Clust-ER Associations

Agrifood Cluster Building and Construction Clust-ER Energy and Sustainable Development Clust-ER Cultural and Creative Industries Clust-ER Life Sciences and Wellbeing Clust-ER Service Innovation Clust-ER Mechatronics and Motoristics Clust-ER



Clust-ER Associations are communities of public and private bodies (research centres, businesses, training bodies) that share ideas, skills, tools, and resources to support the competitiveness of the most important production systems in Emilia-Romagna. It is a competitiveness that no longer relies on the ability of individual research centres or businesses to operate on the global market, but increasingly on the ability of the entire local system to be innovative and attractive.
In these Clust-ERs, research laboratories and centres for innovation belonging to the High Technology Network team up with the business system and the higher education system to make up the inter-disciplinary critical mass necessary to multiply opportunities and develop strategic projects with a high regional impact.

With Clust-ER Associations, the regional industrial research and innovation system aims to achieve greater integration and to better place itself on the international stage to:

  • maximise the opportunities for participating in European programmes and international research and innovation networks;
  • forge synergies and set up coordinated and stable networks and connections with other public/private agglomerations operating in the same sectors at national and European level;
  • encourage and support the development and creation of initiatives in higher education and the development of human resources;
  • support and encourage the development of new research infrastructure in the general interest of the Emilia-Romagna region.

Joining a Clust-ER means contributing to strengthening the region’s research and innovation system, encouraging a more effective interaction between laboratories and businesses through:

  • developing joint projects within the context of collaborative research;
  • implementing system actions aimed at encouraging the sharing of resources and infrastructure between research systems and businesses: projects for sharing equipment and infrastructure, the development of joint labs as well as pilot and demonstrative installations;
  • promoting shared actions for the valorisation of research results and transfer of knowledge;
  • promoting higher education actions.

How they operate

Within Clust-ERs, laboratories and businesses work together according to the open innovation model to identify opportunities for partnerships and valorising research results.
The Associations encourage the development of shared projects and promote the participation of members in calls for tenders as well as national and international funding programmes.
Only by implementing system actions that benefit the entire regional system can an Association participate directly in calls for funding proposals at regional, national and European level.

Who can join

Clust-ERs are recognised Associations, formed in accordance with articles 14-42 of the Italian Civil Code. The following types of persons may join Clust-ERs:

  • Industrial research laboratories and centres for innovation accredited by the Emilia-Romagna Region;
  • Businesses, innovative start-ups;
  • Consortiums and corporate networks;
  • Higher Technical Institute Foundations and training bodies accredited by the Emilia-Romagna Region, along with persons operating in the higher education and higher technical education sectors;
  • Other bodies and institutions operating in the field of innovation.

Value Chain

To focus its actions on priorities of real interest to businesses and the local area, each Clust-ER operates through working groups representing the value chains that are most important to the regional economy in terms of turnover, employment and competitive positioning in the international context.
For each value chain a manifesto has been drawn up laying down a strategic vision and objectives aimed at strengthening the value chain’s position in the international competition.

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