Co-design of university-industry partnership: the RICAP Case at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

RICAP (Research and Innovation Corporate Affiliation Program) is the Ca’ Foscari affiliation program designed to enhance the research collaboration opportunities between University and Industry, contributing to develop innovative projects and to exploit research results.

Giovanna Berera
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

LinkedIn profile

Erica Brandolino
Ca' Foscari University of Venice


Vladi Finotto
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Andrea Castellin
Brenta srl

Background and Objectives
Ca' Foscari University of Venice stands out in the panorama of national and international academic research for its studies in economics and management, green chemistry, nanotechnology and advanced materials, environmental sustainability, marine and earth sciences, art and cultural heritage, history and anthropology, philosophical sciences, information and communication sciences, social innovation, foreign languages and literature with a particular focus on oriental and Middle Eastern studies.
In all these areas, the University expresses national and international leadership in research and has developed skills and competences to provide support to businesses, public administrations and other organizations in addressing the challenges posed by socio-economic, environmental, technological and globalization transformations
Against this background the development of innovative approaches to collaboration with industry and other institutions represents a strategic commitment for Ca' Foscari University to boost its research and enhance its results by contributing to social, technological and economic growth. The departments of the University have always successfully and continuously collaborated on applied research projects and initiatives with enterprises and institutions, The interface and interaction with particularly innovative companies that recognize the value of public research has been the harbinger of novel collaboration schemes and novel collaboration arrangements that will be described and analyzed in the present paper.
Brenta Srl, a strategic partner of the university, is an innovative start-up of the Holding FIS engaged in nanotechnology, research and more generally in the development of technological platforms for applications in the pharmaceutical sector. The name is an acrostic that describes the firm’s approach to both research and the market: Bring Research Excellence Nanotherapeutics Theranostic Applications. Bring because is expression of dynamics, direction to move forward, attracting excellence and developing experience in the field of industrial research. They are compelled to develop technology platform applications with a special focus on material science in the field of nanotechnology, but not limited to. Broad-minded and Receptive, they aim to an Effective, Non conventional Translation of research to industrial Applications.
The collaboration with Brenta is an example of how the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at capitalizing on research-generated knowledge depends not on traditional technology transfer schemes but rather on the co-design of novel collaboration and partnership schemes. The case we aim at illustrating exemplifies the novel approach adopted by both the university and the firm and the relevance of co-design of partnership agreements. In particular the paper describes the process underlying the co-design of a corporate affiliation program for research and innovation between the firm and the university, named RICAP (Research and Innovation Corporate Affiliates Programme)