Who says that business networks only provide opportunities for small firms? There are also gains to be made for the ‘big guns’ of Emilia-Romagna’s industry: confirmation of this comes from CRIT, the Vignola-based consortium (Modena) to which the ‘big names’ of regional manufacturing adhere. Their goal: to provide joint cutting-edge technological services (i.e. without weighing wholly on the budget of individual companies).
Active for some years now, CRIT has ‘directed’ ever-more ambitious projects, the last being the Liam laboratory (the acronym stands for Laboratorio industriale automazione macchine per il packaging – industrial automatic laboratory for packaging machines), which involved five companies that already belonged to the consortium: all are leaders in their respective fields. These, naturally, include Sacmi, which for years has been leading the world with cutting-edge solutions at the service of the packaging industry.
Inside Liam – where, as of 1st February, new fulltime researchers from the universities of Bologna, Modena and Reggio Emilia will be working – new “algorithms for predictive and proactive malfunction diagnosis, software libraries and applications for machine control, and a commercial architecture benchmarking platform” will be developed. In short then, a great opportunity to experiment with innovative new solutions and so improve one’s product range.
And the competition risk? Inexistent, in that, while all are leaders on their respective markets and all are involved in the packaging industry, the five participating companies operate in profoundly different sectors: if anything, there are likely to be opportunities for ‘vertical integration’ and mutually beneficial technological transfer of any lab-developed innovations from one sector to another. A way, then, of putting the ‘networking’ concept into practice, an approach that received official acknowledgement in 2010 when the Region of Emilia-Romagna provided Liam with funding.