EXPO Astana 2017

Emilia Romagna

Focus on the region

President: Stefano Bonaccini

County seat: Bologna

Other provinces: Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Rimini

Number of citizens: 4.457.318

Information about the region

Emilia-Romagna is located in central-northern Italy, in the heart of the countrys most industrialized area. The strategic position at the heart of the trans-European corridors and the efficient internal and external infrastructure network make the region an important hub for access to national and international markets. The regional economy is characterized by high rate of entrepreneurship, significant share of manufacturing industry and strong export and innovation orientation. Per capita GDP is higher than the national and European averages. In the region there are also well-known brands, famous all around the world: Ferrari, Barilla, Parmigiano Reggiano, Technogym, Liu Jo, Yoox-Ynap are just some of the companies that are part of the local economic wealth. SMEs are the engine of local development and contribute to high levels of employment, which are well above the Italian and even European average. One of the main aspects of the regional development model is actually the ability to combine competitiveness and social cohesion: also unemployment rate and the percentage of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion are lower than Italian and European average, while healthcare and welfare services are well distributed across the territory. Moreover, the region cultural and natural heritage is wide and varied: 5 UNESCO sites, 536 museums, numerous cultural, landscaping and gastronomic attractions contribute to list the region among international excellence destinations, with ever-increasing touristic flows. In 2016, there were over 48 million visits, + 2.1% over the previous year.

Emilia-Romagna planning document of Smart Specialization (S3) identifies the region prior productive specializations, dividing them into consolidated industries such as Agro-Food, Construction and Buildings, Mechatronics and Motoring, and those industries with high growing potentials, such as Health and Wellbeing, Creative and Cultural Industries.

Sustainable development is one of the key drivers of business policy growth and Green Economy spreads across strategic sectors, involving about 2,600 companies of green field, as well as other 33,000 companies that made investments in green processes and technologies between 2010 and 2015 or that planned to do so in 2016, placing high in the national ranking.

The regional exhibition system is one of the most important in Europe: fairs of Bologna (including the sites of Modena and Ferrara), Parma and Rimini host over 30 international exhibitions, attracting about 2 million visitors annually.

Emilia-Romagna is a very innovative territory. Data on numbers of patent applications (EPOs), numbers of R&D staff and numbers of graduates in technical and scientific disciplines compared to the total population, show a great performance in the region, higher than Italian and European average. Emilia Romagna ranks in top positions as for attractiveness of the university system (25.1%), with 6 universities and 150.000 students. The region ranks second behind Lombardy for number of innovative Start Up (12% of national share). Emilia Romagna is the first Italian region for Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) of Ernst & Young in 2016. Bologna ranks first in Italy for Smart City Index 2016 of E&Y and second in the City Rating 2016.

The innovation drive of the territory is reflected in the wide "High Tech" network that includes Laboratories of Industrial Research (82) and Centers for Innovation (14) located in Tecnopoli (10 infrastructures in 20 locations) and provides expertise, tools and resources for business development.

Information about content promoted during Expo Astana

During the Week of Protagonism (3-10 September), the communication strategy of the Emilia-Romagna Region will be based on the following actions.

1. Promotion of regional chains for energy and energy sustainability. The aim is to stimulate international partnerships and highlight the attractiveness of the regional system. To this end, Expo Astana represents the ideal stage to show our ability to build and support sectorial networks aimed at competitiveness and innovation (also in terms of internationalization), networks which consist of well-established companies, supply networks, innovative companies, start-ups and laboratories of applied research.

2. Valorization of regional energy structures and policies. The aim is to activate contacts and inter-institutional relations and highlight the capacity of our Region to do networking within the national and international contexts. The planned workshops will, in fact, be for us an opportunity to present regional initiatives and institutional players related to the Expo main themes (for example, thematic trade fairs and dedicated regional agencies).

3. Highlight the capacity of Emilia-Romagna Region to be a promoter (or a major subject) of international networks and initiatives that, in the field of energy and environmental policy, have the function to promote:

  • the competitiveness of the territorial system,
  • the regional objectives,
  • the international visibility of the participating players,
  • the development of collaborations, specific partnerships (innovation, research, training) and trade relations.

The objective is to stimulate interest in the international activity of the Region and present it as possible partner or interlocutor of specific initiatives and policies, also through the use of tools such as video and promotional initiatives. 

Calendar of events during the Week of Protagonism:

During the Emilia Romagna Regional Week at the Expo 2017 of Astana, the Italian Pavilion will host the international 


A panel of international experts on Green Economy and high representatives of the institutions will gather in one venue to explore best practices and technologies related to Sustainability during four extraordinary workshops!

3rd September:

10.00-10.30: Opening Ceremony of Emilia-Romagna Regional week

10.30-13.00: 1st Thematic workshop: “Transition towards a Low Carbon Economy: scenarios and technologies"

19.00: Concert "Pavarotti Forever - 10th Anniversary Tribute" at the Concert Hall of the Opera House

5th September:

10.30-13.00: 2nd  Thematic workshop: "Circular Economy: technologies and applications for sustainable energy through recovery of materials"

5th September:

15.00-17.30: 3rd Thematic workshop: "Offshore facilities and exploitation of renewable energy sources: solutions, technologies, experiences"

6th September:

10.00-13.00: 4th Thematic workshop: "Energies for Transport: Systems for Sustainable Mobility"

7th September:

10.30-13.00: Press Conference on "Sustainable Tourism"



For more information and registration: www.sustainabilityforum.it