Technopoles in Emilia Romagna


Knowledge at the service of industrial research

Technopoles host and organize activities, services and facilities for industrial research, experimental development and technology transfer. They are a network of infrastructures located in 10 sites throughout the Emilia Romagna regional territory and are promoted by the Emilia Romagna Regional Government in co-operation with universities, research centres and local authorities.


Host industrial research laboratories of the Emilia Romagna High Technology Network; are equipped with modern research infrastructures and dedicated staff; carry out activities and provide services of interest for the enterprises of the region. Foster the liaison between enterprises and researchers and offer access to state of the art scientific facilities, thus narrowing the gap between demand and supply of research. Include facilities and service for dissemination, demo and information activities, as well as premises for innovative spin-offs, private enterprises and research laboratories. Act as gate of access to the whole Emilia Romagna High Technology Network and promote its role at national and international level Access to Technopoles and the High Technology network is facilitated by the Techpole portal whose function is to welcome and guide users of research and innovation services, particularly enterprises. Through the portal tutoring, activities and support to access the know-how developed within the Technopole are provided. The portal offers also support for bureaucratic and administrative procedures to establish collaborations with Technopole members and services for the creation of new innovative enterprises.

The Emilia Romagna innovation polity

The Technopole development programme gives continuity to the industrial research and technology transfer activities implemented by the Emilia Romagna Region over the past few years. In the framework of the decentralisation process of competencies from the national to the regional level in the area of economic development, the Regional Government approved the Regional Law.n7/2002 followed by the related Regional Programme for Industrial Research Innovation and Technology Transfer (PRRIITT). In the framework of the PRIITT Programme early actions were undertaken to promote and strengthen a new favourable context to fuel investments in research and development to support technological innovation in Emilia Romagna. The Region on one hand has supported industrial research within enterprises by funding collaboration projects with Universities and Research centres and, on the other, it has set up a network of industrial research and technology transfer facilities, i.e. the Emilia Romagna High Technology Network, organized in 6 technological thematic Platforms: agri-food, constructions, energy and environment, ICT and design, life sciences, mechanics and materials.

The Network Co-Ordination: Aster and the Hub Function

The Technopole network is co-ordinated by Aster, the Consortium created by the Emilia Romagna Regional Government, Universities and Research centres, Unioncamere, the Chambers of Commerce Association of the region. Aster co-ordination activity is mainly intended to support the development of the Technological Platforms that make up the network and, through them, the growth of laboratories and the improvement of their relationship with enterprises. This aim is pursued by providing common promotion and enhancement services, activities co-ordination and governance, as well ad high quality integrated tools. Aster will play its network hub function at the Bologna Manifattura Technopole premises, which will become the point of reference and liaison of the whole Network, providing co-ordination, promotion and marketing services, as well as networking opportunities at regional, national and international, this promoting relationships and collaborations and making the activities performed by Technopole members visible and available to all.

Support to the research demand by enterprises

  • 529 research and development projects funded during the 2004-2009 period, for a total investment of more than 235 M € and a public co-funding of 92 M €
  • 811 young graduates in technical – scientific disciplines hired by enterprises to carry out research and development activities
  • 547 contracts signed between enterprises and universities and research centres
  • 12 joint laboratories among SMEs funded
  • 26 new innovative enterprises supported in their star-up phase

The Emilia Romagna High Technology Network includes networked industrial research and TT laboratories (net labs) and innovation centres, focusing on research activities and innovation topics of enterprises interest. During its starting phase 27 net labs and 24 innovation centres were ste up, almost 800 new labour contracts were signed with young researchers and an even larger number of staff (professors, researchers and technicians) of the research centres and universities involved participated to network activities. The laboratories produced 666 tangible research results (prototypes, methods, studies and characterization), an even larger number of publications, 20 patents and 10 research spin off in two year time. During the second phase aiming at network consolidation with the integration of already existing laboratories and centres, 14 laboratories and 8 centres were set up. With the Technopoles phase, the network already counts on 45 structures among industrial research laboratories and research centres.

Facts and Figures

  • 10 Technoples
  • 160,000 square metre area
  • 6 universities and 4 research institutes
  • 34 industrial research laboratories and 11 innovation centres
  • 1,600 researchers, of whom 560 newly employed young researchers
  • 132 research programmes
  • 520 solutions available for companies

Total investment: 241 milion Euros of which:

  • Total regional contribution: 137 million Euros (ERDF Regional Operational Programme resources: 94 million Euros plus additional regional funds: 43 million Euros)
  • Universities and research institutes funds: 90 million Euros
  • Local Authorities funds: 14 million Euros

- Investment in infrastructures: 72 million Euros
- Investment in scientific equipment: 48 million Euros
- Investment in research contracts: 121 million Euros – 50% for young researchers


The Thematic Platforms gather the industrial research knowledge available in the region, resulting from the matching between the expertise of the Emilia Romagna High Technology Network laboratories and enterprises needs. They focus on strategic themes whose technological progress will influence future regional growth, competitiveness and sustainability. The set medium and long-term technological development and research objectives and embrace the whole value chain, ensuring that knowledge generated by research is first converted into technologies and processes and then into marketable products and services. They foster co-operation within and among them to develop new projects and collaboration relationships also at international level, and promote the access to European innovation, research and development funds. The Thematic Platforms aim at generating added value for the regional economic development and are designed to: -identify the most promising technological trajectories to set out the priorities of research programmes and up to date enabling technologies needed by the various industrial districts - define a common activity programme, identifying the joint High Technology Network actions - outline marketing and product development tools to foster the establishment of research and service contracts - Transfer knowledge to regional enterprises and valorise the outcomes achieved by the individual laboratories - develop connections and collaborations with European and international actors, e.g. European Technological Platforms, and participate at international cooperation projects.


Technopoles in Modena and in Reggio Emilia:

Modena Reggio Emilia
ICT and Design platform
Information technologies for businesses
Life science platform
Regenerative Medicine Center
"Stefano Ferrari" Interdepartmental Centre for Stem cells and regenerative medicine
Mechanics Materials platform
Interdepartmental Research Centre for Applied Research and Services in the Advanced Mechanics and Motor Sector
Agrifood platform
Biogest - Siteia
Interdepartmental Research Centre for Agri-food biological resources improvement and valorisation
Animal production research centre
Constructions platform
En & Tech Research Center
Interdepartmental Research Center for Industrial Research and Technology Transfer in the Field of Integrated Technologies for Sustainable Research, Efficient Energy Conversion, Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Lighting and Home Automation
Energy Environment platform
Animal production research centre
Mechanics Materials platform
Interdepartmental Research Centre for Applied Research and Services in the Advanced Mechanics and Motor Sector

The 2007-2013 ERDF Regional operational Programme

The Regional Operational Programme of the European Regional Development Fund for the period 2007-2013, approved by decision C(2007) 3875 of 7 August 2007 of the European Commision, makes available 347 million Euro for the purpose of bringing the Emilia Romagna Region into line with the Lisbon and Göteborg objectives of growing investment in R&D, creating the kwoledge society and setting widespread bases for sustainable development. The parameters in terms of employment, increased investment in R&D, number of patents, level of social inclusion and alignment of public policy with the new communicy objectives, highlight the growing commitment of the regional system to the construction of new dynamic, innovative and competitive Europe as set out in the Lisbon strategy. The Operational Programme sets itself the objective of making socio-economic dynamism, innovation and quality of development the hallmarks of the Emilia Romagna Region. The global objective is articulated in a variety of specific objects of fundamental importance to the regional economy and society, which is characterised by high levels of development and industrialisation, an excellent competitive profile and well structured services for development. It follows that the Operational Programme’s principal objective, running through the various specific areas of action, is to place Emilia Romagna in the forefront of European Regions.