After 25 years of uninterrupted activity in marble craftsmanship, Claudio, who had been guiding his family business for a few years, realized that this activity was outdated in this new millennium. However, he was not prepared to passively surrender to this situation that was overwhelming the entire sector. So, at night, when the machinery stopped, he read marketing books and analysed the model ‘Lean Manufacturing of Toyota Production System’ until he decided to create an informal network of companies. In 2014, he launched the project “Fabbrica Diffusa” (literally, “diffused factory”) as a first step of a marketing, research and development and shared technological innovation approach, intended to last in time.

The basic research started from an analysis of the local manufacturing base, keeping in mind that most companies still dealing with marble transformation were small-sized. As a lever to maintain the present occupational level, the research underlined the use of technology to increase the qualitative improvement of production to contain the falling revenues due to the competition, but even more their use in order to coordinate relations among small-sized businesses according to the new Factory 4.0 model. This way, a high added value per single product could be obtained, thus recovering new qualified job opportunities throughout the supply chain. 

Claudio researched and experimented alone on the field for 5 years. Then, in July 2019, Apuana SB was born from the meeting between Engineer Fabio Gatti and Engineer Virginio Mori. They inherited the knowledge and the experience gained under the brand “Fabbrica Diffusa” (diffused factory) and created an economical, ethical, and social project, which came to life under the form of an innovative start-up founded as a Benefit Corporation. Currently, the company is made up of 20 subjects, equally distributed among individuals and joint-stock companies.



The corporation’s mission is to protect, promote and increase the quality production of ‘Made in Italy’ supported by the development and marketing of innovative services reserved to companies. To achieve this, Apuana established a statute drawn up according to the legislation of Benefit Corporations, which includes an annual drafting of an Impact Report, testifying to a rigorous and objective compliance with the basic principles of Corporate Social Responsibility.

To pursue its goals, Apuana SB manages two trademarks – Apuana Corporate and MyLedger – in addition to coordinating the operation of a platform for custom manufacturing, summarising, in terms of a Factory 4.0, its two identities – analogical and digital. Both proposals are inspired by the guiding values of Apuana SB (authenticity, uniqueness, sustainability, and transparency). These same values are acknowledged by other partner companies involved in this project at different levels, based on two similar but separate networks.

The first network – the informal one by Apuana Corporate, formed by small manufacturing companies – is designed to apply the futuristic concept of a flexible production named “Production as A Service” also at a local level. Here, the supply chain is composed automatically, in the most performing configuration in terms of time, using new technologies. The second – the MyLedger server network – is formed by public and private organisations sharing with Apuana SB the common aim to provide high added value services to enterprises based on the blockchain technology.

STARS project

The STARS project (Strategic Alliances Boosting Railway Smes) is a pilot project financed thanks to the COSME programme of the European Union, developed under the coordination of DITECFER (Railway Technological Cluster of Pistoia - Italy), in collaboration with 16 other European partners, with the aim of evaluating the applicability of the tracking system with blockchain to continental productions and logistics chains.

The STARS project has received funding from the European Union’s Competitiveness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (COSME) programme under the Grant Agreement number: 101037897 — STARS — COS-STRAT-2020-3-05