Advanced Multi-Kets Lab in the manufacturing and biomedical sectors
MIST E-R is a laboratory of industrial research of the Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network, created in 2009 to implement the transfer from research to industrial solutions on the basis of firms’ demands. The company’s shareholders include the National Research Council, the Universities of Ferrara and Parma and companies.
MIST E-R supports manufacturing, biotech, cosmetics, creative industries at regional, national and international levels through: design and development of prototypes; analysis and measurements; data mining and machine intelligence; project management.
It offers access to multi-KETs competences coupled with the use of advanced equipment and facilities worth 20 Mio euros, to identify solutions with a Technology Readiness Level capacity from 1 to 9. The annual turnover is about 2M€ with a permanent staff of 10 researchers; the services are open to members of the MIST E-R and to third parties.
MIST E-R’s distinctive model lies on the public-private partnership, a collaborative model between universities, firms, research centres and research and technology organizations. It facilitates tech transfer reducing the timing from research to industrial solutions with a dedicated staff and an efficient organizational model with various solutions for intellectual property; it helps transfer frontier solutions to actual firms’ needs; it operates mainly through a collaborative platform model; it adapts to all kind of industrial demands, from SMEs to large enterprises.

Resources needed

MIST E-R has a full-time staff of 10 and has an annual turnover of about 2 million euros. Funding comes from collaborative projects (funded by EU, national or regional sources) complemented by consultancy and tech transfer contracts with private firms, from small projects to more structured ones

Evidence of success

MIST E-R reduces the timing from research to industrial solutions with a dedicated tech transfer staff and various solutions for intellectual property; operates mainly through a collaborative platform model; adapts to all kind of industrial demands, from SMEs to large enterprises.
Outputs are measured by: number of ongoing project involving regional firms and other RTOs (currently: 10); number of partners involved (at least 5 per project); wide range of target sectors; medium to high turnover.

Difficulties encountered

MIST E-R is a flexible platform of solutions for firms of all dimensions. The actual limit lies in the market capacity of firms to sustain the costs of R&D beyond an initial phase. Lesson learnt is to adapt to firms capacity and help them enter into EU, national and regional funding schemes.

Potential for learning or transfer

MIST E-R represents for a policymaker a good example of an industrial research lab dedicated to technology transfer.
MIST E-R is the effectiveness of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) structure that works successfully between Research institutes and companies, especially in the manufacturing and health sectors with a multi-KETs platform model.
In fact, while the former have outcomes at Technology Readiness Level-TRL 3/4, the latter work from TRL 7 to 9. MIST E-R, thanks to a wide range of technological competences and access to facilities and equipment (including electronic characterization and nano-fabrication) ranges from TRL 3 to 8 and so it is able to fill the gap between research and industry easing both technology transfer and industrial exploitment.
The practice is based on a viable business model that guarantees a utilization rate of the equipment up to 75% and generates a turnover of over 1,5 million euro per year with a permanent staff of almost 10 researchers.
Main institution
MIST E-R LAB for micro and submicro enabling technologies
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
End Date


Filippo Saguatti Please login to contact the author.