A concrete dialogue between companies and universities

The company presented a testimonial about the great value of collaboration with universities in the search for innovation and technological development.

On 8 July, on the occasion of Milan Polytechnic’s MIT Master in “Management of Research, Innovation and Technology” Summer School which took place in Rimini, Varvel SpA, a historic Bolognese mechanics company specialized in the design and production of reducers and motor reducers operating in over 60 Countries throughout the world, participated in a conference on the important collaborative relationship between universities and companies which draw their strength from research and innovation.

A company like Varvel with a tradition going back for over 60 years must be constantly searching for innovation and improvement to continue to affirm its role: to do this it has built up a working relationship with the main universities in Emilia Romagna.

The first opportunity for collaboration arose in 2007 in the context of regional funding for the setting up of a network of laboratories and research centres for the advanced mechanics sector: it marked the beginning of a fruitful relationship with the Department Physics at Modena and Reggio Emilia University, which led to the development of further even more important and demanding projects. Between 2008 and 2010 it was the turn of a project to develop a motor reducer capable of working without the use of traditional lubricants, with zero environmental impact. The company also participated with the Department of Engineering of Ferrara University in the “VIBRACUSTICA” project, which involved the study of innovative methods and techniques for vibro-acustic optimization of industrial machines and, in this specific case, of mechanical reducers. In collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Varvel participated in the MeNaCo Project “Development of fast metrological method for in-line monitoring of ternary nanostructured coatings” coordinated by the German University Fraunhofer IWM.

From 2012 to 2013 the collaboration continued with the project entitled “Development of self-lubricating coatings in mechanics, by means of micro and nano additives” and in 2013-2014 through CaRiMo’s “Applied research for Innovation” call.

Thanks to these studies and the experience acquired in the course of these collaborations, Varvel was in a position to participate in the European Framework Program Horizon 2020, crowned by the success at the end of 2015, with the allocation of necessary funding for the design and production of a new maintenance free smart reducer, an unprecedented solution in terms of efficiency, reduced environmental impact, energy saving and safety.

Francesco Berselli, President of Varvel, affirms: “Through our collaboration with universities we have been able to create new jobs, welcoming students and researchers to our research department who have followed numerous projects with us. Their contribution has been so important that we have chosen to invest in their professionality.”

“Research is the key to technological developmentcomments Mauro Cominoli, Managing Director of Varveland it represents the life blood of a company such as ours. We are fortunate that we can count on extremely specialized university departments which are able to provide very precious support in the studies necessary for our growth: we are very satisfied with the work carried out so far, but we don’t intend to stop and we will create new synergies with the academic world to continue to bring about innovation”.


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