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SPRING - Italian Circular Bioeconomy Cluster
SPRING - Sustainable Processes and Resources for Innovation and National Growth

Italy: Lombardy
Eleonora Marchetti
100% completed


About us

Established - 07 February 2014
Staff in the management team - 1-5

Cluster composition

  • 125
    Cluster Members
  • 35
  • 5
    Number of start-ups among SME's
  • 14
    Large Companies
  • 45
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 31
    Other Ecosystem Actors

SPRING was created with the aim of implementing a national platform for green chemistry and circular bioeconomy that strives for the sustainable economic growth of local areas as well as for the entire national economy system. The Cluster SPRING aims to facilitate the transition from a product-based economy to a system-based economy, starting from the valorization of territories and local resources through the engagement and the collaboration of the different public and private stakeholders along the entire value chains.

The cluster stimulates actions of research, demonstration, technological transfer, dissemination and training, in constant dialogue with the local stakeholders, in order to foster innovation and to support the creation of integrated circular value chains for the valorization of renewable feedstocks in to added-value products through sustainable processes that embrace the circular bioeconomy approach.

SPRING therefore contributes to the widespread growth of a common culture on circular economy and bioeconomy, in collaboration with relevant regions and stakeholders, and in dialogue with actors all around Europe.

More than 100 stakeholders are involved in the Cluster, operating in different ways in the field of circular bioeconomy and representing the entire supply chain of “green chemistry”, from the agricultural stage to the final products, from municipalities to transformers, thus ensuring the multi-level and multi-sectoral approach needed to achieve the Cluster’s objectives on a short, medium and long-term basis.

During 2019, SPRING developed and presented to the Italian Ministry of University and Research a triennial Action Plan where four development roadmaps and related practical actions that have been identified

The main objectives are to support the exploitation of territorial opportunities from an economic, social, environmental and occupational point of view, through a circular approach to bioeconomy, deploying research and development results in order to optimize a cascading utilization and valorization of biomass, byproducts, wastes and waste waters, in an integrated system among the different territorial sectors.

SPRING has also established a Permanent Working Group of supporting Regions representatives (15 Italian Regions are part of the permanent working group) and the SPRING’s Board of Directors.

The Permanent Working Group aims at the definition of coordinated, common positions and possible lines of intervention related to bioeconomy, such as inter-regional collaboration, development of policies and strategies, access to regional or multi-regional programs co-financed at a national level, that also fall within a shared Italian strategy.

The Cluster SPRING was involved since the beginning among the interlocutors who contributed decisively to the drafting and updating of the Italian Bioeconomy Strategy - promoted by the Italian Presidency of Council of Ministers and presented in May 2019 - identifying needs, opportunities and barriers for a further development of bioeconomy projects for territorial regeneration and economic revitalization, as well as in the drafting of the related Implementation Action Plan.

SPRING is already involved in activities which aim at creating skills and spread knowledge about the opportunities of bioeconomy (for instance the Biocirce Master on bioeconomy in the circular Economy) and supports regional initiatives for the implementation of territorial awareness about and implementation of bio-based solutions.

SPRING proactively co-organizes and participates in a series of national and international events dedicated to bioeconomy, widening therefore the stakeholders’ group that can be reached beyond the associates themselves.

Below a short list of the main events that the Cluster organizes every year:

  • Bioinitaly Investment Forum (Circular Bioeconomy Arena Meeting) (Startups selected by a panel of coaches and experts present their projects focused on Red Biotech & Healthcare and Circular Bioeconomy to investors, corporations and players of the innovation ecosystem, with the aim to foster innovation and support networking activities and matching with other enterprises and investors)
  • Presentation of the Report on bioeconomy in Europe by IntesaSanpaolo in collaboration with Assobiotec and SPRING
  • SPRING promotes and coordinates the National Bioeconomy Day, with  several events all around Italy;
  • Public session of the Cluster's General Assembly– discussion with stakeholders of industry, research, primary prodction, associations.
  • IFIB -International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, co-organized by SPRING.
  •  Ecomondo – 24th Edition, co-organized by SPRING

SPRING also actively operates at European level, participating to working groups on bioeconomy and circular economy and directly taking part to European proects:

  1. Power4bio - https://power4bio.eu/ “Empowering regional stakeholders for realising the full potential of European bioeconomy”. The POWER4BIO project aims at increasing the capacity of regional and local policy makers and stakeholders to structure their bioeconomy and to support the emergence of a thriving bio‐based sector. Adequate knowledge and best practice exchange and networking within and among regions, across the EU. (H2020 – RUR-2018-2020; 2018-2021)
  2. GRACE - https://www.grace-bbi.eu/. “Growing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorefineries”. The GRACE project demonstrates large-scale miscanthus and hemp production on land with low productivity, contaminated soil or which has been abandoned. The aim is to secure the supply of sustainable-produced raw materials for the growing European Bioeconomy. In the project, ten different demonstration cases are used to show how biomass cultivation can be linked to the near-industrial-scale production of various biobased products. (BBI 2016.D2)
Legal form of the cluster organisation
Languages spoken
English Italian
Other label
SPRING is recognized by the Italian Ministry of University and Research as National Technology Cluster on Green Chemistry

Management team

Eleonora Marchetti
Mario Bonaccorso
Cluster Manager
Sara Cantone
Project Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Manufacturing:C20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products - Manufacturing:C22 Manufacture of rubber and plastic products - Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities:E38 Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery
Sectoral Industries (NACE 4 digit)
Manufacture of food products:C1041 Manufacture of oils and fats - Manufacture of food products:C1062 Manufacture of starches and starch products - Manufacture of food products:C1089 Manufacture of other food products n.e.c. - Manufacture of food products:C1091 Manufacture of prepared feeds for farm animals - Manufacture of textiles:C1396 Manufacture of other technical and industrial textiles - Manufacture of leather and related products:C1511 Tanning and dressing of leather - Manufacture of paper and paper products:C1729 Manufacture of other articles of paper and paperboard - Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products:C2014 Manufacture of other organic basic chemicals - Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products:C2016 Manufacture of plastics in primary forms - Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products:C2020 Manufacture of pesticides and other agrochemical products - Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations:C2120 Manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations - Manufacture of rubber and plastic products:C2229 Manufacture of other plastic products - Water collection, treatment and supply:E3600 Water collection, treatment and supply - Scientific research and development:M7211 Research and experimental development on biotechnology - Scientific research and development:M7219 Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering
Cross-sectoral industries
Environmental Industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Alliances:Circular Plastics Ecosystems:Renewable Energy
Technology fields
B\: Performing operations; transporting:Physical or chemical processes or apparatus in general - B\: Performing operations; transporting:Working of plastics; working of substances in a plastic state in general - C\: Chemistry; metallurgy:Treatment of water, waste water, sewage, or sludge - C\: Chemistry; metallurgy:Biochemistry; beer; spirits; wine; vinegar; microbiology; enzymology; mutation or genetic engineering - Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Technologies or applications for mitigation or adaptation against climate change
S3 EU priority areas
Aeronautics & space:Bio fuels & energy efficiency - KETs:Advanced manufacturing systems - KETs:Advanced materials - KETs:Industrial biotechnology - Social innovation:Social innovation with regard to environmental issues - Sustainable innovation:Bioeconomy - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable agriculture - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable energy & renewables - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable land & water use - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable production & consumption - Sustainable innovation:Waste management

Key members

Profile name Location
List of cluster members


Support services provided

Access to finance: Public funding
Access to finance: Private funding
Facilitation of collaboration between members (within the cluster)
Facilitation of external collaboration (beyond cluster) such as matchmaking

Further information

SPRING aims to support a continuous interaction among its members and other actors active in the field of bioeconomy in order to sustain the creation of innovative and strategic projects of significant technological impact for the sector of “green chemistry”, and to relaunch the creation of public-private partnerships. At the same time, it has the objective of promoting the testing and demonstration of prototypes and pilot plants for the production of biochemicals and biomaterials for the validation of the research on an industrial scale, and of encouraging synergistic integration processes among the sectors of chemistry, engineering design, food processing, agriculture and waste management.

The interaction between companies, universities, research centers, institutions and agricultural world is the precondition for creating new local value chains, for strengthening the existing ones and for channeling resources and actions towards common goals, in order to maximize the positive impact of Research and Innovation activities, reducing the high risks associated with the development of new cutting-edge technologies and speeding time-to-market for new technologies and innovative products.

Of the same importance are the activities related to technology transfer, environmental communication and dissemination of the principles and issues related with bioeconomy, which will be carried out within the Cluster by many members such as regional innovation clusters , technology parks, consortia, trade and local associations, development agencies, foundations, in order to maximize the spread on the territory of SPRING initiatives and achievements.

The Cluster has therefore the proposition of becoming a point of reference for local, national and European institutions in the field of “green chemistry”, helping to define the implementation of a national policy on bioeconomy and to have it diffused at a European level.

Support training services for cluster managers/policy makers

Promotion of activities (eg. job fairs and exhibitions) - Support of knowledge sharing - Collecting needs from company members

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries


Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries


Transnational support activites

Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs - Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs

Further information

SPRING is an associated member of the Biobased Industries Consortium. At European level the Cluster participates to the main events in the fields of Green Chemistry and Bioeconomy. The Cluster is main organiser of IFIB, the Italian Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, which brings together yearly the main EU bioeconomy players. It participates to several networking events at EU level.

Connection to cluster organisation(s)

Profile name Location
National Energy Technology Cluster


Membership in cluster networks, meta clusters and national associations of clusters

Profile name Location Network type



Membership in Cluster Partnerships or initiatives

Profile name Location


Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Latest news and documents

News Published: 30.03.2021
IFIB - International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy - Registrations open

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