The PO.LA.RE. star-shaped model contains a central nucleus which represents PO.LA.RE. as a research body.
The central part of the model represents PO.L.A.RE.’s core function of collector of the needs of all relevant stakeholders through its equipment, human resources and tools (back-office activity of the model). The points of the star, one for each side of the prism, represent the 5 target sector (front-office activity of the model).
Between the sides of the pentagon and the points of the stars operates the management function, with a connecting role.
The number 5, like the sides of the pentagon and the points of the stars, symbolises the holistic nature of the model .
POLARE’s process originates from the demands of large companies (first point of the star) as players who express broad market needs and who translate them into requests for integrated interventions. These are processed by POLARE into large strategic projects structured as Framework Programmes.
There are three different types of Framework Programme (FP):
- FP for product/process innovation;
- FP for organizational innovation;
- FP for marketing innovation aimed at market repositioning through shifting a company’s strategic orientation from product to market.
Based on the FPs, POLARE activates its partners from the R&D community (second point of the star) through scouting activities for R&D competencies and technologies among researchers and academics. Within POLARE, these activities are carried out by the RADO department and they lead to the break down of the FP into several Systemic Innovation Sheets (SIS).
In this phase POLARE seeks the co-operation of technologists active in applied research and industrial development of R&D results. They can be chosen among University and research centres staff, in case of co-operation between academia and enterprise, but also among enterprise staff (for instance from engineering companies or spin off).
Further to this, the FP, broken down into SIS, is validated by the TSC.
Each approved SIS is then transposed into an operational plan detailing the required investments for each corresponding R&D activity. The plan is then carried out by thematic clusters (POLARE INNOVATION CLUSTER - PIC) formed by SMEs (third point of the star) as performers of the required technological solution.
In a medium term perspective, POLARE’s model also foresees the involvement and the provision of services to players who act as “facilitators” of innovation. Specifically, these are public sector actors (fourth point of the star) responsible for the political governance of the system , and those providing business services (fifth point of the star), namely consultancy services, ICT companies, consultants in the internalization process and access to funding, etc. .