The laboratories are facilities mainly engaged in industrial research, development of the results of applied research and disclosure of such results. The main activities regard:
- implementation of collaborative research projects with businesses in order to develop new prototypes or demonstrators, also through joint allocation of public grants
- technological consultancy and partnership for businesses or outsourcing
- industrial exploitation of know-how and patents
- research and innovation services for businesses, including the use of available scientific instruments
- generation of manufacturing or research technological spin-offs
44 of the Network’s 82 laboratories are facilities sponsored by regional universities and research establishments. In most cases these are organised as interdepartmental centres or in-house facilities of the organisations to which they belong. In other cases, the laboratories have formed a consortium whose members also include local businesses and institutions.
The other 38 laboratories are privately run, their main object being research and development for business. Several of these laboratories are the result of academic spin-offs.