Measures for innovation in the 2019 Budget Law



A new measure to encourage companies to buy startups

If a (non-startup) company buys the 100% of an innovative startup and holds it for at least three years it has an increased tax deduction at 50%. A measure to encourage "exits" of startups and their growth into structured innovative companies (something that has always been one of the biggest gaps in the Italian market). 


Investments in research and development

Innovation manager voucher for SMEs created

For Small Businesses, an annual voucher of €40,000 is provided for 2019 and 2020 (tax period) reimbursable on a non-refundable basis up to 50% of the costs incurred to acquire consultancy services of a specialist nature that are functional to the implementation of technological and digital transformation processes using the enabling technologies provided for in the Impresa 4.0 National Plan

The R&D tax credit remains unchanged with some minor changes.

The current percentage of 50% is maintained, in the case of research and development activities organised internally within the company, only for the costs of personnel directly employed in such research activities and, in the case of research and development activities commissioned from third parties, only for contracts entered into with universities, research bodies and organisations and independent innovative start-ups and SMEs.


Availability of capital for the innovation ecosystem

Increasing capital dedicated to tech startups. 

The measures are based on four pillars. A venture capital support fund under the Ministry of Economic Development with €30 million for the years 2019, 2020 and 2012 and €5 million from 2022 to 2025. The possibility for mandatory pension funds to invest in venture capital funds.
The obligation for PIRs (Individual Savings Plans) to invest 3.5% of their resources in venture capital funds. Obligation for the State to invest 15% of the dividends of state-owned companies in ventures each year.
Also supporting leverage is the expectation that the Minister of Economic Development may authorise the sale of Invitalia Ventures to Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which has included more incisive interventions in venture capital in its new 2019-2012 business plan.

Incentives for those investing in innovative startups are increasing:

Increase to 40% of tax incentives for investments in the venture capital of innovative startups.

Business angel category officialised

The category of business angels has also been made official, with a register kept by the Bank of Italy: individuals who invest professionally at least 50 thousand euros in three years in Italian startups.



In summary:


- An increase in the flow of investment capital towards startups and innovative companies is expected, to the benefit of the Italian innovation ecosystem. This flow will pass mainly through the instrument of Institutional Venture Capital, on whose implementation capacity will depend the actual release of resources.

- It is expected to see more acquisitions of innovative businesses by SMEs and Corporates, including small ones.

- Measures to encourage research and development in SMEs will be increased. There will be greater control over the allocation of these investments for both SMEs and corporations, including in an "indirect" manner through the new electronic invoicing.

- The formalisation of the business angel category should form the basis for greater protection and incentives for the category, as well as strengthening its integration with institutional investors.


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Ernst Vittorio Haendler
Ernst Vittorio Haendler
Following a degree in Aerospace Engineering and some work experience in Italy and abroad at the European Space Agency and then in the technology intensive sector of Aerospace & Defense, he starts his entrepreneurial activity in 2012 founding the startup Beast Technologies following all aspects from vision, conception and execution of a digital business, raising funding and bringing to market a new product currently sold in 35 different countries through web channel. Following this experience, Ernst-Vittorio joins Quodigi as a Partner in 2017 bringing his vision and experience in business modelling, project management and technology intensive teams, and dealing in the broadest sense with all aspects of business development on the digital plane.
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