In Treviso, a knowledge and development hub with the support of CDP Investimenti SGR.
H-FARM is a significant initiative in Italian innovation, a meeting point for startups, students and entrepreneurs interested in new technologies, information technology and new media. With a modern and sustainable structure based in Treviso and in branch offices in Veneto and Lombardy, H-FARM is a school age education venue for children 3 years old and up, a project incubator, a provider of digital services and is the world where young people from all over Italy (and other countries) work on online creativity, coding, video game programming or admission to university courses on digital management.
Now H-FARM is about to become H-CAMPUS, a wider and more articulated structure, a centre of excellence in Europe and an international centre of attraction for knowledge and training. Work began just a few days ago on expanding the structure: H-Campus will be able to accommodate up to 3000 people, making it Europe’s largest innovation hub.
The H-Campus operation was possible through the establishment, in February 2017, of a closed-end, non-speculative real estate fund called “Ca’ Tron - H-Campus”. The Fund, managed by Finint Investments SGR (the asset management company of the Banca Finint Group), has assets of over €101 million and has been underwritten for over 95% by institutional investors: Cattolica Assicurazioni holds the majority shareholding in the Fund (56% of assets), CDP Investimenti SGR (Gruppo Cassa Depositi e Prestiti), with the FIA 2 fund “Smart housing, smart working, Education & Innovation”, holds 40% and lastly Ca’ Tron Real Estate (the company owned by the founders of H-FARM) has the remaining 4%.
Riccardo Donadon, founder and CEO of H-FARM, explains: “Thanks to this collaboration with CDP, we have the opportunity to put into practice the project in which we believe, and we will do everything we can to make it a place of excellence in our country.
The project will be carried out according within a logic of sustainability and respect for the environment: only 10% of the total area occupied by H-CAMPUS (out of a total of more than 50 hectares) will be built on. The remaining space will be used as a park, thus restoring more than 27 hectares of woodland to the community. The new buildings, which will contain classrooms, auditoriums, restaurants, meeting rooms, sports areas and student residences, will be built as a zero-volume operation, thanks to the recovery of abandoned structures.
In terms of energy, it will use renewable energy sources, due to which the settlement will have no impact at all in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. According to the study carried out by the research centre of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, the settlement will generate an annual economic impact on the surrounding area of over €8.7 million.
The CDP Group supports the project, contributing to the achievement of Goal 4 (Quality education), 9 (Enterprise, innovation and infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable cities and municipalities) of the UN Agenda.