development based on the partnership of research and training between the Politecnico di Torino and innovative companies is being defined," stressed the Rector of the Politecnico Francesco Profumo. "The important results obtained by I3P confirm the expectations of the initial design and the potential that this structure is able to express. This is why we decided to strengthen I3P so that the structure and the University can play an increasingly active role in the development process of the local system and become a strong point of reference for the promotion of technology and knowledge transfer, innovation, and services to the territory. In this context," concluded the Rector, "and thus to the benefit of the incubated companies, the Risk Capital Hub, which has recently found a home at the I3P incubator, will also have a fundamental role to play in strengthening existing start-ups and stimulating new initiatives."

"Today we are celebrating the inauguration of a larger and more comfortable headquarters, but I would like to emphasize how the incubator - from its founding to today - has not only changed address but has also achieved important results. I'm thinking of the international recognition of the Best Science Based Incubator Award in 2004, the launch of Start Cup with the other universities in Piedmont and the victory of one of our companies in the National Award for Innovation in 2005. I think, however," explained Prof. Pozzolo, "that the greatest achievement is that we have created a favorable climate for entrepreneurship. We started from a barren field but, thanks to the support of public bodies and partners, in 7 years of work we have made it fertile. Today this result", continued Pozzolo, "allows us to concentrate our efforts on portions of the field that are still "weak" in the field of the creation of start-ups from research. First of all, we need to be more effective in the lower phases of the support process for innovative entrepreneurship, with targeted promotion and scouting actions that take advantage of the proximity to research environments; the acceleration process, and finally, internationalization actions with the support of international networks such as EOS. Just yesterday, during the International Matching Event, incubators and science parks from all over the world have shown to companies their services and opportunities for collaboration with other SMEs in Europe, China, United States, Central and South America."

The economic impact of I3P

Results from 1999 to present

  • 83 companies transited through the Incubator, including 25 university spin-offs; 
  • 42 companies currently hosted; 
  • 37 companies have completed their incubation period and left I3P; 
  • about 400 employees in the companies that have passed through the incubator. 

Approximately 20 million euros in total turnover is expected in 2007 (total number of companies transferred). Annually, on average, the payments made to public bodies (for various reasons: for example, taxes, contributions, etc.) by the total number of companies exceed 4 times the public investment received by the incubator.