A broad project for start-ups and spin-offs encased in a new Regional law that allows the identification of “new-born” businesses with growth potential, and to support them through ad hoc financing. The Regional administration is working towards this goal under the leadership of Enrico Rossi, who announced the intention to define a new law on the subject to provide an impulse for businesses in their first years and to more easily attract investments, including foreign investments, on businesses developed in Tuscany. The goal, presented to the entrepreneurs of Confindustria Firenze (the association that includes businesses active in the province of Florence), is to accelerate the growth of spin-offs and start-ups, two types of businesses in which, amongst other things, Tuscany already achieves excellent results within the national panorama. In fact, Rossi himself stated “Tuscany is the top region in terms of active spin-offs, with 10.7% of the 1,102 existing nationally. Instead, we place sixth in terms of start-ups, with 92 of the 1,227 registered.

Based on the most recent Unioncamere Toscana survey on innovative start-ups and on high-tech businesses, Tuscany trails the Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Lazio and Piedmont regions in number of innovative businesses at the first stages of development, and includes mostly businesses involved in services (82%) rather than industry (18%). One quarter of the regional start-ups are involved in the sector that produces software, but other [well] developed sectors include research and development in the natural sciences and engineering, as well as services for information technology. As for the industrial start-ups, the majority are involved in the production of machinery and industrial robots, as well as computers and TLC devices.

The development of the academic concentration and industrial activity, combined with the presence of incubators for the growth of businesses (IUF, Incubatore di Firenze, Nana Bianca) make the Florentine area that with the highest concentration of innovative start-ups. From this perspective, other relevant areas include Siena, which hosts the biotechnologies incubator Toscana Life Sciences, and Pisa – specifically due to the activities carried out by the Scuola Superiore S.Anna and by the Pont-tech consortium for industrial research and technology transfer.

With the support of these solid assets for business development, the Tuscan Region is thinking of an additional acceleration explain the Region’s President, Rossi: “We are thinking of a law that will, initially, allow to precisely identify what constitutes a start-up, and to later provide them a financing packet.” 

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