This episode of Business Planet comes from Sicily and looks at the Dual-use trend and the tremendous opportunities it can present.
Francesco Cappello represents the Enterprise Europe Network.
“Dual-use technologies are innovations developed by the military that also have applications in industry and the civilian market, and vice versa.
‘Applications are everywhere, transportation, security, virtual reality and also in health,” he explained.
Messina is a Sicilian port and the city hosts one of the most innovative SMEs in Italy, Signo Motus
The company works with fluid which is an intelligent nanomaterial. When subjected to an electric field, it passes from the liquid state to the quasi-solid state. It took six years to develop this technology which was originally designed to improve the efficiency of shock absorbers on military vehicles.
“Initially we developed this technology for the army, but given its many possibilities we decided to move to civilian applications, especially in rehabilitation and fitness,” explained Paolo Giorgianni, R&D Technical Manager, Signo Motus.
The idea is therefore to target these two new sectors, to transfer this technology, for example to operate a type of exoskeleton.The business potential is enormous.
“These two sectors are characterized by a very high growth rate and we intend to penetrate the market within two years and in five years to achieve a turnover twenty times greater than today,” said Sandro Scattereggia Marchese, Managing Director, Signo Motus.
That’s auspicious, but to achieve these goals, this company obviously needs funding. It has already received €50,000 via the European Horizon 2020 programme.
Serge Rombi: “Francesco, if Sandro wants to realise his idea the company will still need two million euros. Is there, in addition to Horizon 2020 which he has already used, other forms of European funding from which the company can benefit?”
Francesco Cappello : “Of course there are other European funds such as the Structural Funds and the Cosme programme to help SMEs , like Signo Motus, to reach the market more easily.
Boosting Dual-use is one of the European priorities. Moreover, many organisations or clusters support companies that target both civil and military markets.
Serge Rombi: “So to end we are with Francesco again. One way to go towards the Dual-use is to be supported by the Network Enterprise Europe, your network.”
Francesco :“Yes, 600 points of contact on five continents, services with high added value, in addition to those of Europe, European funds, including technology transfer, internationalisation and new markets,” he concluded.