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The manufacturing industry today has to cope with the third millennium challenges of environmental and social sustainability. This requires more integrated approach between academia and industry in order to face the problem of engineering competences obsolescence. The aim of this paper is to present the first results of a case study, a post graduated two years training program “Experiencing i-Design”, aimed to develop a new archetype of human capital to face the requirements of intelligent and sustainable manufacturing. The article addresses the role of Industry-University Learning Network as intermediary to facilitate the virtuous integration between research and education, with the ultimate purpose to instil entrepreneurial attitudes in engineers, so fostering innovation and technological entrepreneurship in a regional context.