ASTER - Emilia-Romagna Cluster Network
ASTER is the consortium for innovation and technology transfer in Emilia-Romagna.
ASTER objective is to strengthen the Regional Innovation System by launching and coordinating the implementation of actions, projects and new initiatives for enhancing innovation factors of the regional ecosystem, namely: Industry, Higher education and Research, Human Capital, Territory and Society. ASTER contributes to improve Growth and Competitiveness, Talent and Entrepreneurship, Open Innovation and Creativity, Cohesion and Participation.
ASTER is participated by the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, the six Universities, the National Research Council (CNR) and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), the Regional Union of Chambers of Commerce. ASTER design and implement activities in collaboration with regional stakeholders in particular Business Associations and Innovation Centres, and directly with enterprises, universities, research centres and institutions for the progress of an open and international innovation ecosystem. ASTER is also devoted to the development of technology and business clusters in Emilia-Romagna, according to three main action lines as below described.
First, as coordinator of the Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network, ASTER leads six Thematic Platforms gathering innovation centres and industrial research labs from public and private organizations, including hi tech SMEs and larger companies. These regional clusters devoted to industrial research aim at providing research capacites capable to meet the innovation needs expressed by companies and enhancing their competitiveness at local and international level. By matching the demand and offer for industrial research, the Platforms assure that the knowledge generated by research produce new solutions, processes and technologies and ready to the market products and services. Four ASTER-Platforms are registered as ECCP clusters:
- ASTER - Energy And Environment Platform
- ASTER - Life Sciences Platform
- ASTER - Mechanics And Materials Platform
- ASTER - ICT & Design Platform
Secondly, Emilia-Romagna Region has renewed its cluster policy through a structural initiative labeled "CLUST-ER", that is targeted to create and develop new high technology-driven clusters. This new cluster policy is in line with the S3 strategy at the basis of the regional innovation and industrial policies. In this contest, ASTER was appointed by the Regional Government to steer the process of clusters’ value-chains setting, cluster formal constitution and their development.
Today, under the CLUST-ER initiative, 7 clusters have been activated to develop innovative projects along 27 value-chains in total. These novel regional clusters are participated by local SMEs, Larger companies, Research Organisations, Technology Transfer Centres and other non-profit organisations. They current CLUST-ER are:
- Agrifood Clust-ER
- Building Clust-ER
- Automotive & Mechatronics Clust-ER
- Healthcare and Wellness industry Clust-ER
- Cultural and Creative Industry Clust-ER
- Energy & Environment Clust-ER
- IT Services Clust-ER.
Finally, ASTER is an active member of the National Technology Clusters initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry for Research, University and Education, and is involved in the following:
- National Technology Cluster Intelligent Factory
- National Technology Cluster of Green Chemistry SPRING
- National Technology Cluster ALISEI, Advanced Life Sciences in Italy
- National Technology Cluster Agrifood CL.A.N.
- National Technology Cluster Smart Communities Tech
- National technology Cluster Trasporti Italia 2020
Within this framework, ASTER takes part in the clusters’ governing bodies and, in particular, holds the Chair of the Italian Technology Cluster on “Agrifood” and manages the head office of the Italian Technology Cluster “Intelligent Factories”.