• The Advanced Technology Investment Fund (FITA), with an estimated budget of 60 million euros over 2022 to 2026, is a financial platform comprising public-private participation that will invest in early-stage research projects.
• Its aim is to mobilise private capital for investment in technological development and to contribute to improving Catalonia’s innovation index – a key objective for the Pacte Nacional per a la Societat del Coneixement (PN@SC).
• The Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Research and Universities, and the ICF have signed an agreement to invite tenders for the management of the fund.
• The Generalitat’s Director General of Knowledge Transfer acknowledged the support of various individuals and organisations, among them Prof Gabriel Silberman, Director General of BIST.
The Generalitat has announced that the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Research and Universities will establish and participate in a new Advanced Technology Investment Fund (FITA). This new venture capital fund will invest, by means of public-private financing, in early-stage technology development projects in Catalonia.
The objectives of FITA are threefold: to boost scientific research and entrepreneurship as a driver of competitiveness in Catalonia’s economic sector, to mobilise private investment capital for technological development in order to reach the EU average (from 0.94% to 1.37%), and to contribute to improving Catalonia’s innovation index. The fund will foster the knowledge transfer and valorisation of scientific research carried out at centres and universities in Catalonia, improving the competitiveness of Catalonia’s industries in line with PN@SC objectives.
The new fund will have an estimated budget of 60 million euros. Up to a maximum of 30 million will be provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Research and Universities each, with 6 million euros in annual instalments between 2022 and 2026. The remainder will be financed by the private sector. Public funds may not exceed 49.9% participation.
The fund is targeted at start-ups in the early stages of development. Successful projects can utilise the funding between 2022 and 2026, and it is estimated that projects will have a minimum of 10-12 years for development.
The Generalitat has also approved an agreement, which will be formalised by the two ministries and the ICF, to put out a public tender for fund management.
To this end, the ICF, together with the Director-General for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Director-General for Economic Promotion, Competition, and Regulation, and the Director-General for Knowledge Transfer will work together with the aim of starting the process in January 2022.
During the fund’s public presentation yesterday, the Generalitat’s Director General of Knowledge Transfer acknowledged the support of various individuals and organisations, among them Prof Gabriel Silberman, Director General of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).
“The new fund is an essential piece in rallying talent and investment, to bet on Catalonia’s outstanding research becoming market-ready innovation,” said Prof Silberman about the project.
To learn more, see the official press release (in Catalan) here.