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ASTER -ICT & DESIGN 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)
EIT CLIMATE-KIC
Vanguard Initiative
Cluster Management Team: 
NameSurnamePositionTelephoneEmail
Lucia
Mazzoni
Project Manager
+39 051 6398099
lucia.mazzoni@aster.it
Daniele
Sangiorgi
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
daniele.sangiorgi@aster.it
Daniele
Sangiorgi
ECCP Responsible Person
+39 051 6398099
daniele.sangiorgi@aster.it
Languages spoken: 
English
Italian
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Information Technology and Analytical Instruments
Technology fields: 
Digital Systems, Digital Representation
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
S3 EU priority areas: 
Development of regional cultural & creative industries
Micro/Nano electronics
Emerging industries: 
Creative Industries
Digital Industries
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
15
Number of SME members: 
7
Number of larger company members: 
1
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
CIRI ICT
University
CRIS
University
DATARIVER SRL
SME
Mavigex s.r.l.
SME
Medicon Ingegneria S.r.l.
SME
REDOX S.R.L.
SME
RE:Lab S.r.l.
SME
Romagna Innovazione Soc.Cons.a.r.l
SME
SOFTECH-ICT
University
T3LAB
Research Organisation
Anastasis
SME
CROSS-TEC
Research Organisation
EGICON R&S
SME
FUTURE TECHNOLOGY LAB
University
GeoSMART Lab
SME
INFN TTLab
Research Organisation
Mechlav-U.O. Centec
University
Cluster Strategy
Mission/Objectives: 

The Aster - ICT and Design 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 ICT and SMART technology sectors.

The Platform mission is to provide, knowledge, skills, facilities and resources so as to represent a point of reference for the innovation needs expressed by the ICT sector and other sectors which need ICT competences. 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 qualified members or to the wider national and international business community.

The mission of Aster - ICT and Design Platform is to:

  • Foster company innovation attitude
  • 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 - ICT and Design Platform is managed by Aster S. Cons. p. A, in particular by its Industrial Research Unit on ICT and Design. 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 ICT and Design 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 - ICT and Design Platform has organised several thematic working groups to identify regional value chains in the field of service innovation gathering local companies and research organizations. The identified value chains are:

  1. Intelligent IT services
  2. Internet of Things
  3. Cyber security
  4. Big data

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.)
Facilitation of collaboration between members
Promotion of activities (marketing/ visibility)
Support of technology transfer
Support for IPR
Details of support services: 

Access to public support

Aster - ICT and Design Platform provides information, training and assistance on opportunities offered by regional, national and European funds and programmes in ICT and Design fields to Universities, Research centres, Public authorities, Entrepreneurial associations and Companies.

In particular, Aster - ICT and Design 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. The services are delivered through specific sector-based programmes or as regular activities linked to Aster’s core actions such as the EmiliaRomagnaStartUp community (ERSU).

Promotion of activities

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

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

Support of technology transfer and member collaboration

Aster - ICT and Design 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 business players and the public research organisations and universities and by activating networking initiatives at national and 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 when approaching research organizations: company visits, information events for SMEs, research-business brokerage events, partner search for co-funded research projects.

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

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 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 Smart Communities Tech (Europe)
National Technology Cluster Intelligent Factory (Europe)
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameName & Description (Regional/National)
H2020
INTERREG
EIT KICs
Other

HORIZON2020

  • KAMINLER2
  • STARTINN

INTERREG

  • INKREASE
  • INNO-INFRA

ERASMUS

  • OPEN-EYE8
  • SCIENT

CIP/COSME

EIT KICs

NATIONAL

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

REGIONAL

  • Technology Cluster Initiative 2 - Distretti Tecnologici 2
Promotion
Success Story / Achievements: 

The research contracts obtained in the framework of the Aster - ICT and Design Platform are 777 with a total value of 62.455 Millions of Euros.

Moreover, thanks to the Technology Report Services provided by the ICT and Design platform, the industrial research laboratory Redox was able to sell one of its patents to the Italian Company illycaffè S.p.A. for 2 thousand million of Euro.

Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

European and international collaboration is a priority for the Aster - ICT and Design 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 - ICT and Design Platform promotes industrial research, technology development and transfer, innovative start-up creation and the improvement of high quality skills and careers on innovation at regional, national and international levels. 

Since many years, Aster - ICT and Design Platform activities has shaped and defined pathways and tools for innovation, industrial research, technology transfer. 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 assets, explore new opportunities and undertake pilot actions to increase innovation capacity and competitiveness of the regional research and business systems. 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.