6 - Financing

6.7 - Sharing physical scientific and technical resources


In order to reduce the investment burden for companies when improving facilities it is suggested that they combine their efforts with other companies and universities with a view to creating well-equipped laboratories which are of interest to the productive sector. Shared Labs are conceived as technological resources which are available to companies in a particular region, and offer technological and intellectual support, much of which is provided by academic institutions. Thus, they share resources and establish links with other companies and academic institutions in the region.


NanoFAB (Véneto, Italy)

 In Veneto (Italy), the European Commission used €4.6 million of ERDF funds to finance the NanoFab project whose facilities, located in the municipality of Vega, have helped to alleviate the crisis in the manufacturing sector in the region, thanks to its contribution to technology transfer and the improvement of research results for the local business fabric. The essence of this project lay in making Nanotechnology laboratories available to companies so as to provide technological and intellectual support, whilst establishing links with academic institutions at a regional, national and international level.

Research activities at the laboratory are organised through projects which last on average for two or three years. During their first year of operation, the facilities were already involved in some 40 projects working with companies from the region. In addition, they also provided advice to more than 36 research projects funded by the Italian Ministry of Education. About 300 companies are still benefiting from the services provided by NanoFab and the key factor in its success has been the strong partnership between local universities and businesses.

 Cenaero (Belgium)

Cenaero is a research centre located in the Charleroi aviation business cluster in Walloon (Belgium). It provides companies in the sector with services which require a high level of technological sophistication such as assistance in numerical simulation and the generation of models. This has been made possible thanks to the support and cooperation between the Von Karman Institute research centre, nearby universities (Université de Liège, Université Catholique de Louvain, Université Libre de Bruxelles and Université Mons-Hainaut), and the EWA association (the Aeronautics Business Association of the Walloon region). Cenaero was established with a €4.13 million grant financed by EU ERDF funds.

CCTS (Germany)

The CCTS, in Kiel (Germany), is a competence centre which specialises in the design and verification of aerodynamic profiles. It has advanced facilities including a wind tunnel, which is extremely useful for the design of ships and turbine airfoils, which have important applications in the field of renewable energy. The project, which was of considerable help to local businesses, began in November 2003 and lasted until September 2008. It was awarded approximately €1 million of European funding (ERDF), and was also supported by the Local Government and Kiel University of Applied Sciences.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

These types of activities which aim to make large scientific installations available to companies require collaboration between the Public Administration, research centres with outstanding facilities, and businesses.

Companies themselves can exert pressure so that they are granted access to facilities. The Regional Administration should target the specific areas which they want to promote by providing them with cutting edge centres and making the facilities available to companies.

Ver leyenda explicativa


  1. NanoFab Article: making nanotechnology work for industry.
  2. http://www.cenaero.be - Cenaero Project.
  3. http://www.nanofab.it/it/- NanoFab Proyect.
  4. http://www.venetonanotech.it - Veneto Nanotechnology.
  5. http://www.yru-kiel.de/ - Kiel competency centre.