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ASTER - LIFE SCIENCES 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)
Vanguard Initiative
Cluster Management Team: 
NameSurnamePositionTelephoneEmail
Cecilia
Maini
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
cecilia.maini@aster.it
Cecilia
Maini
ECCP Responsible Person
+39 051 6398099
cecilia.maini@aster.it
Nunzia
Ciliberti
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
nunzia.ciliberti@aster.it
Languages spoken: 
English
Italian
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Biopharmaceuticals
Downstream Chemical Products
Technology fields: 
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Health information management
S3 EU priority areas: 
Human health activities (medical services)
Ageing societies
Emerging industries: 
Bio-pharmaceuticals
Medical Devices
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
18
Number of SME members: 
3
Number of larger company members: 
3
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
12
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
NameType
Chiesi Group
Larger Company
Holostem TA
Larger Company
B.brawn
Larger Company
Mhealth technologies
SME
Transmed Research
SME
BIOPHARMANET-TEC
University
CGR UNIMORE
University
CIDSTEM
University
CIRI Life Scinces
University
COMT
University
Fondazione IRET
Research Organisation
Fondazione Sansavini
Research Organisation
Istituto Ramazzini
Research Organisation
Laboratorio di Bioscienze
Research Organisation
Laboratorio per le Tecnologie delle Terapie Avanzate
University
PolyCrystalLine srl
SME
Rizzoli RIT
Research Organisation
TPM - TECNOPOLO MIRANDOLA
Research Organisation
Cluster Strategy
Mission/Objectives: 

Aster - Life Sciences Platform is a regional innovation and technology cluster which gathers industrial research labs from public and private research organisation and private companies (both larger companies and SMEs) spread throughout the Emilia-Romagna region operating in the healthcare industry and related sectors (e.g. life science, wellbeing, bio-pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services). The platform mission is to provide knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the innovation needs expressed by companies, mainly SMEs, related to healthcare and life technology. Specifically, one of the main challenges of the Platform 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 - Life Science Platform is to:

  • Foster company innovation attitude
  • Promote industrial research
  • Promote healthcare innovation
  • Facilitate industry-research-healthcare system collaboration
  • Indentify funding opportunities
  • Foster business competitiveness by developing innovative products and services
  • Promote precision medicine
  • Support and organise a local regenerative medicine value chain 

The governance of Aster - Life Sciences Platform  is managed by Aster S. Cons. p. A, in particular by its Industrial Research Unit on Life Sciences. 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 Life Sciences 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 - Life Sciences Platform has organised several thematic working groups to identify regional value chains in the field of life sciences gathering local companies and research organizations. The identified value chains are:

  1. regenerative medicine
  2. biopharmaceuticals and omics
  3. medical and prosthetic devices of last generation
  4. technology for active and healthy living

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 - Life Sciences Platform provides information, training and assistance on opportunities offered by regional, national and European funds and programmes to Universities, Research centres, Public authorities, Entrepreneurial associations and Companies.

In particular, Aster - Life Sciences 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 - Life Sciences 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 - Life Sciences 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 Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Canada
China
Israel
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 ALISEI, Advanced Life Sciences in Italy (Europe)
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameName & Description (Regional/National)
H2020
CIP/COSME
INTERREG
EIT KICs
Other

HORIZON2020

  • KAMINLER2
  • STARTINN

INTERREG

  • ELISE
  • INKREASE
  • INNO-INFRA

ERASMUS

  • OPEN-EYE8
  • SCIENT

CIP/COSME

EIT KICs

OTHER

  • SUNFRAIL  (funded by European Union’s Health Programme 2014-2020)

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 number of research contracts obtained in the framework of the Aster - Life Science Platform is 274 with a total value of 29.552 Millions of Euros.

Moreover, the collaboration between Chiesi Group and Regenerative Medicine Centre (with the consittution of Holostem) in the framework of Aster - Life Sciences Platform allowed the development and clinical validation of the advance therapy for cornea regeneration. The result has been exploited by Holostem with the brandnew product Holoclar©, the first advance therapy based on adult stemcells approved by EMA.

 

Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

The Aster - Life Sciences Platform is a fast line for reaching a broad number of companies that rappresent tha biomedical, pharmaceutical and e-Care industrial districts.