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Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Science and Innovation clusters

Piedmont region set up 12 innovation poles in the territory, both in traditional sectors (such as agri-food and textile) as well as high-tech sectors (such as biotechnologies, mechatronics and Information Communications Technology or ICT). The poles are composed of firms, research centres active in a specific sector and of a 'management entity'. The objective is to promote innovation, not only through the interaction and the exchange of knowledge, experience and information among firms, but also through the use of common infrastructures. In addition, the innovation poles have the challenging role of interpreting and identifying firms' technological needs in order to guide future regional policy actions in support of research and innovation. With this initiative, the Piedmont region is stimulating R&D and innovation in its firms, valorizing the present assets, developing the internationalization processes and increasing the attraction of productive investments in the region.


  • ICT : coordinated by Fondazione Torino Wireless , the ICT Innovation Cluster is a network of excellence which has 127 members (by June 2011). The members belong to three different categories: the companies, with the presence of both large reference organizations for the ICT sector and the territory, and medium and small companies, able to express innovative liveliness and interest in investing in development paths; the universities and research institutes, with the direct participation of all the universities and private research institutes of reference for ICT technologies in Piedmont; the key players in supporting innovation in the ICT sector, from the creation of technological enterprises to technologies and infrastructures for data transfer and processing. As a steering organization, Torino Wireless promotes company collaboration on innovative projects, analyzes company needs in terms of specific innovation services and organizes networking activities to define the Pole’s strategic agenda and yearly plan of activities to be approved and financed by the Regional Government of Piedmont.

  • AGRI FOOD : coordinated by Tecnogranda , its area of interest includes the innovative smart packaging (e.g. based on nano-sensors and nano-materials), new food-processing technologies (e.g. micro-wave), integrated solutions for post-harvest management (from storing to packaging and distribution), tracking and tracing digital technologies, technologies for improving food safety and quality (e.g. protection from mico-toxins), rapid prototyping and use of composite materials for equipment.

  • DIGITAL CREATIVITY and MULTIMEDIALITY : coordinated by Virtual Reality & Multi Media Park S.p.A. , its focus is on new technologies for multimedia and virtual reality applications. Its first domain of activity has been in the field of movie and TV production and it has now opened to a broader range of applications, with particular attention to the use of virtual reality in industrial processes and in the bio-medical domain. This cluster is a network of excellence with 47 members. As steering organization VRMMP collects the technology needs of companies, helps knowledge sharing, promotes investment in innovative products, creates the communication infrastructure and provides value-added services to member companies.

  • SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY : coordinated by Consorzio IBIS , it consists of about 20 partners belonging to the private sector (start-up, small, medium and large companies) and the public sector (Universities, one local authority). The innovation pole offers a great opportunity for the actors involved to get the access to high-level infrastructures and services, as well as to public funds for research activities aimed at the promotion of a sustainable chemistry. The managing authority of the Sustainable Chemistry Innovation Pole is a consortium named “Innovative BIo-based and Sustainable products and processes – IBIS”, a “light” and open body. The Sustainable Chemistry Innovation Pole has a double vocation: on one hand, it aims to develop biobased products (and to disseminated a sort of “biobased philosophy”), while on the other hand it focuses on the ideas of sustainability and environmental impact reduction. In this framework, IBIS represents the most appropriate local organisation to be involved in the ChemClust project (“Improving Innovation Capacity in European CHEMical CLUSTers”), a recently approved INTERREG IVC project in which Novara (the Provincial Administration) is partner in charge of the implementation of innovation capacity in chemical clusters and in transfer of experiences.

  • RENEWABLE ENERGIES AND BIOFUELS : POLIBRE, the Innovation Pole Renewable Energies and Biofuels is an ATS (Temporary Association of Scope) coordinated by P.S.T. S.p.A. – The Science and Technology Park in Valle Scrivia . Currently POLIBRE associates 60 organizations, of which: 1 Managing Organization, 3 Universities, 2 Research Centres, 40 SMEs, 14 great enterprises.  POLIBRE fosters R&D activities in the agro energy field with a sustainable approach towards environment and its agricultural and wood resources, avoiding conflicts with the food chain production. Moreover it supports the development of innovative product/process solutions to enhance energy efficiency of photovoltaic modules at lower costs and promotes the   study of energy distribution in the grid, considering different renewable sources and different typologies of end-users (smart grids).

  • SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS and HYDROGEN : Polight is the cluster of Piedmont on Sustainable Building and Hydrogen coordinated by Environment Park S.p.A.. It has 150 members, 120 of whom are SMEs. Polight activities and services aims at: supporting the cooperation and technology transfer among research centres and local enterprises, in particular SMEs; promoting the participation of local enterprises in european, national and regional programmes and initiatives supporting innovation and applied research; providing information and support to members on market, normative, innovation and technical aspects; promoting the technological skills and knowledge of its members.

  • RENEWABLE ENERGIES SYSTEMS and COMPONENTS : coordinated by Tecnoparco del Lago Maggiore , which was founded in 1992, thanks to a European project promoting the entrepreneurial development of the area through research and product technology and process innovation. In connection with the University Institutes in Piedmont and Lombardy, the company serves small and medium sized businesses which intend to set up innovative production with a high level of technological content, by acting as the link which joins businesses to university research. Tecnoparco is the first and the largest technological park in Piedmont and its function is acting as the bridge between the huge amount of knowledge and experience of the local district and the extremely high-level-know-how of companies based all over the world.

  • MECHATRONIC and ADVANCED PRODUCTION SYSTEM : coordinated by Mesap (ATS) which is an innovation cluster with 130 partners (SMEs, large Companies, RTD Providers, Universities), all involved in the field of mechatronic and advanced production systems. The target products for its path of research are divided in: smart products (smart mechatronic applications for industrial and customer products), flex processes (mechatronic and advanced production system applications for the flexibility of the production processes) and green products (mechatronic and advanced production system applications for the eco-compatibility and energy efficiency of the production processes).

  • RENEWABLE ENERGIES and MINI-HYDRO : coordinated by GESIN srl, the pole’s domains are mini-hydro and biomass from animal breeding.

  • TEXTILE : is the cluster of Piedmont for textile innovation, coordinated by Città Studi SpA . It is a network among enterprises and research centres aimed at increasing competitiveness by innovating processes and products. Research agenda is focused on 3 areas: textile-apparel, textile-furnishing, diversified textiles.

  • NEW MATERIALS : Proplast is the consortium for the promotion of the plastic culture created in 1997 with the aim to promote the plastic culture in Italy. Originally created by Bayer, Basell, Guala and Mossi & Ghisolfi Group, Proplast counts today  211 consortium members: 186 industrial companies, 9 associations , 13 universities, 2 public bodies and 1 bank foundation, 3,350 million euro of income (2010) and 42 employees. It offers services to enterprises and people operating in the plastic field and interested in its development; it promotes the creation of a reference point for experimental and research activities; it promotes the cooperation between national and international companies, formative and research entities.

  • BIOTECHNOLOGIES AND BIOMEDICAL : BioPmed is the innovation cluster dedicated to health care related product and services in Piedmont. It is coordinated by Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero and based on a community of around 360 companies, 3 universities and different research centres, foundations and associations active in Life Sciences fields. Since May 2009, 80 organizations have signed an agreement to create, build, support and animate the local cluster. In coherence with the European Union recommendations, bioPmed works to stimulate innovative activity by promoting intensive interactions, sharing of facilities and exchange of knowledge and expertise and by contributing effectively to technology transfer, networking and information dissemination among the undertakings in the cluster.

Innovation Centres with headquarters at Bioindustry Park:

  • LIMA Bioinformatica - Laboratory for bioinformatics services via parallel computing.
    Fields of activity: Biotechnologies, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, veterinary science, ICT, biomedical.
  • LIMA Biologia - Laboratory specialising in biotech scientific services and in research and technological transfer projects.
    Fields of activity: Biotechnologies, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, veterinary science, ICT, biomedical.
  • LIMA Chimico - Laboratory specialising in molecular modelling techniques (NMR) and molecule and peptide synthesis.
    Fields of activity: Biotechnologies, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, veterinary sciences, ICT, biomedical.
  • LIMA MRI - Imaging laboratory (MRI).
    Fields of activity: Biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals.
  • LIMA Proteomica - Laboratory specialising in protein analysis.
    Fields of activity: iotecnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, veterinary science, ICT, biomedical.
  • Osservatorio sulle Scienze della vita in Piedmont
    Analysis of industrial policy, regional marketing and technological transfer initiatives.
    Fields of activity: Biotechnologies, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, veterinary science , environment, agriculture and food, nanotechnology.

Innovation Centres with headquarters at the Envi Park Science and Technology Park:

  • Clean NT Lab - Laboratory for the treatment of surfaces with low environmental impact nanotechnologies.
    Fields of activity: Mechanics, materials, biomedical, pharmaceutical, textiles.
  • Envi Mod - Environmental modelling laboratory, risk analysis, Monte Carlo method simulations.
    Fields of activity: Environment, design.
  • Green Building - Centre of competence on eco-sustainable building issues
    Fields of activity: Environment, design.
  • HYSY Lab - Centre of excellence for hydrogen technologies
    Fields of activity: Environment, alternative energies, mechanics.
  • TI TECH - Centre of competence on water resources issues
    Fields of activity Environment. Services offered: Advice on saving water.

Centres for Innovation with headquarters at the Valle Scrivia S.p.A science and technology park:

  • Ce CAP - Centro per il Controllo Automatico dei Processi e Laboratorio di optoelettronica.
    Fields of activity: Agriculture and food, Industrial automation, Biomedical, Chemistry, Communications, Transport, Electronics and microelectronics, ICT, Mechanics, Aerospace, Textiles.
  • Ergovision Lab - Ergonomics laboratory
    Fields of activity: Agriculture and food, Industrial automation, Biomedical, Chemistry, Communications, Transport, Electronics and microelectronics, ICT, Mechanics, Aerospace, Textiles, Automotive.
  • P.S.T. ChimLab - Analytical chemistry and materials characterisation laboratory.
    Fields of activity: Agriculture and food, Environment, Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals, the Leather industry, the Mining industry, Mechanics, Materials, Agricultural and Forest sciences, Aerospace, Textiles. Collaborations with ELTEK S.p.A., Politecnico di Torino (AL), Chimete (Basic research).
  • P.S.T. MecLab - Mechanical Materials Characterisation Laboratory
    Fields of activity: Biomedical, Communications, Transport, Construction, Mining industry, Materials, Aerospace.

Centres for Innovation with headquarters at the Tecnogranda science and technology park:

  • EMCLAB - Electromagnetic compatibility laboratory specialising in high-powered measurements
    Fields of activity: Industrial automation, Biomedical, Communications, Transport, Electronics and microelectronics, ICT, Mechanics.
  • MECLAB - Functional prototyping centre, reverse engineering, materials characterisation, traditional and assisted materials testing.
    Fields of activity: Industrial automation, Communications, Transport, Mechanics.
  • NANOLAB - Centre for the production, characterisation and pre-industrialisation of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies.
    Fields of activity: Mechanics, materials, chemistry.
  • VERYLAB - EDA centre for the design and testing of integrated circuits.
    Fields of activity: electronics and microelectronics, ICT.

Centres for Innovation with headquarters at the science and technology park owned by Lago Maggiore S.p.A

  • Tecnolab - Electromagnetic compatibility laboratory, climatic and vibration tests, electrical safety, mechanical materials testing, functional testing of household products.

Centres for Innovation with headquarters at the Virtual reality & Multimedia Park S.p.A.

  • Training Area
    Training school focusing on advanced communications and multimedia techniques.
    Fields of activity: Education, Multimedia.
  • Format Lab
    Semiotic laboratory conducting analyses and prototyping of multi-platform audiovisual formats, consults with the science and technology park.
    Fields of activity: Publishing, press and advertising, ICT, Multimedia, cultural heritage and entertainment


  • CEBIOVEM - Centre of Excellence for Biosensoristics via the use of Plant and Microbial Organisms. CEBIOVEM is the only one of its kind in Italy and looks at plants and microrganisms for biosensoristics and biosensing available to scientific structures at the cutting edge of research.
  • LACE - Laboratorio Antenne e Compatibilità Elettromagnetica. The laboratory is a point of reference for companies within the electrical and electronics sector dealing with all problems relating to EC product marking requirements.
  • LAQ IBIS - Laboratorio di Alta Qualità sull’Innovazione dei Beni Strumentali,involving 5 departments at the Turin Polytechnic: Energetics, Electronics, Industrial Electrical Engineering, Mechanics and Production Systems and Business Economics. Its objective is to systematically combat the problem constituted by the sector’s various innovation requirements.
  • CIM- Centro di Eccellenza per l'Imaging molecolare - The “CIM” was created via the initiative of chemists, biologists and medics at the Università di Torino, in collaboration with the Canavese Bioindustry Park. The centre has become the technological and training platform for the two European Networks in the Molecular Imaging sector activated in the VI EU Framework Programme (EMIL, European Molecular Imaging Laboratories and DiMI, Diagnostics for Molecular Imaging).
  • LISiN - Laboratorio di Ingegneria del Sistema Neuromuscolare e della riabilitazione motoria, concerned with research, advanced teaching methodology and experimentation within the field of bioengineering, physiatrics, neurophysics and neurology.
  • KEILab - Knowledge Exchange Initiative Laboratory, permanent laboratory concerned with applied learning technologies with particular reference to Knowledge Communities. Set up by virtue of an agreement between CSP and Università di Torino The activities conducted by KEILab can be broken down as follows:
    • open knowledge management and diffusion, also via the “knowledge communities”
    • network training, for aspects of design and distribution, both from a technological and methodological perspective;
    • recourse to free and open source software;
    • promotion of research topics via presentations and educational and informative events.
  • CSPP - Centro Servizi di Prototipazione del Politecnico di Torino
    The main areas of work are:
    • Special electromagnetic and piezoelectrical implementations for industrial, aeronautical and space applications
    • High performance control systems for machine tools (PLC embedded) and vehicles (drive-by-wire)
    • Monitoring and control systems for rotating machinery
    • Mobile robotics

Business incubators

Together with science and technology parks, these are the main facilitators of technological transfer activities in Piedmont. Enterprise incubators create and develop new companies starting with the selection of innovative ideas and projects. Two incubators are controlled by universities whilst the others are a combination of structures not necessarily tied to university research centres.

Chambers of Commerce

There are 8 Chambers of Commerce in Piedmont, one for each province, and these mainly aim to promote and implement initiatives to foster the development and enhancement of the regional economy and manufacturing sectors. Unioncamere Piedmont, which is the regional Chambers of Commerce association, guarantees the coordination of the Piedmont chambers of commerce system network and is the system’s interface with Europe.

Technological Transfer

At a regional level, technological transfer activity is conducted by numerous regional players already listed above which, in addition to having roles of a scientific nature, also operate regional knowledge dissemination activities. From the perspective of technological transfer at an international level, Piedmont coordinates one of the consortiums of the European IRC – Innovation Relay Centre – network and there are two points of contact in the region enabling users to take advantage of all services appertaining to technological transfer: from the organisation of company visits and check-ups to the organisation of technological partnership events or enterprise missions.

  • The Innovation and Technology Transfer Office created by Unioncamere Piedmont
  • The Technological Innovation Service of the Chamber of Commerce of Torino
  • In addition, with regards to European research, in particular, appertaining to the Community Framework Programme, both organisations support companies in taking part in Community tenders, organising awareness-raising events, looking for partners and assisting in the project design phase.

  • Enterprise for Europe Network - EEN

Last updated: November 2011