Center for multimedia technologies and deep learning
SOFTECH was founded in 2011 as a joint initiative of the Department of Engineering and the Department of Economics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The two research specializations bring an advanced platform of services that blends ICT-Information & Communication Technologies and multimedia competences and business modelling. Softech’s core ICT competences include: robotics, IoT, artificial intelligence, big data, simulation and modelling, software as service architecture, new software architecture.
SOFTECH services are open to third-party access and are characterized by a technology transfer model hinged both on ICT collaborative projects with firms (up to the prototyping phase) and on a “training academy” model in the era of deep learning for firms, covering multimedia technologies, visual computing, learning technologies and management and technological insight. The academy offers the unique competencies of the Softech core team and of other multimedia data scientists and engineers.
SOFTECH main target sectors include: manufacturing industry, logistics, cultural and creative industries and the education sectors.
SOFTECH is also committed to develop digital strategies that enhance the role of human capital in the management of cultural and communication services, while increasing the uptake of smart digital solutions. In this regard it has been a partner of an ESF-European Social Fund program for digital humanities.

Resources needed

Staff of 50 people (mainly part time); annual turnover of 1 ml euro.
Funding on membership fees, national/ regional projects, private funding arising from the offer of technological services (i.e. commercial research projects). Training initiatives (Masterclass) receive national and private funds

Evidence of success

- 40 firms are part of the Scientific Board of the Softech’s Master Class; one third of these firms have entered collaborative projects with Softech;
- design of solutions for top class firms as for instance Panasonic and in general for a wide range of firms, from the automotive (eg.Ferrari) to the cultural (e.g. Liu-Jo) and food sector (e.g. Cevico Group). For example, a lab focused on computer vision applied to the automotive field has been established with the support of Ferrari SpA

Difficulties encountered

Softech model, while flexible enough to answer to the needs of small and large enterprises, may encounter difficulties when a client does not have the capacity to develop the designed system. Thus, Softech’s services must be addressed to partners possessing adequate ICT competences.

Potential for learning or transfer

- The advanced training practices of Softech can be seen as examples of transfer of competences and knowledge to firms, via advanced learning methodologies;
- Thanks to its integrated capacity model, Softech supervises two key regional value chains (within the new regional program for High technology network in Emilia-Romagna) related to ICT in cultural and creative industries and to service innovation (cultural heritage and Industry 4.0).
- Its capacity to integrate different ICT, technological, and managerial competence allows Softech to develop customised solution for different types of firms.
Main institution
Inter-departmental Center of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2011
End Date


Filippo Saguatti Please login to contact the author.