About us

BioUpper is the initiative promoted by Novartis Farma and Fondazione Cariplo, in collaboration with IBM Italy, powered by Cariplo Factory and supported by Comin & Partners, aimed at facilitating the growth of the most innovative Italian startups.



Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care products. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2017, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.1 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 122,000 full-time- equivalent associates. Novartis’s products are sold in approximately 155 Countries around the world.

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Fondazione Cariplo

Fondazione Cariplo is an Italian grant-making foundation that operates with the sole purpose of pursuing the social good and promoting economic development. The Foundation does not act in lieu of others: since its establishment, it has played a crucial catalyser role, convening, leveraging resources and fostering a participatory and collaborative approach among key stakeholders from the civil society, the private and the public sector. Inspired by the principle of subsidiarity, the Foundation fosters the analysis and anticipation of social needs, as well as the development of innovative and sustainable solutions. Ranked among the most important philanthropic institutions in the international arena, Fondazione Cariplo has enabled the accomplishment of over 30,000 projects of non-profit organizations – operating in the fields of Arts & Culture, Environment, Scientific Research and in the Social realm - providing over €3 billion in grants since 1991.

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Cariplo Factory

Cariplo Factory was founded in 2016 with the aim of creating in Milan – at the former Ansaldo site – an open innovation hub based on the contamination of skills between SMEs and large companies, innovative startups, incubators and accelerators, universities and research centers, schools and training institutes, fablabs, informal education settings, investors and professionals. Cariplo Factory promotes, develops and implements open innovation projects, innovative corporate-social responsibility programs and initiatives aimed at exploiting young talents, as well as acceleration paths for the growth of startups, through an organic and collaborative approach.

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Comin & Partners

Comin & Partners is a strategic consultancy “boutique” for communication and public affairs based on the skills and passion of its senior partners, Gianluca Comin, Elena Di Giovanni, Gianluca Giansante, Lelio Alfonso and Federico Fabretti. Comin & Partners’ team – driven by the experience of its partners and the energies of young and curious consultants – works with large companies and institutions, managing projects of national and international significance in the fields of reputation and crisis management. The company, founded in 2014 and based in Rome and Milan, offers its customers quality and professionalism through an innovative integrated communication approach.

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