The NUCLEi partners pictured at the kick-off meeting in Vignola (Italy)

Innovation models for the manufacturing and processing industry in Central Europe

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum acts as partner on NUCLEi project

The most important European industries involved in automation and mechatronics are located in Central Europe. Although business in this area of industry operates on an intercontinental scale, the services relating to innovation in the field mainly have a regional focus. As a result, it sometimes takes a very long time for research findings and development results to transfer between different parties in the industry. An EU project called NUCLEi aims to make it easier for SMEs to gain access to the results of international research initiatives, so the latest research findings can be applied in commercial products and services. Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) is one of the partners on the project.

The aim of the NUCLEi partners is to improve collaboration between science and academia on the one hand, and key market players on the other. To this end, they are setting up a collaborative ecosystem for promoting cross-border transfer activities. The task of SEZ is to work as a mentoring partner and provide help with the development and internationalization of all kinds of services relating to innovation.

The project requires close cooperation, and the first step involves 100 companies across seven regions. The main goal at this stage is to significantly improve collaboration with innovation partners in other project regions. Another aim is to cut the time-to-market for R&D ideas, not only those stemming from EU-backed research projects but also from other laboratories and businesses in Central Europe. In the medium term, R&D expenditures and the number of patents registered by companies involved in the project should rise by between 2 and 3 percent. NUCLEi is short for “Network of manufacturing clusters for enhanced open innovation in the Central Europe advanced manufacturing and processing industry”, and the project has 2 million of EU backing from July 2016 to December 2018. The project falls under the INTERREG Central Europe program. The countries involved in the project are Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.


Sarah Mortimer
Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (Stuttgart)