Italy's velocity factor

How TTFactor and BiovelocITA plan to launch the Italian biotech sector

After five years of building a portfolio of research programs, Italian tech transfer company TTFactor s.r.l. can now turn to a homegrown supply of seed funding following the launch of BiovelocITA, the country's first biotech accelerator, by Sofinnova Partners late last year. The partners' goal is to expand the model across Italy to access more of the country's science and start building up its biotech sector.

In November, BiovelocITA was launched with a €6 million ($6.5 million) initial investment from Sofinnova and undisclosed private investors to seed research projects from Italian institutions through preclinical proof of concept. TTFactor will use its network of academic research institutions and scientific advisors to select research projects primed for seed funding, while the accelerator brings not only money, but early stage project management expertise to the projects as well.

"There is nothing similar in Italy because most other initiatives have a different character," said Silvano Spinelli, chairman of the new accelerator. "We do have incubators created mostly by local authorities, but no real accelerator that can act to finance, manage and promote early stage research projects across the

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