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ASTER - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT PLATFORM

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Monday, 29 April, 1985
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
1-5
Regions: 
Emilia-Romagna
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
NameWebsite
Italian network of scientific and technological parks (APSTI)
Italian Business Angels Network Association (BAN)
ITALIA STARTUP Association
Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)
European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN)
Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency European Association (A.SPIRE)
EIT CLIMATE-KIC
EIT RAW MATERIALS
Vanguard Initiative
Cluster Management Team: 
NameSurnamePositionTelephoneEmail
Stefano
Valentini
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
stefano.valentini@aster.it
Daniela
Sani
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
daniela.sani@aster.it
Sara
Picone
ECCP Responsible Person
+39 051 6398099
sara.picone@aster.it
Stefano
Valentini
Internationalisation Responsible
Languages spoken: 
English
Italian
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Downstream Chemical Products
Electric Power Generation and Transmission
Technology fields: 
Biogas and anaerobic digestion (AD)
Environmental Engineering / Technology
S3 EU priority areas: 
Bio fuels & energy efficiency
Blue renewable energy
Emerging industries: 
Blue Growth Industries
Environmental Industries
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
green chemistry,
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
11
Number of SME members: 
4
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
7
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
NameWebsiteType
Advanced Polymer Materials Srl
SME
CIRI ENERGIA E AMBIENTE
University
CRPA LAB
Research Organisation
LEAP
Research Organisation
NIER Ingegneria Spa
SME
Proambiente S.C.r.l.
SME
Raw Power S.R.L.
SME
Terra&Acqua Tech
University
CIDEA
University
Laerte
Research Organisation
LEA
Research Organisation
Cluster Strategy
Mission/Objectives: 

Aster - Energy and Environment Platform is a regional innovation and technology cluster which gathers the industrial research labs from public and private research organizations and private companies (both larger companies and SMEs) spread throughout the Emilia-Romagna region operating in the energy and environment sectors. The Platform mission is to provide knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the innovation needs expressed by companies, mainly SMEs, related to energy and green tech. Specifically, one of the main challenges of the cluster is to develop and provide innovative solutions and services targeted to SMEs' innovation needs; either to those belonging to the cluster as qualifed members or to the wider national and international business community.

The mission of Aster - Energy and Environment Platform is to:

  • Foster enterprises innovation attitude and capability
  • Promote industrial research
  • Facilitate industry-research collaboration
  • Indentify funding opportunities
  • Foster business competitiveness by developing innovative products and services
  • Support the internationalization of research and technology transfer

The governance of Aster - Energy and Environment Platform is managed by Aster S. Cons. p. A, in particular by its Industrial Research Unit on Energy and Environment. Aster is the consortium among the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, Universities, National Research Centres located in the region (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, which has received the mandate to coordinate and develop the cluster.

The annual platform strategy is developed by the Energy and Environment Steering Committee. This Committee also develops the annual activity plan and strategic projects to drive the regional innovation policy; its work is coordinated by Aster and carried out by accredited industrial research and business members.

Based on the Smart Specialization Strategy developed by the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Aster - Energy and Environment Platform has organised several thematic working groups to identify regional value chains in the field of energy and environment innovation gathering local companies and research organizations. The identified value chains are:

  1. Environmental sustainability and ecosystem services
  2. Low carbon economy (including bio methane, power to gas, energy storage and smart energy grids, energy efficiency in industry an- low carbon technologies)

The value chains also represent the pillars for the future platform strategy.

 

Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Yes
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Yes
Services
Support services provided: 
Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.)
Access to technology services
Support of technology transfer
Support for IPR
Details of support services: 

Access to public support

Aster - Energy and Environment Platform provides information, training and assistance on opportunities offered by regional, national and European funds and programmes in sectors linked to energy and environment research and innovation to Universities, Research centres, Public authorities, Entrepreneurial associations and Companies.

In particular, Aster - Energy and Environment Platform supports knowledge-based and innovative SMEs and start-ups based in Emilia-Romagna providing them with information and advice on EU matters in order to foster transnational collaborations.

Moreover, a service to cover start-up business development in all stages, ranging from idea support definition, to training, consultancy, fundraising, direct grants, working spaces, networking opportunities has been developed.

Support of technology services

Aster - Energy and Environment Platform aims at developing and transferring innovative technologies and methods regarding: environmental quality control, natural resources management, development of renewable energy sources, analysis and reengineering of products, systems, production processes and entropic activities in general, with the purpose to optimize the use and maximize material and energy recovery.

A technology scouting activity is organized with the aim to identify marketable research results.

Promotion of activities

Several tools have been developed and shared on-line to promote competencies, expertises and facilities of the Aster - Energy and Environment Platform. The main tools are:

  1. research catalogue
  2. equipments catalogue
  3. research contracts dashboard
  4. technology reports

Support of innovation and technology transfer

Aster - Energy and Environment Platform is engaged to provide open Innovation and research marketing services focusing on augmenting science-industry relations, especially by favouring and encouraging structured collaborations between the regional energy and green economy value chains and the public research organisations and universities and by activating networking initiatives at international level. It provides services for technology transfer from universities and research centres towards the industry in terms of know-how, skills, technologies and also supporting companies with: company visits, information events for SMEs, research-business brokerage events, partner search for co-funded research projects. 

Support for IPR

The support activity for the protection and the valorisation of research results and Intellectual Property (IP) is addressed to the key innovation actors of the regional economic system – enterprises, research institutes and local governmental bodies. Information, support and monitoring services and activities for the protection and transfer of research results are deployed both on-line and off-line and also through pilot actions. Awareness and educational sessions are performed as well as the evaluation and promotion of tools for the identification and the economic valorisation of intangible assets (also IP for financial purposes).

Initiatives and activities developed to provide advice and support on IP are:

  • awareness: seminars and tutorial videos and webinars
  • exploitation: assistance in identification of  maturity level of awareness and usage of IP
  • finance: identification of public funding schemes and access to loans and venture capital
  • contracts and agreements: development of contractual model and guidelines for science-business cooperation and technology transfer

 

Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Canada
China
South Africa
United States
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Support to collaborative activities/etc.
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
France
Germany
Netherlands
Spain
Our cluster organisation undertook the following trans-national activities to support our members: 
Support to collaborative activities/etc.
Which clusters do you collaborate with?: 
National Technology Cluster of Green Chemistry SPRING (Europe)
National Technology Cluster Smart Communities Tech (Europe)
National technology Cluster Trasporti Italia 2020 (Europe)
Ravenna Offshore Contractors Association - ROCA (Europe)
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameName & Description (Regional/National)
H2020
CIP/COSME
INTERREG
EIT KICs
Other

H2020

CIP/COSME

INTERREG

  • PLASTICE “Innovative value chain development for sustainable plastics in Central Europe” (2011-2014, Central Europe Programme). It drived the use of sustainable plastics, particularly biodegradable plastics and renewable resource-based plastics. The project was designed to promote the understanding of these materials within different communities, to contribute at creating an ordered regulatory environment and to encourage collaboration and knowledge transfer between research and the industry.
  • ENERCITEE (2010-2013), financed within Interreg IVC programme, EnercitEE seeks to implement the EU targets on energy efficiency practically through contributing to the improvement of local and regional policies and providing assistance in the transfer of knowledge and good practice on energy efficiency and local/regional energy planning. Practical guidelines and policy recommendations produced within EnercitEE will provide valuable assistance for European regions aiming to improve their energy performance and policies.
  • ACCELMED
  • ENERGEIA
  • INKREASE
  • INNO INFRA SHARE
  • TRIS

    EIT KICs

    OTHER

    Life programme

    NATIONAL

    • National technology Cluster Initiative - Ministry for Education, University and Research - MIUR

    REGIONAL

    Promotion
    Success Story / Achievements: 

    The number of research contracts obtained in the framework of the Aster - Energy and Environment Platform is 274 with a total value of 29.552  Millions Euros.

    Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

    European and international collaboration is a priority for the Aster - Energy and Environment Platform, with main focus on the internationalization of the regional Research and Innovation System, as well as the exchange of experience for the development of new services and activities implemented in Emilia-Romagna. Many activities and services are carried out thanks to the successful participation of members and partners to international EU co-funded projects and to European and International networks.

    Aster - Energy and Environment Platform is providing support to strengthen collaboration between research and enterprises. Indeed, since many years the Platform has designed and implemented strategies and tools for innovation, industrial research, technology transfer and for the improvement of high quality skills and careers on innovation. With its activities and services the Platform targets the main actors of research and innovation community.

    Project design and development are the key to develop new strategic initiatives, exploit excellence areas, strengthen regional "milieu" assets, explore new opportunities and undertake pilot actions to increase innovation capacity and competitiveness of the Platform's research and business members and regional players. This activity is based on the collaboration with regional, national and European research and innovation stakeholders, partner and other organisations sharing objectives and ambitions to innovate and improve performances.