ARCA is a private consortium established in 2003. Members of ARCA are the University of Palermo, Easy Integrazione di Sistemi s.r.l. and Associazione SINTESI. As a business incubator located within the University Campus of Palermo, ARCA intends to be an instrument of economic development able to boost the growth and success of innovative business ideas by means of a structured network of resources and services. Therefore the main goal of the incubator is to generate successful companies, that are able to go out from the support program being autonomous and financially reliable.

The access to the ARCA Incubator is reserved to new companies with a high technological profile that include both academic groups and external subjects interested in developing relationships with university research centres. So far more than 30 innovative companies have been admitted to ARCA and have been hosted at ARCA premises.

In addition to fully equipped spaces, ARCA offers also an integrated system of support services (such as assistance to strategic planning, marketing support, administrative and tax consulting, fund raising, managerial mentoring etc…) and modern technology labs in the field of electronics, graphics, mechanical prototypes design and optical research support product design and choices of industrialization techniques.

The fields of interest of ARCA incubated start-up companies are: eco-design and eco-compatible materials, techniques for the re-use of water: innovative desalination systems, wind energy, geothermal energy, energy saving and efficiency, remote sensing, GIS, cultural heritage information technologies and diagnostic tools, medical imaging, biotechnologies, software for agronomic services, marine environment technologies, yachting design.

The consortium has managed from 2004 to 2008 the project named “Centre for the Applied Research and Academic Spin-off”, funded by the National Board for Economic Development for a total budget of € 2.528.314. From 2008 to 2010 it has managed the project named “IDRA – Imprese dalla Ricerca Avanzata”, funded by the National Board for Economic Development for a total budget of € 3.515.000.

Within the two projects, ARCA carried out the following activities: scouting of business ideas, technical assistance to business plan development, feasibility and market studies, technology infrastructures, support to start-up phase (financial administration, strategic planning, fund raising, technology assessment, benchmarking, technology forecasting, training on innovation management).

In 2009 ARCA has participated in the FIXO project – Action 4, funded by the Ministry of Labour, carrying out training and tutoring activities for academic spin-off companies, for a total amount of € 75.000,00.

From 2005 ARCA is a sponsor of Start Cup Palemo business plan competition, organized in the frame of National Innovation Prize, Italy.

From January 2011 ARCA is a partner of the EEN – Enterprise Europe Network, funded by the EC under the CIP framework programme. ARCA is a member of the Mechatronics Productive District in Sicily grouping more than 150 companies.

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