The DIMA-HUB feasibility study is positioned within the context of the mentoring and sponsorship programmeof the I4MS initiative (Phase 2) and aims at extending the geographical coverage of the I4MS ecosystem by establishing a Regional Digital Innovation (RDMI) hub in the Piedmont Region, Italy.
The mission of the hub is to foster and accelerate technology advances, while supporting start-ups and SMEs in their digital transformation path by connecting them with firms and competence centers within and from outside the Piedmont Region.

To address the I4SM call, the Piedmont RDMI hub will have its core specialization on:

  • Advanced laser-based applications (including additive manufacturing), due to the unique and excellent competences and assets available in the region.

In addition, DIMA-HUB intends to boost the adoption of the remaining I4MS technologies. In particular:

  • Robotics, where the Piedmont ecosystem of manufacturing enterprises offers a large supply of technological solutions and some large-scale applications;
  • Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and Internet of Things (IoT), as Piedmont has recently developed applied competences in these areas within the digital factory framework of connected automated production lines;
  • High Performance Computing (HPC) powered cloud based modeling and simulation services, due to the high demand of the Piedmont manufacturing industry, not yet paired by investments and practical deployment of the competences offered by local universities and RTOs.


The hub will take part to the process of knowledge creation and transfer, which is at the origin of developing, validating and transferring technology-related best practices in manufacturing laser-based technologies from multiple sources to recipient units.

The object of the knowledge creation and transfer will be a practice in design, engineering and manufacturing that deploys technology applications that primarily include laser-based manufacturing processes and HPC. A recipient unit can be a firm (typically a SME) that is interested in assimilating, replicating and adapting the practice developed elsewhere. Also, the hub may act as a broker, connecting and integrating technology vendors that are specialized in some technology platforms with small enterprises and start-ups focalized on some complementary modules of the platform.

To support these activities the DIMA-HUB will provide the following services:

  1. Showcasing of technologies (e.g., in research labs, in pilot factories);
  2. Experimentation, prototyping and testing with new technologies;
  3. Parallel design for manufacturing, support to process design, planning and optimization;
  4. Fabrication of new products (e.g., for low volumes and small batches, by accessing to shared production facilities;
  5. Workforce education and training.

The hub will also promote the creation of new businesses and the development of manufacturing Start-ups and SMEs.


The industrial and innovation ecosystem existing in Piedmont is particularly well equipped to put in practice this concept and mission for three reasons:

  1. A large network of actors, both from industry and research & innovation, does exist with a long-term established experience in advanced laser-based applications and robotics.
  2. Piedmont has an historical industrial specialization in hi-tech manufacturing sectors such as aerospace, carmaking and the mechanical industry and ability to attract multinational enterprises from abroad (e.g., General Motors, General Electric, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). These companies can act as lead users in the experimentation and development of the technology applications targeted by the hub.
  3. In the last twenty years, Piedmont has developed a world-class capability in networking, knowledge brokering, collaboration in innovation processes, start-up acceleration innovation in technology domains related to ICT, mechatronics.

It is relevant to highlight that out of the six priorities featured by Piedmont’s Smart Specialization strategy (S3), three are addressed by DiMa HUB (Automotive, Aerospace and Mechatronics/Manufacturing), proving the alignment of the regional development strategy with the main target of this initiative.


The consortium consists of five members, three of which have specialization in research and development on digital manufacturing and the remaining two are regional innovation clusters:

  1. Politecnico di Torino - Project Coordinator - prof. Paolo Neirotti (dimahub@polito.it)
  2. Università di Torino
  3. MESAP
  4. Torino Wireless (TOWL)
  5. Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB)

A number of other local actors will contribute to the feasibility study and will have an active part to the activities of the hub (they have already endorsed the future creation of the hub); the list include local incubators of tech startups, industrial associations, public research centers on ICT and manufacturing, local governmental institutions and bank foundations.

© Politecnico di Torino - Credits