During its growth, encouraged by involvement in international projects and dialog with the scientific community, ISTEC strengthened its scientific and technological expertises and consolidated a rich and well thought-out cooperation network.
In the local district ISTEC contributed to the development of different organisations involved in:
R&D in related sectors (ENEA Research Laboratory)
Technology transfer (Centuria Innovazione Romagna)
Analysis and certification services (CertiMaC)
Spin-off companies (IPECC S.r.l, Fin-ceramica Faenza)
New enterprise: in 2014 a New Company was founded with activities based on the exclusive license from CNR of a patent of ISTEC.
The need for higher integration among those players to face the common industrial contest led to the creation of the scientific park named Parco delle Arti e delle Scienze "Evangelista Torricelli" - Faventia that is regarded by the region as "technopole" and member of the regional High Technology Network.
At regional level, ISTEC is very active in collaborating in the frame of the platforms that have been set up to discuss and evaluate programmes to assist and support the economy of the territory, in different industrial sectors.
Plenty of contacts, exchanges and collaboration with national Universities and other Institutions are the basis for sinergies either in the growth of scientific and technological knowledge or in the teaching and training of Young reserchers. These relationships are realized through the "association" at ISTEC of about 20 professors of Italian and foreign universities.
ISTEC widely collaborates with industries: raw materials producers, manufacturers of cermic materials and components, end-users of ceramic systems. Research is the base of any innovative process, but the ways that lead to perceive by intuitions, discover and then apply - the technology transfer mechanism - are rarely reproducible.
Tools such as:
o joint projects, contracts and services to companies
o access to financing
o technological transfer day, meetings and exhibitions
that accompany the technological innovation to the highest number of possible end-users, are for ISTEC a must.
ISTEC collaborates with Industries on a contractual basis. Each year these type of contracts are about 20 and add up to an average amount over kEUR 10 and a total income could be quantified at about 500k EUR.
In the case that companies' requests refer to specific requirements of analysis and characterizations of materials and products, ISTEC responds to their needs on the basis of a tariff prepared for the purpose. Activities of this type, usually amounting to less than about 10 kEUR, are about 100 kEUR annually.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
ISTEC has carried out the procedure to become a certified laboratory according to the Institutional Accreditation of industrial research laboratories in Emilia Romagna Region. Due to the Accreditation, ISTEC entered in the High Technology Network of Emilia Romagna Region and participates in several Projects financed in the frame of the innovation programme based on the Tecnopoles.
Since the beginning of the 80's, ISTEC has been increasingly active in the scientific international community exchanging ideas, expertise and abilities with research and industrial partners through:
o participation in EU-funded projects
o participation in Ministry-funded projects
o research contracts
o bilateral projects
o research agreements
In the past decade ISTEC took also part in several programmes, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supporting either joint labs (an example the "Research Institute on Nanoscience" (RIN) funded in cooperation with ISTEC and the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT)) or cooperation and training actions to help underdeveloped countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, Syria.
Nowadays ISTEC is still cooperating with many European partners involved in joint EU-funded projects, Cost Actions, bilateral projects and research agreements with foreign Countries: USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, Japan, Corea, Turkey, Portugal.
At the moment the following bilateral projects are open:
CNR/CAS) China Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Ultrareftactory ceramics
CNR/FCT Portugal CICECO- University of Aveiro, Ceramic Pigment
CNR/SAV Slovak Rep. IIC, Advanced ceramics porcesses
CNR/TUBITAK Turkey, Ceramic Cutting Tools
CNR- Romenian Academy, Single-Phase Multiferroic Perovskite Ceramic and Thin Films for Multifunctional Devices
CNR/TUBITAK Turkey, Water-based inks
CNR/CNRS France, Optical Ceramics
CNR/JSPS Japan, Joining of UHTC
CNR/CONICET, Argentina, Dry processes of raw materials
CNR/CNPQ Brazil, Raw materials for tiles
CNE/CNPQ , Brazil, Science without frontiers
ISTEC- AFOSR - US Air Force/USA research Contract on UHTC
CNR/NSF-USA, joint project ISTEC e University of Missouri, USA, Technologies to obtain dual microstructure in ultrarefractory ceramics
Methodist Hospital Houston USA: Nanomaterials for regenerative medicine
17 European projects have been active in the last years and involve various research Groups of ISTEC on different disciplines:
*BIO-INSPIRE: PITN-GA-2013-607051 (2013-17) Bio inspired bone regeneration. (S. Sprio)
*SUN: NMP4-LA-2013-604305 Sustainable Nanotechnologies. (A. Costa)
*SMILEY: NMP-2012-SMALL-6-310637 (2012-15) Smart nano-structured devices hierarchically assembled by bio-mineralization processes. Coord. ISTEC. Ref. person: (A. Tampieri, A. Sanson)
*LIGHT-TPS: SPACE-2013-1 Super light-weight thermal protection system for space application (D. Sciti)
*SANOWORK: NMP4-SL-2012-280716 Safe nano worker exposure scenarios. Coord ISTEC (A. Costa)
*NANoREG: contract n. 310584 (2012-15) A common European approach to the regulatory testing of Manufactured Nanomaterials. (A. Tampieri)
*THE PIEZOINSTITUTE: NMP-2011-CSA-5 (2010-14) European Expertise Centre for Multifunctional and Integrated Piezoelectric Devices. (C. Galassi)
*SENERES: REGPOT-2011-1 (2011-2014) Sustainable Energy research - development center (C. Galassi)
*BFUNTEX: NMP-201-2-3-3 Networking of materials laboratories and innovation actors in various industrial sectors for product or process innovation. (A. Costa)
*OPHIS: NMP-FP2466373-2 (2010-14) Composite Phenotypic Triggers For Bone Repair. (A. Tampieri)
*E2PHEST2US: ENERGY.2009.2.5.1 (2010-12) Enhanced energy production of heat and electricity by a combined solar thermionic-thermoelectric unit system (D. Sciti)
*MAGISTER: NMP3-LA-2008-214685 (2008-13) Magnetic Scaffolds For In Vivo Tissue Engineer (A. Tampieri)
*IDEAL-CELL: ENERGY-2007-1.1-03 (2007-11) Innovative dual membrane fuel cell.(A. Sanson)
*TEM-PLANT: NMP4-CT-2006-033277 (2008-11) New bio-ceramization processes applied to vegetable hierarchical structures. (A. Tampieri)
*STAGE-STE-- FP7-ENERGY-2013-IRP Scientific and Technological Alliance for Guaranteeing the European Excellence in Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy (D. Sciti)
*EVOLVE - SP1-JTI-FCH.2010.3.1 Evolved materials and innovative design for high-performance, durable and reliable SOFC cell and stack (A. Sanson)
*NANOINDENT-plus NMP.2012.4.0-2- " Standardising the nano-scratch test " (A. Tampieri)
The income form joint projects with industries, carried out with public support (EU, national and regional) increased in the recent years. In 2012 and 2013 the total amount was about 2.5 MEUR/ year.
The international visibility of ISTEC also benefites from the membership in Italian Ceramic Society, Italian Society of Reology, European Ceramic Society, International Ceramic Federation, European Society for Biomaterials, European Network of Materials Research Centres (ENMAT), Piezo Institute and from the activities of ISTEC researchers within the European or National Platforms.