THE EMILIA-ROMAGNA INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
The Technopoles Network
Technopoles are a network of 10 infrastructures located in 20 locations throughout the Emilia-Romagna region, hosting and organizing activities and services for industrial research, experimental development and technology transfer.
- are home to the industrial research Laboratories of the Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network equipped with state-of-the-art research tools and staff dedicated to activities and services designed to meet companies’ needs, favoring also the projection at national and international level
- include service facilities for dissemination, demonstration and information activities as well as premises and facilities to host private research laboratories, innovative companies, and spin-offs
- promote the matching between companies and researchers and access to cutting-edge scientific equipment by narrowing the gap between research supply and demand.
Technopoles stem from an initiative by the Emilia-Romagna Region in collaboration with universities, research centres and local authorities of the territories concerned.
Their management is entrusted to a Managing Agent specifically identified by the promoters of each infrastructure.
A Portal, namely a point of access to the structure and to all the High Technology Network laboratories within the region, is available to all users in each Technopole, to foster research-business collaboration.
Users can take advantage of a wide range of services through the Portal, including:
- First assistance and guidance
- Needs analysis and problem solving
- Organization of in-depth study meetings
- Hospitality and enhancement of local development
- Information on contracts, intellectual property and a financial instruments.
Portals are an initiative by the Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network’s Innovation Centres and Laboratories, the Universities, the Research Centres and ASTER.
The High Technology Network
Over the past 15 years, one of the key objectives of regional policy for increase competitiveness and stable income/employment levels has been to develop a network of industrial research and technology-transfer laboratories, and innovation centres aimed at establishing a large infrastructure able to circulate scientific and technological know-how within the region, in support of innovation.
The industrial research laboratories are either public or private facilities mainly engaged in industrial research, as well as the disclosure and transfer of the results of such research for use by business. In recent years, the first group of laboratories set up between 2004 and 2008 by universities and research establishments has been joined by private research laboratories with exactly the same aims.
The innovation centres are facilities sponsored by businesses, universities, research establishments, other public and private bodies and local authorities and organisations whose aim is to promote innovation and the transfer of know-how and technological skills to the economic system.
In order to join the Network, laboratories and centres have to obtain specific official accreditation from the Emilia-Romagna Regional Authority based on a procedure that verifies a certain level of activity carried out on behalf of businesses and possession of the organisational and managerial skills demonstrating their ability to conduct research suited to the requirements of the economic system.
Therefore, the Network does not represent the entire research capacity that universities and research establishments can provide, but is restricted to those facilities engaged in research activities aimed at business and organised according to accreditation requirements.
The High Technology Network is coordinated by ASTER and arranged in 6 thematic platforms representing a place to share joint projects and strategic programmes to increase the level of assistance to business. The 6 platforms are:
- Energy and Environment
- ICT and Design
- Mechanics and Materials
- Life Sciences
The Network is located within Technopoles, infrastructures hosting several laboratories that organise industrial research, experimental development and technology transfer activities and services.
The Clust-ER Associations
Clust-ER Associations are communities of public and private bodies (research centres, businesses, training bodies) that share ideas, skills, tools, and resources to support the competitiveness of the most important production systems in Emilia-Romagna. It is a competitiveness that no longer relies on the ability of individual research centres or businesses to operate on the global market, but increasingly on the ability of the entire local system to be innovative and attractive.
In these Clust-ERs, research laboratories and centres for innovation belonging to the High Technology Network team up with the business system and the higher education system to make up the inter-disciplinary critical mass necessary to multiply opportunities and develop strategic projects with a high regional impact.
With Clust-ER Associations, the regional industrial research and innovation system aims to achieve greater integration and to better place itself on the international stage to:
- maximise the opportunities for participating in European programmes and international research and innovation networks;
- forge synergies and set up coordinated and stable networks and connections with other public/private agglomerations operating in the same sectors at national and European level;
- encourage and support the development and creation of initiatives in higher education and the development of human resources;
- support and encourage the development of new research infrastructure in the general interest of the Emilia-Romagna region.