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CAT.AL, High Technology Agrifood Lombardy Cluster (Parco Tecnologico Padano)

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Tuesday, 1 January, 2002
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
Cluster Excellence Label: 
Bronze Label
Membership to European Strategic Cluster Partnerships (ESCP-4i, ESCP-S3 or ESCP-4x): 
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
IASP - International Association of Sciencce Parks and Areas of Innovation
APSTI - Italian Association of STPs
WoFIN - World Food Innovation Network
CEBR - Council of European Bioregions
Cluster Management Team: 
+39 0371 4662211
+39 0371 4662200
+39 0371 4662218
Languages spoken: 
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Agricultural Inputs and Services
S3 EU priority areas: 
Food security & safety
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Agrifood & AgriBiotech, Bioeconomy, Biomedicine
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
Number of SME members: 
Number of larger company members: 
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
Number of other ecosystem actors : 
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
Cluster Strategy

“CAT.AL - Lombardy High Tech Agrofood Cluster” aims at supporting enterprises, universities and research bodies in Lombardy in their process of developing their collaborative network while recognizing their common targets and needs of innovation in the agro-food sector. The vision is to build a shared community of knowledge and expertise aimed at successfully embarking on new challenges for the international economy. CAT.AL endeavours to do this while always keeping in sight sustainable growth.

CAT.AL supports the creation of the web-based network established amongst an assorted range of agro-food enterprises in Lombardy. Members are encouraged to raise their awareness of governmental strategies and research policies for the development of the agro-food sector. This can also help companies in starting partnerships that can eventually lead to more profitable businesses.

CAT.AL has been officially recognized by the local government of Lombardy as the appointed cluster and stakeholder to engage research and pinpoint innovation targets in the agro-food sector. Thus, members of CAT.AL are adequately represented during the elaboration of new guidelines aimed at the innovation in the agro-food sector and in the drafting of competition announcements.

While supporting and valuing services to local enterprises in the context of technological innovation, CAT.AL aims to raise the competitive level of its members, making them more economically attractive both at local and international levels.

Tha managing body of CAT.AL is Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP), the leading Italian Science and Technology Park operating in the Agrifood, Bioeconomy and Life Sciences sectors. 

In the Agrifood sector, PTP research is focused on quali-quantitative improvement of animal and plant productions, sustainability and agri-food production enhancement. PTP can provide innovative solutions to solve complicated issues. Results obtained can be spent in the livestock and agri-food sectors, going from biodiversity characterization and genetic improvement to, especially for the food sector, the development of new diagnostics equipment and food product traceability. The goal concerns food safety, reduced environmental impact and human and animal health safeguard.

In the macroarea of Bioeconomy, PTP focuses its research on biorefineries, renewable resources and waste minimization. The main objectives are: new sustainable productive systems from an environmental, social and economic point of view; multi-purpose culture development, second and third generation biomasses, lignocellulosic biomass appreciation by means of biocatalysis process optimization, biostimulants identification and production, microalgae characterization and selection to produce high-value molecules and bioremediation.

The last sector addressed is health, in particular biomedical and translational medicine, in collaboration with several research institutions and companies. A remarkable expertise has been developed in the genomic analyses, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and biostatistics. The know-how is capitalized on pre-clinical and personalized medicine activities, biomarker characterization and for nutraceuticals. The expertise developed with omics technologies makes PTP the ideal partner for the pharmaceutical sector, where genomics, biological data analysis and statistics are pivotal for new molecule studies and development

Services and applied research are provided through state-of-the-art technology platforms and according to the demands and needs of businesses as well as trying to anticipate the trends of market innovation. PTP offers business services on the whole national territory, while maintaining a special focus on developing value chains based on social-economic-environmental interregional SME needs.

By integrating cutting edge research with innovation, through interdisciplinary and transversal approach, CAT.AL and PTP contribute to bioeconomy development, with a focus on agriculture, food and health. Research and Development are supported for both academia and industry through innovative technology platforms for genomics, statistics and bioinformatics. In addition, through Alimenta Incubator and Accelerator, CAT.AL and PTP provide high-level services to support business development from both R&D activities and new ideas.

Since their creation, CAT.AL and PTP are rapidly growing into a reference point inside Lombardy region for Agrofood and agro-biotech sectors, and act globally as well through metacluster networks aimed at boosting the regional cluster on the world stage.

Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Support services provided: 
Internationalisation support (= Access to third countries markets)
Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.)
Facilitation of collaboration between members
Trend-scouting (Ideas for innovative projects)
Support of technology transfer
Details of support services: 
Business support services include:
  • Business Modelling and Planning
  • Equity Financing Advisory
  • Grant Office (project management)
  • Business Development
  • Intellectual Property
  • Strategic Development
  • Technology Transfer
  • Technology Brokering
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Communication and Fundraising 
  • Industrial Process and Manufacturing (food, pharma and biotech)
  • Business Development 
  • Logistic and Purchase
  • Patent, IP, Trademark design 
  • Corporate finance
  • Web Design, digital PR
  • International Networking and Matching
  • Trend scouting  
Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
United States
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Our cluster organisation undertook the following trans-national activities to support our members: 
Support to collaborative activities/etc.
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject Name
More than 90 R&D and Busines Support International Projects, including: 
  • FP7 / GENE2FARM - New Next Generation Sequencing protocols and Bioinformatics analysis for genetic improvement of highly zootechnical interest bovine breeds
  • FP7 / WHEALBY - Development of a sustainable precision agriculture aiming at more resilient crops allowing for a reduced water and nitrous requirement 
  • FP7 / RUMINOMICS - Balancing animal microbioma and genome for an increased food absorption and a loewer metane production
  • H2020 / SALTGAE - Implementation and improvement of wastewater management
  • H2020 / SAPHIR - New vaccine techniques for improving yelds and sustainability of animal breeding farms
  • H2020 / IMPULSE - innovative method based on microalgae for the treatment of wastewater, water reuse and recycle
  • CIP / FEEDING THE PLANET - 3 EU clusters joining to establish a global EU World Class Metacluster 
  • INTERREG MED / Hidden - strengthening the capacity of innovation in "low tech" SMEs by boosting non-technological innovation and promoting organizational, marketing and business development operations. 
Success Story / Achievements: 
Alimenta (PTP's Business Incubator) ranked in the top 10 of the hottest EU Bioincubators: http://labiotech.eu/the-10-hottest-bioincubators-in-europe/
Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 
Lombardy Region can be considered one of the main engines of Europe, and Agrifood plays an extremely important role. CAT.AL cluster and Parco Tecnologico Padano can offer an extensive multidisciplinary experience, either in the R&D and the Business Development domains. Technological facilities, extensive consolidated international networks, a global coverage of the whole agrifood, bioeconomy and biomedicine production chains are just three of the many competences we can offer. We are happy to get in contact with anyone interested in potential cooperations or in the development of new ideas, either business ideas, international projects ideas or to kick off new forms of cooperations.