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KET-LAB: the “Laboratory of the future” in Rome

ASI and the Hypathia Consortium to build a joint research centre for Lazio SMEs in the sector: more than 10 million euros funding allocated

A futuristic laboratory of approximately 2,000 square metres inside ASI (Italian Space Agency) offices in Tor Vergata, Rome: this is the KET-LAB project which will soon become the first Italian high-innovation scientific centre with a focus on multi-disciplinary activities and transferring aerospace technology to the research activities of SMEs.


The project, which has confirmed Lazio's role, and in particular the Tor Vergata area, as innovation leader in the sector, is the key point of a partnership agreement signed by Hypathia - a consortium of research bodies, universities and companies created inside the Science Park of Rome's second largest university - and ASI.


Overall funding is worth more than 10 million euros, involving the two partners and their scientific-commercial collaboration networks. The consortium from the Tuscolana research area will provide equipment and instruments worth a total of 4 million euros, 35 contracts for young researchers with an average age of 32 and a commercial agreement worth 4.5 million euros with French company Poly-Shape Italia to build the first Italian 3D printing laboratory, a production technique for creating prototypes from 3D models. As a result, this advanced technology will be available for biologists, engineers, physicists and chemists from October for developing industrial projects in the aerospace field.

 

 

Italian Space Agency President Roberto Battiston commented that “The Ket Lab is another part of the strategy to bring Italian SMEs to the frontline of technology in the aerospace sector”. “This is an important goal for constructing the Space Economy, the range of goods, services and applications that will be key to our future development”, he added.

 

Flavio Lucibello, President of the Hypathia consortium, explained that “The agreement with ASI extends the services available for the Italian aerospace industry, with a strong knock-on effect on the development of this and other industrial sectors”. “The model we are trying to imitate is the Fraunhofer Institute: we want to create a large industrial research centre that draws from the pool of excellent researchers in the Tuscolana area and the capital's second largest university”, added Mr Lucibello.


“The re-industrialisation that we have in mind aims to see the Lazio industrial system back in the field of new technology and the international value chain”, commented Lazio Region Economic Development and Productive Activities Councillor, Guido Fabiani. He continued: “Therefore, I can only welcome the creation of this joint laboratory where researchers and companies will be able to study the applications of Key Enabling Technologies together. We are expecting a lot from this experience and I am certain that it will be the first structural rather than one-off response to the need to deal with the issue of technology transfer to industry”.