Comi Aerospace was recently established as the first Italian public-private venture company for the production of aircraft seats, defined as strategic by MISE (the Italian economic development ministry). This operation was made possible by the participation of Comi as the industrial partner along with Finanziaria Regionale Gepafin and Fondo Umbria Ricerca e Innovazione, managed by Sici Sgr, in the capital of Aeroseatek, a startup created by Gruppo Maestrale of Gianluca Bellavigna. The helm of the newborn company has been entrusted to a board of directors chaired by Franco Ballabio and the CEO, Giovanni Nozza. Comi Aerospace will be able to take advantage of first-class figures: Giuseppe Biamonte and Fredrik Meloni as general manager and sales director, respectively. The initiative comes to light inside MICH - Maestrale Innovation Creative Hub - the certified business incubator based in Terni headed by Carlo Ottone, which is part of the Invitalia network.
"We entered the capital of this startup strongly rooted in the Terni area", explained the president of Gepafin, Carmelo Campagna, "following an in-depth joint investigation of our technical structures and those of our subsidiary Sici Sgr".
"The Aeroseatek operation is the first project of 2023, the last year available for the investments of the Umbria Research and Innovation Fund launched in the first half of 2020. The Fund has already invested more than 75% of its endowment in nine projects", added Vittorio Gabbanini, president of Sici Sgr. "We are very pleased to have been able to complete this operation and to participate, together with Gepafin, in an initiative involving not only a number of managers and professionals of the highest level in this sector, but also an industrial partner such as Comi, operating in the thermoforming sector. We are confident of making an important contribution to the Aeroseatek project and to the workers of this sector in the Umbria Region so that we can compete with world-class players." Sici is an independent asset management company operating in the financial and banking market of Central Italy that currently manages four closed-end security funds for a total value of about 147 million euros. To date, it has completed 108 investments in many economic sectors and has 25 active participations in its portfolio.
The project is supported by a seven-year business plan which aims at an industrial operation of interest not only for the Umbria Region. The first two years will mainly employ personnel dedicated to engineering as well as to design and certification, but once full production capacity is reached, over 200 people will be employed locally, for a turnover of about 50 million euros. In addition, the timing of the first phase will be reduced to a minimum thanks to partnerships with major engineering consulting companies and universities.
Comi boasts fifty years of experience in the field of industrial machinery and automation systems and can make the difference in the specific sector of aircraft seats – which is advanced in terms of design but almost artisanal in the production stage – by bringing cutting-edge techniques in the field of automation. Good financial skills, excellent technical resources and the participation of other investors ready to support the operation will also contribute to this result with the support of the Terni area, which has proved - also through the MICH incubator - extremely open to new opportunities and endowed with excellent resources.