Abruzzo, a dynamic automotive ecosystem

In Abruzzo, the productive sector is young and dynamic. Industrialization is particularly high and aligned with northern regions, notably richer and more developed.

Automotive industries (both large and small-medium sized enterprises) are involved in both automotive and mechatronics sectors (as manufacturers or sub-contractors in the production of products or car components). The industry employs more than 25.000 workers in total, 21.000 only in the province of Chieti and has a turnover of more than EUR 8bn, equal to a 27% of the whole manufacturing industry’s turnover and 55% of the regional export activities.

The Region of Abruzzo identified the focuses of its Automotive and Mechatronic Smart Specialisation Strategy in:

● Development of new technologies for connected vehicles;
● Deployment of new solutions for vehicles used in logistics;
● Improvement of the eco/environmental compatibility of components and single parts, e-mobility, hybrids solutions, range extender and total electric.

● Using ground-breaking components and materials;
● Designing supporting technologies and tools;
● Projecting new junctions, assembly and (not-expensive) painting technologies;
● Functionalizing surfaces through new coatings and treatments with improved impact-resistance (thanks to the usage of nanotechnologies);
● Digitising industries through the usage of robotics, ICT and digital/automated technologies (Industry 4.0).

● Realising the circular economy, extending products’ lifespan and reducing their environmental impact.

● New techniques for productive processes monitoring;
● New types of non-destructive tests;
● Know-how on statistical monitoring;
● New methodologies for quality assurance of product providers.



Set up in 2010, the Automotive Innovation Pole counts about 60 partners including enterprises of different sizes as well as research centres and the Engineering Department of the University of L’Aquila.

All partner companies participate to the regional economy with:
Turnover: EUR6 billion;
Export: 50% of the regional export activities;
Employees: around EUR 20.000.

Other business partners, located in Piemonte, Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, Marche and Campania operate in their own production sectors, such as:
● Motorcycle sector (HONDA and the majority of SMEs, etc.);
● Automotive (FCA, DENSO, etc.);
● Other players (IMM, etc.).
Or could be classified as:
● End-product manufacturers;
● Single part manufacturers.

The Automotive Innovation Pole acts within the framework of the Programme for Automotive Innovation, aiming at innovating the production of business and non-business vehicles (as two and four-wheel transport means for both goods and individuals) so as to strengthen the ecosystem and the industry competitiveness.

As a priority, the programme seeks to encourage the establishment of larger international companies that are successful in terms of innovation, product quality and flexibility in innovating productive processes, to the benefit of research and development, skills, education, business culture and cooperation amongst all players across the chain.

In the first place, the strategy focuses on integrating local resources and encouraging the internationalisation of businesses. Its goal is, ultimately, improving interdependency and liability as well as cooperation amongst companies, employees, educational system and institutions.



The Automotive Innovation Pole already gathers more than 60 entities, including research bodies, and it is currently evaluating other application requests.

The Automotive sector represents the backbone of the regional industry sector and few figures can easily demonstrate it. Today, the Pole member companies employ about 18.000 people and have an annual turnover of 6,2 billions euro,

Companies who joined the Pole can be classified in 3 different categories according to the supply chain they belong to:

  • 2-wheels operators
  • 4-wheels operator (mainly LCV)
  • Others

At the same time, we can differentiate into:

  • End product manufacturers;
  • Components and parts manufacturers.

The Automotive Innovation Pole Partners have the opportunity to work in close contact with key sectoral stakeholders and acquire cutting-edge skills. Being a member of the Pole network means befitting from the wide expertise built during the past 8 years of activity.



The Automotive Innovation Pole aims at contributing to the reinforcement of the regional innovation system in the automotive sector.

System actions

  • Construction of common knowledge tools for marketing and identity;
  • Organization and management of thematic working groups;
  • Organization of partnership for networking and sharing projects;
  • Management and governance of the Pole.

Specialized services

  • Technology and market monitoring;
  • Supplying human resource demand for business and research system;
  • Promoting industrial research and new products development;
  • Promoting technology transfer;
  • Supporting the creation and development of new businesses, academic spin-offs and innovative enterprises;
  • Promoting international networks and European research projects;
  • Development of new products/services;
  • Design;
  • Testing materials: mechanical testing, metallographic examinations;
  • Providing organizational and managerial expertise and intellectual property management;
  • Providing Quality services: calibration services, CE label, accreditation to UNI / CEI / SINAL certification.

Cluster “Trasporti Italia 2020”

The Automotive Innovation Pole is member of the National Cluster “Trasporti Italia 2020”, which is leading the development of innovative techniques for  road and sea transport (originally “Mezzi e sistemi per la mobilità di superficie terrestre e marina”).

The activities of the Cluster “Trasporti Italia 2020” are oriented towards creating a network of players in the supply chains of road, sea and rail transportation industries.

Such a cooperative approach aims to push the competitiveness of the “Made in Italy” by innovating the methodology and outlining new actions.

The Cluster’s strategies will

  • Promote a fully integrated systems of industries and research cycle;
  • Facilitate the elaboration of common solutions for common projects; and
  • Boost the expansion of supply chain operators network, by promoting intermodality



The Automotive and Mechanical Innovation (acronym IAM) corporation was born on 28 July 2008.

It has as its objective the strengthening and consolidation of the supply chain of the Automotive companies. The company will take care of the organization, the definition, implementation and management of projects, including those aimed at strengthening and/or completion of business networks, including through public contributions. It is clear that many may be the synergistic actions to be put in be.