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Revival decree, measures to support innovative startups and SMEs

The relaunch decree, in its complexity, provides for a series of measures in support of startup and innovative SMEs. (1) 500 million are donated to the establishment of a fund for technology transfer, 200 million of additional resources to the guarantee fund for startup and innovative SMEs and as many for the support fund for venture capital, 100 for the Smart & Start measure, 10 non-repayable for the purchase of services from incubators and accelerators. In addition to tax incentives of various kinds. (2) Details below on measures set for 2020.

Public funds

Technology transfer. The collaboration of public and private subjects in the implementation of innovation projects e spin off is promoted through the establishment of afund for technology transfer', with an endowment of 500 million euros for the year 2020. The fund serves to promote initiatives and investments useful for enhancing and using the results of research in companies operating on the national territory, with particular regard to start-up and innovative SMEs. The implementation and management of the interventions is entrusted to ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development).

Startups and innovative SMEs. 200 million euros are assigned to the guarantee fund for startup and innovative SMEs.

Venture Capital. The fund to support investments in the capital of start-up and innovative SMEs receive additional support of € 200 million. Investments can also be made in the forms of subscription of equity financial instruments, provision of subsidized loans, subscription of convertible bonds or other debt financial instruments that provide for the possibility of repayment of the contributions made.

Smart & Start. 100 million of additional financial resources are intended to support the birth and development, throughout the national territory, of startup innovative (art. 38). (3)

Non-repayable contributions. at startup 10 million euros are also allocated in the form of non-repayable grants for the acquisition of services from incubators, accelerators, innovation hubbusiness angels and other entities, public or private, dedicated to the development of innovative companies.

Earthquake contribution. The non-repayable contributions originally envisaged in favor of the start-up located in the areas hit by the L'Aquila earthquake (equal to 30% of mortgages) are extended to startup innovative solutions located in the Municipalities affected by the 2016-2017 seismic events (Provinces of Fermo and Ascoli Piceno).

Tax incentives

Research and development. Expenses arising from research contracts concluded with start-up innovative companies based in Italy are subject to a tax credit of 150% of their amount. (4)

Investments in startup and innovative SMEs. To the tax incentives already provided for private entities investing in startup and innovative SMEs is added an additional facility, for the exclusive benefit of individuals. Which can deduct from gross income tax an amount equal to 50% of the investments made in the share capital of one or more startup o innovative SMEs (directly or through collective investment schemes, which invest mainly in startup or innovative SMEs). The maximum deductible investment cannot exceed 100 thousand euros for each tax period and must be maintained for at least three years. Any transfer, even partial, of the investment before the expiry of this term entails the forfeiture of the benefit and the obligation for the taxpayer to return the deducted amount, together with the legal interest.

Other measures, implementation

The term of stay in the special section of the commercial register of start-up innovative, as well as those envisaged under penalty of forfeiture for access to public incentives, are extended by 12 months.

The benefits intended for venture capital, non-repayable contributions and tax incentives in favor of individuals are subject to implementation measures as set out in a specific decree that the MiSE (Ministry of Economic Development) must adopt by 18.7.20.

Dario Dongo and Selena Travaglio

Footnotes to the story

(1) DL 19.5.20, n. 34. Urgent measures in the field of health, support for work and the economy, as well as social policies related to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19, articles 38-42 and others. See previous articles:

-Decree relaunch, the news for the agri-food sector. 20.5.20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/decreto-rilancio-le-novità-per-il-settore-agroalimentare

-Covid-19 and relaunch decree, measures aimed at workers and families. 26.5.20,  https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/covid-19-e-decreto-rilancio-misure-rivolte-a-lavoratori-e-famiglie

-Raunch decree, not only FCA and Atlantia. Robin Hood on the contrary in the food sector. 28.5.20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/decreto-rilancio-non-solo-fca-e-atlantia-robin-hood-al-contrario-nel-settore-alimentare 

(2) The relaunch decree also established a fund for digital entertainment (4 million euros), for the development of videogames, which is outside the scope of this discussion

(3) See DM 24.9.14

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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Lawyer, specializing in intellectual property rights. LL.M. in agri-food law.

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