The ITS MAKER Foundation, an educational institution, promotes and spreads technical-scientific expertise to ensure the formation of highly specialized jobs.
The aim of ITS MAKER is to provide competencies to a highly industrialized territory with an evolving need for specialised professional skills. In the mechatronic sector of Reggio Emilia, extremely varied in terms of company dimensions and core business, there is a mismatch between the choice of the educational path and expected career outcomes, as secondary-school graduates are often unaware of the wide range of professional profiles that manufacturing companies need. That is why ITS Maker offers an educational model that puts students in contact with the evolving world of the job market by keeping a tight connection to and integration with the territory and its manufacturing excellence. The ITS MAKER Foundation was established in 2013 by merging the 3 ITS Foundations of Bologna, Modena and Reggio Emilia. In 2015 the branch of Fornovo di Taro (Parma) was opened, followed by Forlì and Rimini in 2018 and 2019. It is organised on the basis of a 3 year plan with the following goals:
• encouraging young people to approach technical jobs
• acknowledging training needs for the territorial economic development
• designing and implementing advanced technical education courses relevant to national professional requirements
• accompanying graduates to employment
• updating activities for teachers/trainers in the scientific and technical-professional areas
• designing any other activity that complies with regional planning guidelines concerning advanced technical specialization

Resources needed

• cost of a 2 year course: €300,000 (teaching, services, staff, labs, advertising, internship and placement)
• cost per student: €12,000 (public national/regional funding)
• cost per hour: €150
• expense covered by each company: € 0 (possible occasional contribution)
• student fees: approx. €250

Evidence of success

• Students who graduated in the period 2011-2020: approx. 210
• Employment rate: 95% (in line with the professional profile: 90%)
• The scores attributed by Indire to the Mechatronics courses completed were:
- 2016: 93.97/100
- 2017: 90.37/100
- 2018: 88.61/100
• Average position of Reggio Emilia courses in the national ITS ranking: within top 16% of the offer nationwide
• Best performance: 5th out of 113 (in 2016)

Difficulties encountered

• Variety of educational culture
• Precariousness of funding and consequent difficulties in long-term planning
• Lack of dedicated headquarters
• Wide range of core businesses involved in the sector which is a source of variety and cross-collaboration, but also makes course designing very complex

Potential for learning or transfer

Potential for learning or transfer include:
• synergy among different subjects involved in education
• analysis modelling of educational needs on a regular basis
• learning-by-doing practice
• extensive, tailor-made internships in local companies

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Main institution
ITS Maker
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
May 2021
End Date


Saverio Serri Please login to contact the author.