The role of technological Clusters in European projects

Technology Clusters are collaborative hubs comprising companies, universities, research centers, and other public or private entities, dedicated to specific thematic areas. They possess legal personality and operate with a defined governance model.

Clusters can play an important role in helping regions to address transformative innovation policies in Europe. Cluster plays a pivotal role in mapping skills and promoting local excellence to create new value chains. They aims to amplify the impact of Research and Innovation actions to boost industrial competitiveness.

For example, Fondazione Cluster Tecnologie per le Smart Cities & Communities Lombardia is one of the nine technological Clusters established by the Lombardy Region.  These Clusters actively contribute to the innovation processes that enhance Lombardy's competitiveness on local, national, and international fronts.

Cluster Smart Cities & Communities stands as an alliance between companies and institutions, working together to boost the competitiveness of member companies. It aims to foster synergies that facilitate the development and implementation of efficient, sustainable, and comfortable Smart City projects for citizens. The Cluster advocates and facilitates research to support innovation, striving to design, develop, and implement cutting-edge technological solutions for the integrated management of urban and metropolitan systems.

This includes a focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency, safety and monitoring of the territory, mobility, health, well-being, e-government and justice, education and training, as well as cultural heritage and tourism. The Cluster actively promotes collaboration among associated scientific and industrial actors, ensuring inclusiveness for small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

Cluster SCC supports public institutions, particularly the Lombardy Region, in defining and updating strategies related to Research and Innovation and improving the effectiveness of measures to support businesses.

While the Cluster primarily operates at the local and regional levels, it also fosters stable connections and interactions across different fields, policies, and tools. This involves enhancing strategic research, technological development, and innovation programs aligned with national and international initiatives, such as the National Smart Specialization Strategy (SNSI) and the European Program for research and innovation Horizon 2020.

Specifically, within the framework of supporting the Horizon 2020 program, the Cluster actively participates in the AMBITIOUS project, focusing on the AGORA Pillar. AGORA aims to develop a platform facilitating the standardized and secure sharing of data among telemedicine applications developed by various SMEs. This approach enables the development of new services by making data available. The SCC Cluster engages its members and interested parties in identifying the needs and requirements for tools and services. It leverages its established networks to recruit users for testing applications during the experimentation and evaluation phase. Additionally, the Cluster promotes cascade funding calls at the regional and national levels.