Operationally, Argo translates into a Hub & Spoke model that by its very nature, extends its activities and services—and consequently system impacts—across a national and international dimension, which has developed by stages.
In the first stage, the model was tested within the context of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. However, given its scalability and repeatability features, it was automatically adapted to a multi-regional and international scale.
The preparatory activities—for the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, planned and launched by Area Science Park and other institutional and industrial partners—involved the planning and implementation of the model. What followed was a wider debate within the world of politics, research and manufacturing aimed at creating a shared vision of regulatory instruments, investment priorities and new technologies required to turn the model into an actual system, supporting the development and the growth of the country. Consequently, the structuring and operating experimentation were launched at the end of 2016. In 2017 the technical preparatory activities of the assets were brought to completion, while the institutional and economic partnership which became part of the system was consolidated. In 2018, the ARGO System became fully operational within the regional context and started to operate at a multi-regional level. By 2021 the system will be operational at the national level.
Building a structured system comprised of private enterprises and public operators, that is able to generate economic development at the regional, national and international levels, taking advantage of the assets in the domains of (i) advanced technology, (ii) digitisation, and (iii) higher education existing in the reference territories. The aim is optimising resources and attracting national and international investment for new strategic development projects, pursuing a clear industrial development strategy.
The key elements that make up the model and can be found in the territory include:
Hub – the central hub for a network comprising infrastructures, instruments and advanced competencies that are indispensable to industrial innovation. It guarantees the coordinated access of enterprises to the services and competencies existing within the system, according to integration and complementariness principles.
The supervision of the Hub is the responsibility of the Control Room of the system.
Following the logic of territorial proximity and integrated multiple-access system, as well as growing complexity services, the Hub contains and deploys territorial access points: the Nodes.
Nodes – these are the territorial proximity departments for target users. In addition to offering services to actually access the system, they can also provide highly specialised services (Specialised Nodes) in coordination with the Hub. In any case, they require a connection to the other assets through a ‘Spoke system’ to provide access to the entire advanced services portfolio.
Spoke – is the connection between the Hub and the Nodes, which gives access to high-complexity services that aren’t individually available at the peripheral Nodes. The Spoke is a standardised channel to engage advanced competencies and provide highly qualified services. A structural feature is the connection of the Hub with the University Research system, the Competence Centre and the regional and international networks of innovation.
The system programmes launched include complementary activities to cover the entire path, from basic research to the market. They focus on themes and technological specialisations with a strategic interest and for which the territorial system of knowledge can boast first-rate infrastructures and competencies.