“Progress Tech Transfer” – the fund launched by MITO Technology last January that seeks to promote technology solutions for sustainability – announced its first investment by purchasing an interest in WaterView – a company spun off by the Politecnico di Torino, which has developed a solution to analyse weather conditions in real time based on footage from cameras usually found on infrastructure. The firm had already been incubated by I3P and supported in the seed stage by the Club degli Investitori.
WaterView has opened up to new investors to provide technical validation and drive the growth of the entire project. The investment, amounting to €870 thousand overall, included €720 thousand from MITO Technology through the Progress Tech Transfer fund and an additional €150 thousand from Liftt.
WaterView uses ground-breaking technology in an area with high social impact, combining big data, images, and smart sensors to offer “smart” preventive weather monitoring (forecasting snowfall and/or hail, tracking temperature, detecting the presence of fog, wet pavement or snow coverage, etc.) to local authorities, road and infrastructure operators, and energy companies.
WaterView provides not only the technology to extract multivariable weather data from surveillance camera footage, but also a web platform that uses said data to generate weather insights in order to support decision-making in the control room—slashing costs, accelerating business growth, and facilitating activities such as traffic light and public transport scheduling, maintenance planning and emergency handling, alerting drivers based on weather conditions, etc.
“With the Progress Tech Transfer fund, we decided to invest in this project – says Francesco De Michelis, MITO Technology CEO – because WaterView develops solutions that, building on publicly funded research, are perfectly in line with our mission: filling a void in the market for venture capital by supporting high-tech projects that seek to address issues related to environmental, energy, climate, production, industrial, logistic, social and financial sustainability.
Thanks to the complementary expertise of our team, we offer WaterView not only financial resources but also – and, in a certain sense, most importantly – the relationships and contacts necessary to turn scientific and technological research findings into a successful business.”
“WaterView is growing steadily – says Paola Allamano, WaterView CEO – After turning technological innovation into a business idea that was well received from the start by our first clients, including large road and energy infrastructure operators, we are proud to have earned the confidence of Progress Tech Transfer and Liftt. Their contribution will be key to further developing our products and services as well as entering new markets.”
The Progress Tech Transfer fund was set up last January with an initial investment of €40 million – and a fund-raising target of €50 million – split evenly between the European Investment Fund (EIF, with funding from Innovfin - EU Finance for Innovators, a financing instrument launched under Horizon 2020) and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) as part of the ITAtech platform. The fund has a strong focus and takes an open-minded approach to technology, as it looks to invest in technology and start-ups promoting sustainability in the macro-segments of the environment and energy; new materials and smart services, foodtech, and agrotech.
MITO Technology is the Italian company that for ten years now has been promoting research findings to support universities and public institutions, and has long-standing relationships with leading European technology transfer entities.
It acts as strategic advisor to the fund and connects it with the research community in Italy to scout for technology solutions and start-ups.
As in the case of WaterView, the management team of Progress Tech Transfer, with its complementary and remarkable professional skills and track record in the field of intellectual property, technology transfer, strategic advisory, and venture capital, provides researchers with not only the financial resources for proof-of-concept projects and the subsequent funding rounds, but also its expertise and contacts to turn scientific and technological research findings into successful businesses.
ITAtech is the instrument dedicated to funding “technology transfer” processes, backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) with the goal of supporting, driving and accelerating the creation of university spin-offs as well as promoting high-tech intellectual property derived from Italian research.
InnovFin - Eu Finance for Innovators is a financing instrument launched under Horizon 2020 – the EU research and innovation programme – aimed at facilitating access to finance for innovative businesses. InnovFin will drive the injection of approximately €50 billion in investments into research and development across Europe.
Businesses can access InnovFin and other EU financing through dedicated financial institutions in each European country: http://www.access2finance.eu/.
Liftt is wholly-owned by the Links Foundation, which in turn is owned in equal parts by the Politecnico di Torino and Compagnia di San Paolo. Liftt operates in the field of KEC (Knowledge Exchange & Commercialization) with the goal of encouraging and supporting technology transfers from research organisations, generating profits and positive knock-on effects by promoting research findings.