Catania - Catania hosted the third edition of BIAT - Innovation and High Technology Lab at "Le Ciminiere". More than 1,500 B2B meetings brought together 103 foreign investors and start-ups, innovative SMEs, enterprises, universities, technological parks from the so-called Convergence Regions (Campania, Calabria, Apulia and Sicily). The 2017 event was organized by the Italian Trade Agency, ICE, in conjunction with the Region Sicily.
The Lab was part of the "Piano Export Sud" initiative - a three-year action programme designed to promote the internationalization and innovation of enterprises. The programme, managed and coordinated by ICE in conjunction with local authorities and industrial networks of the South of Italy, was financed by the Economic Development Ministry's Cohesion Action Plan. It is a promotional approach that matches the Business Plan 4.0, considering the relevance the high technology sector has for the economy of the South, in particular, and the nation, in general.
On the occasion of BIAT, a delegation of 11 foreign ITC operators visited the incubator of the University of Calabria in Rende, where start-ups and innovative enterprises are launched on foreign markets. Italian enterprises of the four convergence regions presented more than 111 innovative projects to the over 100 foreign investors (large companies, research centres focusing on technology transfer, venture capitalists) which ICE selected through its offices abroad. Such projects spanned from bio- and nano-technologies and new materials, to renewable energy, environment, nautical industry, ICT and technologies for smart communities.
"BIAT 2017 is not simply a very successful event of the "Piano Export Sud" initiative, it represents ICE's major investment in innovation and high technology," Piergiorgio Borgogelli, ICE director general, said. "BIAT has put us in a position to show the extraordinary level of advanced technology in the South to foreign operators and investors alike," Borgogelli pointed out. " Catania can build its future on the excellence of its assets - the professionalism and competence of its young people. The internationalization of enterprises is at the very basis of any social and economic growth," said Enzo Bianco, the mayor of Catania.