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Prysmian signs research agreement for optical fibers and more


May 26, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

May 26, 2009

Prysmian Group and Italy-based FBK (Fondazione Bruno Kessler) signed a collaboration agreement for the development of R&D activities in three strategic areas: nanotechnologies, optical fibers and new materials for the production of power and TLC cables.

The agreement will involve more than 350 researchers between the
private company and a public research institute. It is a long-term
partnership that will enable the development and growth over time of
know-how and work methodologies, reducing both start-up periods and
project costs.

Prysmian says the agreement is innovative due to the sharing of
entrepreneurial risk: FBK will finance the researchers while Prysmian
will donate a percentage of the sales of the products developed by the
research activity to the institute. The payment of these fees will give
an economic advantage to the foundation as well as covering research
costs. Currently, this agreement has a term of one year, but an
extension of the project has already been proposed. This is one of the
first relationships of its kind between a public institute and a
private organization.

“According to an entrepreneurial logic, the agreement allows us to
share start-up costs and risks, as well as the know-how available”,
explains Fabio Romeo, head of Prysmian Energy Cables business.
“Prysmian has already been making significant investments in
innovation, with over 45 million Euro invested in 2008 and 400 people
employed in its seven R&D based in the United States, South America
and Europe.”

Prysmian hopes to increase its competitive advantage in the sector of
energy and telecom cables. “In this way we want to offer our
clients—utilities, net managers and other TLC operators—the most
innovative technologies, products and solutions to improve and make
more efficient the power transmission and distribution networks, as
well as from renewable energy, and to speed up the development of TLC
broadband networks,” concluded Romeo.

Prysmian and FBK will develop the project outline together, as well as
organize a mixed team of researchers. If necessary, FBK will invest
both for the realization of ad hoc laboratories and for the employment
of researchers with specific competencies at an international level,
thanks to the partnerships the institute has with players such as MIT
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

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