I3P launches the Cybersecurity Incubation Program, promoted with ACN and in collaboration with Leonardo and C*Sparks

I3P Network

The Incubator of Politecnico di Torino, selected in the Cyber Innovation Network of ACN, will support young innovative companies in the field of cybersecurity.

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With the aim of supporting and promoting technological development and innovation within the framework of the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022-2026, the Italian Agency for national cybersecurity (ACN) has set up a network of operators in Italy to design and implement joint programs to support and accelerate innovation and applied research. Among these, the Incubator of Politecnico di Torino (I3P) today presents the new Cybersecurity Incubation Program, created in collaboration with partners Leonardo S.p.A. and C*Sparks, entirely dedicated to supporting young innovative companies active in the field of cybersecurity.

The initiative is aimed at companies that have been established for less than five years, are registered in the Italian Business Register, are based in Italy and have one or more projects in the field of cybersecurity in line with the priorities identified by ACN's Research & Innovation Agenda, particularly those using technologies such as data science, artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, quantum computing or cryptography. The programme aims to support start-ups working on emerging technologies, new solutions and business models, with high potential for innovation and scalability, able to contribute to the development and spread of cybersecurity. The call for start-ups is already open, in order to find entrepreneurial teams interested in joining the program and benefiting from its numerous facilities for technological development, project validation, fundraising stages, market entry and possible internationalisation of the company.

I3P's program offers a 12-month incubation path, tailor-made for start-ups operating in the cybersecurity sector, which includes entrepreneurial development activities - including customer discovery, business planning, support for team growth, IP protection strategies, assistance in the search for investors. In addition, the Leonardo group, through its Cyber & Security Solutions division, will offer start-ups technical training, mentoring and the opportunity to evaluate the realisation of a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) with its experts. C*Sparks will offer support in the strategic and operational orientation of projects to increase fundraising opportunities.

For the first year of activity, the Agency for national cybersecurity will be able to choose up to four companies already part of the program and support them with a non-reimbursable financial contribution of €50,000 in line with the State aid rules. To have access to the contribution offered by the Agency, it is necessary to comply with some additional criteria and requirements, highlighted in the documents that will be provided to start-ups interested in the program. ACN will then be able to propose periodic training and awareness initiatives, mentoring sessions focused on the activities of the startup validation plan, and networking initiatives aimed at supporting the companies' access to qualified networks for the expansion of the business project.

Moreover, the program will benefit from the experience gained by I3P and its partners in supporting deeptech projects, with applications in aerospace, defence & security, industrial manufacturing, critical infrastructure monitoring, energy, and financial services.

To apply to join the Cybersecurity Incubation Program, start-ups can write an e-mail to the dedicated address cybersecurity@i3p.it presenting their project and following the next steps that will be explained in response. The program's call for start-ups is permanently open, but has periodic cut-off dates after which the applications received until each date will be reviewed and processed. The first cut-off date is June 14th, 2024. A second cut-off date is scheduled for the end of this year.

For the Director General of ACN, Bruno Frattasi: "The path started with the Cyber Innovation Network tells of how it is possible to create a virtuous continuum between research and industrial activities in order to concretely make innovation happen. And it tells how committed the Agency for national cybersecurity is to fostering productive dialogue between basic and applied science to advance the cybersecurity agenda in Italy."

"We are honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Agency for national cybersecurity and to be able to do so by bringing value to the Italian start-up ecosystem," said Giuseppe Scellato, President of I3P. "In this joint journey, the partnership with Leonardo and C*Sparks will be very valuable, as they will complete the range of skills and know-how made available to start-ups to accelerate their growth."