Italian state lender to invest 1 billion euros in 5 years in AI

FILE PHOTO: Figurines with computers and smartphones are seen in front of the words "Artificial Intelligence AI" in this illustration taken, February 19, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - The venture capital arm of Italy's Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) will invest 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) over the next five years in artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity, the state lender said on Monday.

The government in March had announced its intention to set up an investment fund to promote projects in the AI sector, backed by CDP, as part of its broader push, as chair of the G7, to focus on the impact of AI on jobs and inequality.

CDP Venture Capital will invest 580 million euros in startups and a further 300 million euros would be made available to companies ready to expand abroad, it said in a statement presenting its industrial plan.

A further 120 million euros will be dedicated to so-called "technological transfer", mainly for university research projects.

In the 2024-2028 period the fund plans to invest an overall total of 8 billion euros.

"Italian innovation has solid roots and numerous scientific and technical firsts, now it is time to return to playing a leading role in the international economy, recovering vision and competitiveness," said CDP Venture Capital Chief Executive Agostino Scornajenchi.

($1 = 0.9229 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Writing by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Keith Weir)

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