Steel Innovation Cluster is a non-profit Entrepreneurship Association created with the aim of promoting innovation, technology development and applied research in the area of their respective activities related to steel, its production, processing and market delivery, all along its value chain, through the execution of joint projects.
Asturias Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) is the new plan at European regional policy that prioritizes the regions to promote a set of sectors and technologies potentially competitive and generating new activities when compared to other regions. This regional specialization has been mandatory by the European Commission as an ex ante condition for the development of the Operative Programmes of Structural Funds (ESF) for the period 2014-2020. One of the priorities chosen by Asturias, based on the relevant singularity of the region, is Asturias Steel Innovation Cluster. (Source: www.idepa.es/sites/web/idepaweb/servicios/inno/especializacion_inteligente)
Then, a regional specialization area related to the basic competences of steel production and processing and its transfer to the whole industrial environment is proposed, being the origin and motivation for the establishment of the Steel Innovation Cluster.
Steel value chain
The development of new steel grades and the improvement of existing ones has a multiplying impact on the value chain and richness generation in Asturias. So, it is expected that such development will result in improving competitiveness of the companies within the steel sector, turning the region in a reference at international level in terms of innovation in steel. The expected multiplying effect will be focussed on the search of synergies among the companies within the value chain, attracting companies and private research centres, promoting job creation and the creation of technology-based enterprises.
The Steel Innovation Cluster promotes high activity on R&D at a located environment, including important parts of all value chains in several sectors (rail, consumer goods, nuclear, petrochemical, research infrastructures, wind offshore). Further to the involvement of the steel producer, Steel Innovation Cluster includes a significant of processing companies, technology centre, university and end users to successfully complete the planned technology development, covering the value chain and closing the loop of the processes involved in the development of new steel grades and improvement of existing ones.