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ASTER - MECHANICS AND MATERIALS PLATFORM

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General Information
Year Established: 
Monday, 29 April, 1985
Number of employees in the cluster organisation : 
1-5
Regions: 
Emilia-Romagna
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
NameWebsite
European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA)
Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency European Association (A.SPIRE)
Cluster Management Team: 
NameSurnamePositionTelephoneEmail
Leda
Bologni
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
leda.bologni@aster.it
Elisabetta
Toschi
Cluster Manager
+39 051 6398099
elisabetta.toschi@aster.it
Ugo
Mencherini
ECCP Responsible Person
+39 051 6398099
ugo.mencherini@aster.it
Languages spoken: 
English
Italian
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Automotive
Metalworking Technology
Production Technology and Heavy Machinery
Technology fields: 
Machine Tools
Nanomaterials
Packaging for machines
S3 EU priority areas: 
Advanced manufacturing systems
Advanced materials
Machinery & equipment n.e.c.
Emerging industries: 
Advanced Packaging
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Automation, Sensor
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
26
Number of SME members: 
14
Number of larger company members: 
4
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
8
Name and link of major players: 
NameWebsiteType
CAT-ITALSIGMA
SME
CIRI AERONAUTICA
University
CIRI MECCANICA E MATERIALI
University
CNR-IMAMOTER
Research Organisation
CNR-ISTEC
Research Organisation
CNR-NANO S3
Research Organisation
CRIF
Larger Company
DTM srl
SME
Ecor Campus
Larger Company
F.M. Lab
SME
GHEPI S.r.l.
SME
Highftech Engineering S.r.l.
SME
INTERMECH-Mo.Re.
University
Kiwa Cermet Italia S.p.A
Larger Company
Consorzio L.I.A.M.
SME
MechLav
University
MIST E-R
Larger Company
CONSORZIO MUSP
Larger Company
NCS LAB S.R.L.
SME
R&D CFD S.r.l.
SME
Reggio Emilia Innovazione S.c. ar.l.
SME
Scriba Nanotecnologie Srl
SME
TEC Eurolab
SME
TP ENGINEERING
SME
TRLab
SME
Cluster Strategy
Mission/Objectives: 

Aster - Mechanics and Materials 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 Mechanics and Materials sectors. The Platform mission is to provide knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the innovation needs expressed by company, mainly SMEs, of materials, mechanics and manufacturing industries. One of the main challenges of the Platformis is to develop and provide tailored innovative solution and service 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 - Mechanics and Materials 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 the Aster - Mechanics and Materials Platform is managed by Aster S. Cons. p. A, in particular by its Industrial Research Unit on Mechanics and Materials. 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 Mechanics and Materials 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 - Mechanics and Materials Platform has organised several thematic working groups to identify regional value chains in the field of Mechanics and Materials innovation gathering local companies and research organizations. The identified value chains are:

  1. Advanced manufacturing
  2. Automation and robotics
  3. Innovative materials
  4. Fluid power
  5. Automotive
  6. Nautical
  7. Avionics and aerospace

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.)
Trend-scouting (Ideas for innovative projects)
Promotion of activities (marketing/ visibility)
Support of technology transfer
Support for IPR
Details of support services: 

Access to public support

Aster - Mechanics and Materials Platform provides information, training and assistance on opportunities offered by regional, national and European funds and programmes in sectors linked to advance manufacturing and new materials to Universities, Research centres, Public authorities, Entrepreneurial associations and Companies.

In particular, the 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 the Aster - Mechanics and Materials Platform. The main tools are:

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

Support of innovation and technology transfer

The Aster - Mechanics and Materials 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 mechanics and materials industries 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 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 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 addressed by the cluster organisation through international activities: 
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 addressed by the cluster organisation through trans-national activities: 
France
Germany
Greece
Poland
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 Intelligent Factory (Europe)
National technology Cluster Trasporti Italia 2020 (Europe)
Lombard Intelligent Factory Cluster - AFIL (Europe)
Cluster Mechatronics and Automation GmbH (Europe)
Cluster AT+R (Europe)
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameName & Description (Regional/National)
H2020
CIP/COSME
INTERREG
EIT KICs

H2020

CIP/COSME

INTERREG

EIT KICs

NATTIONAL

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

REGIONAL

  • Technology Cluster Initiative 2 - Distretti Tecnologici 2
  • Industrial Research Strategic Projects - Progetti di ricerca industriale strategica
Promotion
Success Story / Achievements: 

The number of research contracts obtained in the framework of the Aster - Mechanics and Materials Platform is 859 with a total value of 40.094 MIllions of Euros

Why partners should choose you for cooperation?: 

European and international collaboration is a priority for the Aster - Mechanics and Materials 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 - Mechanics and Materials 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. 

Aster - Mechanics and Materials Platform activities, 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 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.