Veneto is classified as an "Advanced Manufacturing and Clustering Region with no specialization in knowledge activities", has a high degree of specialization in high craftsmanship, a good presence of KIBS, a limited level of R&D as compared to the most advanced European regions but a high rate of informal relationships that allow to make use of external expertise to generate an high rate of innovation activities.
Smart manufacturing represents one of the key areas selected within the regional Smart Specialisation Strategy and hence represent a crucial pillar of the regional RTDI policies. In particular, advanced manufacturing is strategic for an already rich territory of small and medium sized manufacturing firms that need to be sustained in gaining efficiency in the production of high quality products. This is necessary especially in companies organized according to the most traditional systems. Introduce innovative aspects in such structures means allowing them to increase their competitiveness both domestically and internationally. Businesses, increasingly exposed to global competition, should pursue the creation of efficient production processes, combining traditional know-how, synonymous with high quality, with new computer systems, automation, energy efficiency and organizational innovation.
Veneto hosts a significant number of organisations which provide services relevant for advanced manufacturing. The InnoVeneto project mapped the most important regional research and innovation providers such as the local Universities, the National Research Council divisions, regional S&T parks and the Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS). In total, 88 centres for innovation and technology transfer were identified, most of them offering services to manufacturing firms active in mechanics, electric and electronic devices, traditional Made in Italy productions.
Regional priorities for advanced manufacturing are embedded also in other policy initiatives such as those for energy efficiency and usage of renewable energy sources in production processes. Moreover, advanced manufacturing priorities are incorporated in the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 (approved 10 June 2014) and in the Regional Digital Agenda (approved the 3 May 2013).
Veneto is a strongly manufacturing region and all ongoing initiatives, which support product/process innovation, merge sustainability and innovation objectives and are relevant in terms of advanced manufacturing. Veneto participates in the coordination of the national technological cluster on “intelligent factory”. This is a national policy initiative which funds large RTD projects carried out by national networks of firms, universities and research centres from different regions (Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Marche and Puglia). The national cluster initiative aims at supporting technological development and strengthening national specialisation in robotics, new materials, advanced devices, virtual prototyping and applications of digital solutions to all manufacturing phases (design and planning, production, business organisation and distribution).
"Open Factory" initiative is very important for Veneto’s industrial and manufacturing culture.
This initiative, that counts its third edition, aims to open up a hundred companies in the Venetian territory to the public, to showcase about the Veneto manufacturing skills.
Every year some new categories are identified (mechanical and robotics, design, food & wine, services, infrastructure, open labs), which lead to the creation of thematic routes of visit and "discovery" of the territory and entrepreneurial fabric of Veneto.
Hence, Open Factory becomes an activity for the valorisation of manufacturing sites, districts and chains of high quality and relevance.