SPRING creates synergies among active innovative entities aiming to develop the whole green chemistry sector with the aim to foster a new economy (bioeconomy). The goal is to help create the conditions for the growth of an attractive, dynamic, innovative and competitive continuously growing industrial and academic context.
SPRING promotes the creation of a strong, cohesive and representative community, representing its interests towards regional, national, European and international institutions, and promoting its visibility and reputation among the broad public and experts. In order to pursue such objectives it identifies and exploits existing and potential synergies with all existing regional, national, European and global actors.
The acronym SPRING evokes the concepts of Rise, New Beginning, Push for Growth: the Cluster wants to be a stimulus for sustainable innovation, a spring for development and for a systemic growth focused on bioeconomy. An initiative that evolves in constant dialogue with the actors of local areas, in full respect of biodiversity.
The SPRING Cluster was created in 2012 as a joint initiative of Biochemtex, Novamont, Versalis and Federchimica in response to a call by the Italian Ministry of University, Education and Research (MIUR) titled “Avviso per lo sviluppo e potenziamento di Cluster Tecnologici Nazionali” (Notice for the development and strengthening of national technological clusters), as per the Directorial Decree of May 30th, 2012 no. 257). The goal of the call was to identify entities – organised enterprise networks, universities, public or private research institutions and subjects active in the field of innovation, from various local areas and with an interdisciplinary and international value – which could act as engines of a sustainable economic growth of the whole national economic system and territories, in line with European strategic agendas and with the objectives of Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.
In December 2012 the SPRING Cluster was officially acknowledged by the MIUR as a representative organisation of the Italian sector of green chemistry.
SPRING members all operate in the bioeconomy sector in various ways and represent the whole Italian industry of “green” chemistry: they are big industrial players, SMEs, universities, and all the main Italian public research organisations active in the fields of biomass harvesting and processing. A number of actors operating in the fields of technology transfer and environmental communication are also members of the Cluster.
The organizational structure of the Cluster SPRING, as a non-profit association, is composed of a General Assembly, which includes representatives of all the Members, a Board of Directors, which is formed of seven Directors, including the Chairman, and four Thematic Committees.
The General Assembly is the sovereign body of the Association: it represents all the members and, through its deliberations, it expresses the associates’ will.
The Board of Directors is the body for the Cluster strategic orientation; as such, it processes the Association program of activities to be submitted to the Assembly, pursuing the Statute objectives, and it supports and encourages, in the appropriate locations and forms, the project proposals coming from the members.
Each associate, depending on its nature and in compliance with the provisions of the Statute, takes part in one of the four thematic committees inside the Association:
1) Industrial Innovation Committee, which brings together all the members of entrepreneurial nature and has the objective of developing strategies for research, development and industrial innovation;
2) Dissemination Committee, which includes non-profit entities (such as local associations and unions, foundations, consortia, Innovation clusters) and is responsible for the dissemination of the results obtained by the Cluster both in local areas and among the members of the above-mentioned different realities;
3) Research Committee, which brings together universities and research centers and proposes strategies for public research;
4) Territorial Development Committee, which includes Development Agencies of Regional and Local authorities, and/or the bodies formally delegated to represent them within the Association; it guarantees synergy and consistency between regional local policies and the Cluster activities.
Each Committee can then establish Thematic Working Groups, in accordance to the needs of studying in depth specific technical issues.
The Permanent Working-Group between SPRING and the Italian Regions
To date eleven Italian Regions – Basilicata, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont, Puglia, Sardinia, Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto and Autonomous Province of Trento – have committed themselves to supporting the Cluster activities, reaffirming the consistency and compatibility of their development strategies and programming documents with the vision and goals of the Association, as well as their will to pursue this cooperation by promoting activities to sustain the development and valorization of the Cluster.
A Permanent Working Group has been set up among the representatives of these Regions and SPRING with the aim to facilitate a constant debate. The Table is conceived as a common platform useful to enable shared and coordinated positions and possible lines of actions concerning technology innovation, interregional cooperation, development policies and strategies, as well as participation in regional or multiregional programmes co-financed at a national level and belonging to an Italian shared strategy, sharing of tools and case studies of excellence, organisation of training activities and employment incentive measures in the field of Green Jobs.
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