Since 2000, ASTER has been a member of APRE (the European Research Promotion Agency), which was born of a 1990 initiative of the Ministry of Education, University and Research and public and private organisations engaged in the fields of research and technological innovation. Through its national network of members and branch offices and its role as National Contact Point, APRE is the go-to organisation for those who intend to participate in community-funded research and technological innovation programs. The APRE network brings together representatives from research, business and finance.
From June 2004, ASTER has been the Emila-Romagna regional APRE Help Desk, in its role of promoting the participation of companies, research centres and universities in research and innovation programs within the EU.
The APRE Emilia-Romagna Help Desk is aimed at public or private regional bodies — enterprises, research organisations, individual researchers — interested in participating in European research and innovation programs.
The APRE Emilia-Romagna Help Desk carries out the following activities:
- programs and tenders in the area of research and technological development and innovation at a European level
- documentation and forms
- infodays and partnering events
- research and partner profiles
- European publications and policies
- enhancing ideas and identifying the most appropriate funding programs
- understanding rules and participation procedures
- identifying and understanding the documentation needed to prepare proposals
- partner research
- organising proposals
- managing projects
- becoming familiar with contacts at both a national and European level
- the content of the programs and their funding standards
- the location and correct consultation of information
- the various phases of a project, from the preparation of the proposal to the signing of the contract, from report management to the exploitation of research results