The initiative aims to increase the competitiveness of the national aeronautics and aerospace system and will be a further step in the growth of Leonardo Aircraft's innovation capability and wider appetite for innovation.
Leonardo's participation, through its Innovation Management function, will allow it to identify high-potential start-ups to be included in the F2Link – Future Flight Innovation Network of the Aircraft division, and to develop innovative solutions for the main end-user functions involved, such as Customer Support Service and Training, Engineering, Operations, and others. Launched at the end of 2021, F2Link is built on more than 20 collaborations with various national and European universities.
Thanks to its expertise and know-how in the aeronautics sphere, Leonardo has the opportunity both to guide investors' choices in identifying start-ups to be supported in their growth path, and to identify international start-ups to support the company's innovation capability.
The start-ups will be identified, with a particular focus on Artificial Intelligence-based solutions, in the areas of:
- Digital Aircraft, including aspects of predictive maintenance, advanced maintenance, X-Reality, Digital Twin
- Advanced Air Mobility, including aspects of flight and mission autonomy, teaming, innovative propulsion and electrification, advanced Human Machine Interface, innovative materials and Additive Manufacturing, out of the box configurations
- Advanced Manufacturing and BtoB including Robotics, Smart-Worker, asset management solutions.
Through Takeoff, the goal is to expand the innovation network to the world of national and international start-ups. The initiative will also contribute to the ongoing digital transformation process and grow a highly innovative supply chain around the needs and under the guidance of Leonardo, also in anticipation of the launch of the ‘Aerospace City’.
The Takeoff programme will select each year, over a three-year period, up to 10 start-ups in the seed and pre-seed stage which will be able to access a five-month accelerator course structured by the project partners, who will steer them towards defining their business model, helping them to correctly identify their target market and the most suitable business strategy to achieve their objectives.
The best teams selected by the accelerator will also have access to further investment already allocated by the organisers of the initiative, to integrate themselves into the industrial fabric of the area and to strengthen the ecosystem in the sectors identified by Takeoff.
Takeoff will be based at OGR Tech, a hub dedicated to innovation and business acceleration, in which Leonardo is also present with the offices of the Leonardo Lab for Future Aircraft Technologies, the Unmanned Systems business, and where 11 paths dedicated to supporting start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs are already collaborating with Leonardo and national and international investors.