Italian Association for Industrial Research

Airi is a private non-profit association with juridical personality representative of a national network of about 75 members: Industries, SME’s, Research Organisations, Public research bodies and Universities, Financial institutions and Industrial associations. Airi industrial members include major Italian players in the EU Industrial R&D investment scoreboard.
Founded in 1974, Airi mission today is to foster the co-operation between Industry and Public research in Italy and the European Union and to promote Italy-based R&D and Innovation toward the national and international dimension.
Since 1995 Airi publishes on a regular basis the report analysis «Key Technologies for the Italian Industry», with the aim of focusing the innovations of the near future on top sectors of interest at national level, in particular: Digital technologies, Microelectronics, Chemistry, Health and Biotech, Energy, Transportation, Space, Advanced Manufacturing, Environment. A key aspect of the analysis is the connection of technology development with sustainability goals and global challenges.
Leading the co-ordination of several Committees and Working groups, involving a large number of R&D managers and researchers from Industry and Public Research, Airi is acknowledged as a key opinion leader in Technology forecasting and Research-policy design.
The Association represents the interests of industrial research and co-operates with public entities and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Trade Commission. Airi is member of APRE – Agency for the Promotion of European Research and of UNI-Italian Standard Body.
In the European Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, Airi has been involved in several EU cooperative projects, both as coordinator and partner, being a pivotal actor of an extensive European network of science and technology stakeholders. The main areas and themes of interest are: future industrial innovation, R&I policies and strategies, sustainability and social responsibility, enabling technologies.

Key Enabling Technologies and Responsible Research and Innovation

A particular effort is made by Airi to promote the development and the application of Key Enabling Technologies as tools to strengthen the competitive position of industrial system in Italy and EU.
In 2003 Airi created Airi/Nanotec IT – Italian Centre for Nanotechnologies, a technological division that since its start has worked in close cooperation with industrial enterprises, public and private research organizations, Universities, government bodies, associations, to promote nanotechnologies and their applications. In order to render more effective its action in relation to the evolution of the technology scenario, with the time Airi has expanded Nanotec IT focus to the study and the development of Nanotechnologies and the other Key Enabling Technologies (KETs).
Today, Airi is addressing the 4th industrial revolution by stimulating the industrial development driven by the KETs, as identified by most recent EU and national R&I policies: Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Advanced Materials and Nanotechnologies, Life Science Technologies, Micro-nanoelectronics and Photonics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Security and Connectivity.
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is one of the pillars of Airi action. To this end Airi explores way to integrate responsibility aspects all along the R&I value chain, perform stakeholder engagement to inform all phases of product development, integrate monitoring, learning and adaptive mechanisms to address public and social values and normative principles in product development.

Cooperation between industry and public research

Cooperation between industry and public research, in Italy and at international level, is a priority for Airi. National and international networking is essential to strengthen the capacities of the industrial research. Pivotal to this goal is the participation to cooperative projects, in particular in the field of Key Enabling Technologies and Responsible Research and Innovation.
Cornerstones activities are:

    o Monitoring and assessment of situation and trends of R&D and application of enabling and emerging technologies;
    o Elaboration of technological scenarios, to identify players, areas of interest, opportunities, needs and priorities;
    o Methods, practices and policies to address ethical, legal and social impacts;
    o Risk governance of new technologies (assessment, management, communication of risks);
    o Co-creation and stakeholder engagement activities to debate and develop R&I activities and policies, involving stakeholders such as industry, research, policy makers, civil society organizations and citizens;
    o Stakeholder consultations (e.g. Delphi-exercises, surveys);
    o Technology scouting, promotion of research to business and business to business cooperation;
    o Definition of strategies and plans for the exploitation of technologies, products and services developed in cooperative projects;
    o Development of good practices and standards in cooperation with authorities, standard and certification bodies;
    o Development and coordination of dissemination and communication plans of cooperative projects;
    o Media briefings targeted to R&I audiences;
    o Dissemination of information through a wide database of research and innovation players (industry, research, policy makers, civil society organizations) in Italy and EU.

Since the start of the 6th framework programme (in 2002) Airi has participated to over 15 EU and national projects, in partnership with about 200 companies, universities and research organizations in EU and worldwide. Nowadays, the Airi network include over 5000 R&I players in all Europe, including direct contacts with large companies, SMEs, authorities and other government bodies in Italy and EU.

For information and proposals for cooperation on regional, national and European initiatives and projects, please contact