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ISTEC Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics

Upper organisation
CNR National Research Council of Italy
Research Center

Via Granarolo 64
48018 Faenza RA


The Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics is a multidisciplinary research institute at the National Research Council of Italy, with his headquarter in Faenza (IT). It has a recognized excellent competences in the field of research and development of new advanced ceramic materials for application in aerospace, medicine, energy and environment. ISTEC has expertise in the development of materials with smart and “stimuli-responsive” surfaces and is able to cover all activities ranging from design to prototype realization. ISTEC has many collaborations in Europe, USA and Japan and is involved in international research and training programs, with the coordination of several European projects. Interaction and collaboration with industry are developed and supported by numerous technology transfer projects by creating spin-offs and / or licensing of patents related to new processes and products developed in ISTEC. In this regard, ISTEC has generated 3 spin-offs in the field of bioceramic (Finceramica), Electroceramic (IPECC) and Ceramic Structures (Cerinvest) and has filed 25 patents, many of which licensed or sold to companies. ISTEC  has also shown ability to attract capital investors and, particularly in the Biomedical field, a high track record in term  of  research products  successfully brought  on the market  with a  renowned societal  impact. Moreover  ISTEC plays an important role also in Training and Teaching at National and European level  being the co-holder of a PhD course in Material Science with Parma University and involved in several European programs finalized to the training of Young researchers and also to define more effective curricula for  Master Degree courses.

During its growth, encouraged by involvement in international projects and dialog with the scientific community, ISTEC strengthened its scientific and technological expertises and consolidated a rich and well thought-out cooperation network.  

In the local area ISTEC contributed to the development of different organisations involved in

-      R&D in related sectors (Enea Research laboratory)

-      Technology transfer (Agenzia Polo Ceramico, Centuria-RIT)

-      Analysis and certification services (CertiMaC )

-      Spin-off companies (IPECC S.c.r.l, Fin-ceramica Faenza)

ISTEC is an industrial research laboratory of the Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network. The need for higher integration among those players to face the common industrial contest led to the creation of the scientific park named Parco delle Arti e delle Scienze “Evangelista Torricelli” – Faventia that is regarded by the region as “technopole” and member of the regional High Technology Network.

ISTEC is associated with the Cluster Fabbrica Intelligente.

The network of scientific cooperation with the national scientific and industrial community is reported below divided by topic.

Energy and environment

  • Department of Industrial Chemistry and Materials, Bologna University
  • National Institute of Optics - CNR
  • Institute of Applied Physics – CNR
  • Institute for advanced energy technologies – CNR
  • Institute for Energetics and Interphases - CNR
  • Politecnico di Torino

High-Tech, Nanotechnology, Constructions

  • Italian Space Agency
  • Carlo Gavazzi Space S.p.A.
  • Corrosion Study Centre, Ferrara University
  • Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali
  • Enea Faenza Research Laboratories
  • Centro Sviluppo Materiali S.p.A
  • Certimac soc.cons. a r.l.
  • Colorobbia Italia S.p.A.
  • Department of Production Systems and Business Economics, Politecnico di Torino
  • Dipartimento di Chimica Inorganica, Fisica e dei Materiali, Università degli Studi di Torino
  • Department of Aerospace Engineering, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
  • Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Ferrara
  • Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
  • Ecam Srl - Ri.Cert. Spa
  • Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia - Università di Trieste
  • Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università di Parma
  • Marazzi Group
  • IPECC s.r.l.
  • Construction Technologies Institute- CNR
  • University of Modena and Reggio Emilia


  • NIS (Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces) Centre of Excellence, Turin University
  • Centro di Ricerca E. Menni (CREM)
  • Clean NT Lab
  • Dipartimento di Scienze Odontostomatologiche, Università di Bologna
  • Seconda Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università di Bologna
  • Clinica Ortopedica, Policlinico Gemelli di Roma
  • Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
  • Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, University of Parma
  • Fin-ceramica Faenza S.p.A
  • Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate – CNR

Cultural Heritage

  • Department of Industrial Chemistry and Materials, Bologna University
  • Fondazione RavennAntica
  • Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici (Ravenna)
  • Facoltà Conservazione Beni Culturali, Università di Bologna
  • Since the beginning of the 80's ISTEC has been increasingly active in the scientific international community exchanging ideas, expertise and abilities with research and industrial partners through:

  • participation in EU-funded projects
  • participation in ministry-funded projects
  • research contracts
  • bilateral projects
  • research agreements
  • From 2003 to 2007 in Kyoto (Japan) ISTEC participated in the joint laboratory “Research Institute on Nanoscience” (RIN) funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CNR, in cooperation with the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT).

    ISTEC took also part in further actions, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supporting cooperation and training actions to help undeveloped countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, Syria.

    Nowadays ISTEC is still cooperating with many European partners at EU-funded projects, bilateral projects and research agreements. Its international visibility also benefited from the membership in Italian Ceramic Society, Italian Society of Reology, European Ceramic Society, International Ceramic Federation, European Society for Biomaterials.

    The most representative in progress cooperation are listed below:

  • Central Institute for Conservation in Belgrade, Serbia
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences   
  • CSIC-UNSE, Sevilla, Spain
  • Department of Ceramics and Glass Engineering, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Department of Chemical Engineering and Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain
  • Department of Materials Center for Structural Ceramics, Royal School of Mines, London, UK
  • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey
  • Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
  • European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (US Air Force)
  • Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, Polytechnics University of Bucharest, Romania
  • Faculty of Physics, University Al. I. Cuza, Romania
  • INSA, University of Lyon, France
  • Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia
  • Institute of Chemical Technology, Praga, Cech Republic
  • Institute of Occupational Medicine, UK
  • Istituto de Optica, CSIC, Madrid, Spagna
  • Joanneum Research Institut of Surface Technology and Photonics Weiz, Osterreich, Austria
  • Joanneum Research Institute, Austria
  • Materials & Surface Science Institute , University of Limerick, Ireland
  • National Institute of Materials Physics, Bucharest, Romania
  • Politechnica University of Timişoara, Romania
  • PROMES-CNRS, France
  • Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Tridonic Jennersdorf GmbH, Austria
  • Universitat Jaume I, Castellon de la Plana, Spain
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Western Riserve University, Cleveland, Ohio





ISTEC Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics

ISTEC Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics

Contact Person

is SME contact

Synthesis and processing of powders

Ball mill, vibrating mill, planetary mill, attrition mill, mixing rollers, ultrasonic milling, spray driers, freeze drier, mixer with 3D motion, rotary evaporator, vibration screening systems, ultrasonic probe dispersion equipment, electric heaters, atomiser .

Forming technologies

Extruder, slip casting, pressure casting, low pressure injection molding, tape caster, linear hydraulic presses, cold isostatic press, extruder dyes.

Sintering technologies

Furnaces in air up to 1800°C, furnaces in vacuum or controlled atmosphere up to 2150°C., hot pressing in vacuum, tubular furnace for thermal treatments up to 1600°C in reducing atmosphere.

Microstructural, physical and chemical characterisation  

Optical and stereo microscopes, scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), X-ray diffractometers (high temperature device), plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES), particle size analysers, mercury porosimeter, specific surface area facility.


Heating microscope, simultaneous thermal analyzers, linear thermo-dilatometric analyzer.

Rheology and study of dispersed systems

Rheometer and viscometer systems, electroacoustic spectroscope, electrophoretic mobility measurement system.

Mechanical and tribological characterisation

Universal servo-mechanical testing machines for the measurement of flexural or compressive strength from room temperature up to 1500°C in air or controlled atmosphere, systems for the measurement of static fatigue up to 1500°C, fracture toughness, elastic constants, micro and macro-durometers, nano-indenter, tribometer (disk-on-pin configuration), facility for measurement of thermal impact resistance, contact stylus type instrument for the determination of surface roughness.

Electrical characterisation

Impedance analyzer, high resistivity meter, polariser for piezoelectric materials.



ISTEC offers the following services to external users:

  • Customised services
    • namely commissioned or publicly funded research activity in partnership with other research centres.
  1. Terms of service: customer request, agreement on objectives and activity, signing of the contract, periodic billing.
  2. Terms of service: request for offer, offer, order, invoice.
  • Standard services
    • the following standard services are quoted in the price list:
      • instrumental analysis
      • laboratory test
      • measurements
      • use of special equipment
      • technical consultancies
      • bibliographical surveys
      • technical surveys.
  • Information and promotion services
    • Organisation of events aimed to promote the research activity of ISTEC.
    • Terms of service: free events , promoted by the event calendar on ISTEC website.

For further information please get in touch with the contact point.


The technological innovation is the driving force capable of directing the business to new processes and products. Research is the base of any innovative process, but the ways that lead to perceive by intuitions, discover and then apply – the technology transfer mechanism - are rarely reproducible. Tools such as:

  • joint projects, contracts and services to companies
  • access to financing
  • technological transfer day, meetings and exhibitions

that accompany the technological innovation to the highest number of possible end-users, are for ISTEC a must.

The ISTEC Intellectual Property rights policy is established by CNR.

ISTEC is a certified laboratory according to the Institutional Accreditation of industrial research laboratories in Emilia Romagna region.






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