Italian Associations for the Start Up Support and the Respective Take-Off of Bio-Medical Innovation in the USA

Authentically Italian companies, which develop biomedical tools, or diagnostic electro-medical instruments, are not only surviving in a competitive global market, but represent Italian excellence and innovation all around the world and specifically in the US.

In order to develop bio-medical innovation from Italy and then take it abroad, it is vital to remember the role played by Italian associations in the sector, to support initiatives and inventions. Without the latter they would never take off.

Associations such as AssoBioMedica, based in central Italy, created a network of companies and SMEs in the sector and publish statistics for the ‘Bel Paese’ in the field of biomedical businesses and for start ups. There are over 100 start-ups and Italian biomedical companies affiliated to AssoBioMedica. In the year 2018 in the companies registered to the Association, recorded a positive turnover, with an increase of about 2.20%, compared to the previous year, in the sector.

Italian Angeles for Biotech, in Northern Italy, is a second network that gathers venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and scientists active in the biomedical field, which help to bridge the gap between an innovative ideas, in the field, and the effective realization of an ideas in a concrete product. They do this by investing in projects and financing ideas, or new entrepreneurs, clearly showing that venture capitalism exists in Italy also and supports the propensity for innovation in the biomedical field and assistance in entering new markets.

If it were not for the assistance received from Italian industry associations, start-ups like WISE,  would never have ended up on the European and even American radar. WISE, for those who do not know it, is a biomedical startup based in Milan that works on the development of a new generation of implantable leads for neuro-modulation and neuro-monitoring and is first in developing products that are biocompatible, implantable and/or flexible electrodes that can be used to treat various neurological disorders. The company raised $ 6.5 million in May from existing investors.

In the US, CREAGEN Inc., Creative Biomolecules Inc., led by Roberto Crea, represent another examples of great success of innovation in the Italian bio-medical field. As the founder of Genentech Inc., people like Roberto Crea, have inspired not only confidence in Italian innovation, but the real investment in Italian startups from the American investor side, a real life expale of this is VivaBioCell SPA, which was bought by NatCell, through VBC holding. With the purchase of VivaBioCell SPA, NantCell completed a $ 75 million turnover.

As for export, also, of Italian biomedical products and drugs, the data is positive and shows great potential, seeing as Italy exported into the US a total value of imported goods of 2 billion US in 2017.

The sector specific associations, on Italian soil, that assist biomedical companies, are a key element to the success, as well as the first step in the development of an idea, and the trust of the agents active in the American market, are the asset to the further development a good product or bio-medical service in a market that is truly capable of supporting the forwarding thinking biomedical engineering and innovation.

By Chiara Paolinelli

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