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Italy has put long the development of renewable sources as a priority of its energy policy, together with the promotion of energy efficiency. Despite the strong increase in the number of operators active on the Italian market for renewable energy, there are shortages of expertise and strategic technologies that not allow independence and advanced technological developments from abroad.

In recent years the Italian industry has grown at reduced rates, in a context in which predominated the small size of domestic producers and the significant reliance on international markets to meet the demand for components and systems for the production of energy from renewables. Due to the small producers and the excessive fragmentation of local experiences (both in research and development of products / energy services, is part of the investments for the activation of technological chains), in the absence of a strategy interregional agreed, however, it has often penalized the potential results obtainable with the resources in the field. The trend indicated is confirmed by the regions of the Southern Italy where the delay is greater than the rest of the country.

The socio-economic context of Calabria Region is characterized by a persistent economic gap compared with the other Italian regions to European countries. Very low is the presence of manufacturing activities to higher value-added services to greater technological content and innovation. The creation of a technological District on Advanced Materials for Renewable Energy - MATELIOS is for the region of Calabria an extraordinary opportunity through which they can be achieved higher levels of technical and economic competitiveness in advanced technology sectors such as those linked to manufacturing technologies and production advanced materials for the renewable energy sector, particularly in the areas of photovoltaics and wind energy, intervening in the fields of research, innovation, competitive growth of the sector, the formation of human capital.

In the world there are many examples of districts in which different subjects, research institutions and entrepreneurs, promote initiatives that go to integrate with each other even in areas with little or no industrialization. These technological districts have developed in countries without an industrial tradition since, in countries where there are no alternatives attractive business, the cost / opportunity to invest in new projects is lower than in most industrialized countries.

The Technology District  has as its objective the study and development of advanced materials and technologies for the implementation of systems of production of energy from renewable sources. The technologies that are the subject of research and development have as main feature the transverse fields of application in order to promote technology transfer and use in different industrial sectors.

The initiatives of the Technological District are consistent with the overall objective of the growth of the Calabria Region and will focus on four broad objectives:

achieve international excellence in research;
promoting new technological entrepreneurship;
disseminate and promote the technological innovation in the production system of Calabria;
become a magnet for top international talent.

Those who founded MATELIOS are research centers, universities and research institutions such as the CSM, ENEA, the University of Calabria and inter-university consortia such as INSTM and CNISM. There are also some companies, mainly SMEs, already on the territory of Calabria or in the process of establishing in Calabria a research laboratory or a new production plant. Lastly, the participation of the Consortium Lamezia Europe which will favor the establishment in Calabria of new business initiatives.

MATELIOS activities are centered on a set of research projects and training developed by individuals capable of supporting the development of the productive base and the improvement of regional competitiveness.

One of the major factors of competitiveness of the modern manufacturing industry is the development of new progressive systems, subsystems and components, more and more efficient in terms of cost / effectiveness. In this context, the material plays a primary role, as a factor which focus on both strategic elements of cost (raw materials, processing, etc.) and some of the key performance characteristics (strength and environment, specific functions of use , weight, etc.).

In the specific area of alternative energy, the centrality of the innovative material as a possible element of increased competitiveness is further configured as a strategic element. Just think of the field of photovoltaics, where even the specific product sectors identify with the various functional materials (mono and polycrystalline silicon, thin film semiconductors, organic thin films, etc.) and where most of its innovations are the development of materials alternative to those currently used.

The District is configured so focused on a strategic element (material) in the general context of innovation in the field of alternative energy. Thanks to the knowledge of the needs and characteristics of the advanced materials sector and working through key channels with other agencies both national and territorial (Technological Districts, Innovation clusters, incubators, business associations, ..........), They can complete the picture the skills needed to achieve technological and economic advantages for companies Calabrian MATELIOS is proposed as a primary subject for establishing and coordinating a network of partnerships in order to trigger a mechanism of creation, growth and self sustenance of the high-tech Calabria.

The technologies that will be the subject of activities MATELIOS will have as main feature the transverse fields of application in order to promote technology transfer and use in different industrial sectors.

The selection of these technologies, therefore, will present itself in induced large manufacturing companies nationally and internationally and also manufacture products with high technological content and high level of automation, and competitive even if made in Europe.

The District also plans to promote the internationalization process with the aim of promoting the integration of the main technological realities of the territory, both research and business, in the main European countries and international companies operating in the sector. MATELIOS finally constitute a potential basis for the development of all relationships, in terms of renewable energy, with the countries of the Mediterranean basin.