Practices > Good Practices > Smart Incentives > Officina Innovazione

Technological Promoters for Innovation” is an innovative financial instrument to support SMEs, because the incentive is for NEW highly skilled personnel HIRING and not for equipments or other costs related to the project (consumables, travels, etc.), which are instead covered by the SMEs. This stimulates the experience of including an “innovator” within the staff of more traditional companies that cannot count on personnel with the needed technological and interdisciplinary competences.

Officina Innovazione is a technical office of the Province of Rome made up by engineers in different fields (electronic, informatics, environment, management) who offers local SMEs the public free service of building bridges with research centres and universities located in the region. This is done through a careful scouting of competences and technologies available in the research world to exactly match the SME request or desire. A series of meetings is organized to make the two stakeholders know each other, tell their stories, discuss solutions, and let reciprocal confidence grow till concrete proposals for collaboration, often suggested by Officina also in the framework of available local, national and EU public financing.

Role of partners?
1. Local Entrepreneurial Associations who provide contacts with their member companies to start technological check-ups and identify the most appropriate SMEs.
2. Universities and research agencies who provide the  competences, technologies, laboratories able to help SMEs improving competitiveness and product/service quality.

Why is it needed?
1.    What problem/issue does it address? Absence of communication among companies and researchers; very limited or totally absent transfer of knowledge from research activities to industrial companies, and consequently missing industrial exploitation of applied research results.
2.    How does it address silo thinking? Both Officina Innovazione’s services and the Technological Promoter project stimulate cross-contamination between research and industry and among stakeholders and experts belonging to different fields by investing in highly professional human capital able to trigger and develop innovation processes in traditional environments.
3.    Why is it innovative? Officina Innovazione is innovative in the staff composition (technical graduated, and PhD) and in the mission that is supporting micro, small and medium enterprises to innovate through the best matching with researchers. This is done by a door to door approach that makes the staff knowing well each of the SMEs and allows the offering of a tailored assistance path planned on an individual basis

What are the success factors and challenges?
1.  What benefits has it created? Since 2009 the “Technological Promoters Call” has financed 26 projects of collaboration among researchers and SMEs. Main result of these collaboration projects is the creation of 26 new products and services that have been prototyped and experimented, with 2 new companies set-up till today.
2.    What could be done differently? For the projects supported by the Technological Promoters Call, more support in the analysis of business development included suggestions on business planning and business model  is needed. More connections have to be provided with commercial stakeholders, distributors, end-users that can help shaping the “go to market” strategy.
3.    How could it be improved or modified? Within the Technological Promoters winning projects, a further funding should be allocated to those projects that achieved more significant results in terms of applicability and reduced time to market in order to support the next pre-industrial phase and market test.
Officina Innovazione’s services could be generally improved by offering also project management in terms of following any promising collaboration launched between a SME and a researcher in detail to guarantee the concrete and exact implementation of the relationship. Often the SME is missing time and experience in supervising and managing a research/innovation project”; a management role given to Officina in this context would accelerate the project start up.

 

 

 

 

These are pictures describing the new product developed during a project sponsored by the Technological Promoters Call on wearable electronic sensors for accurate motion capture. The results achieved at the end of the project allowed the start-up of a new high tech company called Captiks led by the technological promoter Giovanni Saggio, researcher at Tor Vergata Universities.



 

 

 

 

Business name: Officina dell’Innovazione
Contact name: Arianna Tibuzzi
Address: Via Orti di Villa Sciarra 9, 00044 Frascati
Telephone: +39-0688812410 ext.212
City: Frascati (Rome)
Country: Italy
E-mail: a.tibuzzi(at)officinainnovazione.it  –  info(at)officinainnovazione.it
Website: www.officinainnovazione.it
Legal status of Company: Public development agency
Number of employees: 6
Nature of business: Innovation and tech transfer related-services to local SMEs starting with a door-to-door technological check-up delivered at the SME site and followed by smart scouting of the most significant skills and technologies available in the local research institutes and universities, able to support SMEs in solving the highlighted problem or in implementing a new product/process/service.
Name of company collaborating with:
Companies: Gymnotus, Sotel, Setel, Idrica, Space Italia, Slamp, Consorzio Logistica Servizi Scalo S. Lorenzo, B-Lab, Is-Tech, Voxnet, Pubblidada
Research centres and Universities: University of La Sapienza, University of Rome 3 – Informatic and Automation Department, National Research Council – Department of Bio-Agrofood and Institute of Industrial Technology and Automation, University of Tor Vergata – Department of Mechanical Engineering and Laboratory for Interactive Systems and Multimodal Interfaces
Title of project: “Technological Promoters for Innovation”
Dates of activity: 2009 – present
Activity Theme: Smart incentives
Project website: www.officinainnovazione.it

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