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Editor-in-Chief Emanuele Martinelli Advisory Board Marcello Capra, Raffaele Di Stefano, Diego Gavagnin Editorial Staff Anna Galbiati Marta Mazzanti Alessandro Seregni Advertising email: Tel: 02/78622540 Energia Media srl Via San Marco 46 20124 Milano Tel. 02/78622540 Fax. 02/78622540 email: redazione@energiamedia,it Websites

Column / Networking, First Step Towards Innovation Emanuele Martinelli................................................................3 Featured Story / Multi-million Procurement for the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina Editorial Staff...........................................................................6 Italian Stories / Editorial Staff.........................................................................10 People / Interview No Development Without Industrial Policy Marta Mazzanti.....................................................................17 Research & Innovation / GSE. The “Corrente” Initiative Staff Corrente........................................................................25 Energy focus / Global Economy Between Economic Development and Sustainability. But How Much Is the Green Economy Worth? Alessandro Seregni..............................................................29 Betting on Italy / ABB Expands Smart Lab to Support Development of Smart Grids and Cities Paolo Perani, ABB................................................................34

For sustainable energy.

Tech in Italy is edited by Energia Media in cooperation with the International Affairs Department of Federazione ANIE and WEC Italia. Cover: Leonardo da Vinci, Drawing of Brunelleschi’s Winch, 1480, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, CA, c. 1083.




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The search for innovative solutions to respond to the new needs is part of the production process in a great deal of businesses. Andrea Prandi, Director of External Relations and Communications at Edison, explains how to be innovative in the winning and competitive way.

Italy and innovation, not always an easy relationship. Statistics and data give a picture of the country that is not necessarily convinced about investing in the future, especially in the public sector. Or rather, an image of a nation marked – yet again – by significant differences between geographic areas with some regions above the European average and whereas others are less advanced. Within that apparent contradiction however, excellent small- and large-sized industrial companies emerge that manage to conquest and be successful in foreign markets.

*Tech in Italy Editor-in-Chief

If we observe the entrepreneurial reality, comparing the three year period of 2010-2012 with the previous one, we notice how the share of innovative companies marked a considerable increase from 31.5 to 35.5%. Moreover, Italy with respect to Europe is above the average value of the EU, with the industry as the most innovative sector where 45.4% of enterprises are hi-tech versus 29.5% and 20.3% of the services and the construction segments, respectively. But how is innovation created? Financial investment is important, but it is not only about that. Andrea Prandi, Director of External Relations and Communications at Edison, long-standing Italian company of the energy sector is convinced about that. “There has always been innovation. It is a constant in history. Yet, what characterizes its salient features now is the fact that a highly innovative and successful product, able to establish itself in respect of the competing technologies – the so-called killer application – frequently arises from excellent cooperation networks rather than from the internal development within a large-sized company”. In such environment, marked by increasing willingness to create knowledge networks, big companies should take action so that they could become the entities that not only create relations with universities, research centers and young companies, but also manage those networks. “The role of the companies such as Edison – explains Prandi referring to the project Edison Pulse – is also to enhance and support projects that bear an important innovative dimension, able to turn into dynamic entrepreneurial experiences (start-up) that could build confidence of private investors and thus challenge the market with working solutions and products”. The challenge, in an open world with numerous offers, also consists in maintaining very high standards of quality and professionalism. “The present day developers of ideas, compared to brilliant, but sometimes homemade inventors of the past, have to be well-equipped from both the technical and managerial point of view – beginning with the ability to draw up a credible business plan”. The cooperation and the exchange of competences between different entities become advantageous and fruitful when they are continued over time. In order to do that, it is necessary that every component of the network of entrepreneurs, researchers and public administrators take a step forward. Prandi says that “it is necessary to insist on the fact that innovation is the result of increasing experience and data sharing as well as understanding that being within the network is more beneficial than staying away”.






Multi-million procurement in Saudi Arabia for Pilosio, operating in the field of scaffolds and formworks for constructions: 30 million euros to support the huge project of expansion of the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina. The supply includes the sale of multi-directional scaffolds and formworks model P300 to build a part of floor slabs of the enormous structure the total area will be about 650 thousand square meters. Particular attention was given to the speed of assembling and dismantling of the handling system of temporary support structures so that the optimum management could be ensured in all the construction phases by limiting the costs and reusing the supplied equipment at other stages. The equipment required will be applied to cast the floor called “ground zero” and the plant underneath, which will be underground. The investment in the project, one of the most significant in the construction sector worldwide, amounts to 15 billion euros. The activities not only regard the expansion of the Mosque of the Prophet and the relevant square (an area that covers two million square meters for which 8 million cubic meters will be used), which will hold 1.2 million of believers, but also the development of infrastructures, connections and surrounding buildings known as AlRuwaq. "We will work on this new procurement until 2020 - explains Dario Roustayan, CEO of Pilosio – a goal that fills us with optimism and gives impetus to the future, along with the entry of new investors".

It is not the first time that the enterprise based in Friuli works in Saudi Arabia. In the past it worked on the airport in Jeddah and in Mecca. From 2011 on, Pilosio has been growing at a rate of 30% per year, strongly focusing on foreign markets, almost all outside the EU, which currently account for up to 90% of the total turnover. Precisely owing to these results and the market potential, Pilosio has attracted international investors, including JP Morgan, whereas through the private equity fund Columna Capital that now controls the company, it ensures Pilosio a capital injection which is crucial for the defined development plan, to be implemented in a process of development in the markets marked by major growth potential. They include Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Persian Gulf States; Algeria; South Africa; West and East Canada; Australia; Russia and the CIS.

30 million euros to support the huge project of expansion of the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina





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us the possibility to strengthen our presence in an important market such as the Brasilian one and complete our product range in the sector of pumps and high pressure water jetting". Indeed, out of 14 production plants, six are located in Italy, three in China, one in France, two in the United States and South Africa, one in Chile, and one also in Brazil. The exportation generates 74% of the turnover.

The expansion of the Italian machine industry in Brazil EMAK, a group specialized in machines for gardening and agriculture, continues its expansion in South America and especially in Brazil. After opening a branch in 2012, the Italian enterprise announced to have acquired a 70%-stake of Lemasa, a Brasilian Company based in San Paolo, that employs 130 people and produce higpressure pums and plants. It is an operation of 23 million euros (partly financed by Unicredit and BNL BNP Paribas group), which is strategic for the growth in different markets worldwide. Lemasa joined EMAK group through a newly established company, Comet do Brasil Investimentos, 99% of which is held by subsidiary Comet Spa (an associate company wholly owned by the Italian group) and 1% by subsidiary PTC Srl. The production and technology of the Brazilian company are highly complementary with those of the subsidiary Comet, both being global leaders in the sector of pumps for agriculture, industrial pumps and high pressure plants. "The acquisition – says Aimone Burani, Vice President of EMAK – perfectly fits in our strategy of growth, offering

Italian paper for security printing consolidate position in America Fedrigoni Group, founded 125 years ago, a global operator in the sector of production and sale of paper for security printing, consolidates its position in Latin America. Recently it was announced the acquisition of the 100% equity capital of Arjo Wiggins Ltda, Brazilian subsidiary of Arjo Wiggins, the unique producer in South America of paper for banknotes, security paper and special paper. Its turnover in 2014 was 70 million euros; the first data of 2015 show better results than those achieved in the previous year. The operation cost is about 85 million. Fedrigoni, present in Brazil since 2009 with Arconvert Brasil, aims to become the major player in South America able to offer a mix encompassing paper for banknotes, securities, special paper, and self-adhesive paper. "This acquisition - states a brief statement made by the company – Fedrigoni Group further consolidates its position of global leader in the sector of paper for security printing and special paper, segments of high-added value and high profitability which mark high growth rates, particularly in the countries of Latin America". Only in April of 2015, the company based in Verona acquired the U.S. firm specialized in distribution of digital printing solutions GPA (Gummed Papers of America). The operation was worth 50 million dollars the entirety of which came from the company's financial resources. With over 2,700 employees, 13 plants – of which 9 in Italy, 2 in Spain and 2 in Brazil – 14 plants equipped with continuous production machines, 7 plants with coating machines, 13 thousand product references in catalog, the Group sells its products in over 110 countries worldwide and it is the only Italian manufacturer of paper for banknotes that the Central European Bank accredited for production of watermarked paper for the euro.


Solar panels that are not afraid of the heat MBL solutions, a company based in Apulia operating in the sector of mechatronics, has patented a photovoltaic panel able to resist high temperatures of tropical countries without losing efficiency. The first patent dates back to1998, although in the course of the years has been significantly improved. The aim was to create a module that could maintain high performance in the desert zones, made of materials resistant also to high temperature. In turn the module called Sumo – consisting only of glass, silicon and silicone – guarantees a constant efficiency for at least 30 years, whereas further ongoing tests indicate longer duration. The company based in Apulia invested almost 10 million euros in that technology. An Indian investor has decided to open a plant with the production capacity of 100 MW a year applying the solution of MBL. Besides India, where the new plant will be operational between June and July, the company is in negotiation with Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and South America. CES - Consumer Electronics Show. Prize to italian company The Italian software for management of automated home was awarded the Innovation Awards Honoree (Soft-

ware and Mobile Apps category) at the CES - Consumer Electronics Show, the greatest international event on electronics held in Las Vegas, U.S. The program is called Easydom Next, a product of a company based in Lombardy, established in 2011 thanks to Sergio Tucci’s intuition, a designer of housing and industrial plants and fan of home automation. The developed software was presented to Microsoft that after an evaluation period liked the idea and set up a partnership in the framework of home automation with the system certification, the access to the Windows platform, the support in the development and the synergy in the marketing-related operations. Easydom Next is the software which allows for management of automation and smart home systems from a unique interface. It is installed on a PC with a Windows operating system for an easy connection of all the devices of the home network. When linked to a Microsoft account, it creates a map of home smart objects on a single interface. An icon is attributed to each object: this allows the user to change settings and give commands with just a click. All of this takes place in accordance with the integration among various home devices purely from the perspective of the Internet of Things: thermostats, lightning, locking and unlocking systems, settings of household appliances. It is also available for mobile platforms: Windows Phone, iPhone and soon also for


Android. The company already exceeded one million euro turnover after a year and a half, reaching precisely 1.2 million euros. Besides the partnerships with the companies such as Samsung, Gewiss and BTicino, Easydom is expanding abroad: in 2014 it opened a new showroom in Mexico and in Dallas, Texas. A mobile hospital with operating rooms inside a container Dimensione Group, an Italian general contractor that operates in different sectors, from construction to electricity and air-conditioning plants, from woodwork to joinery, has been granted different contracts – some of which are already signed – with Ivory Coast, the United Arab Emirates and Libya for “turnkey” operating rooms. The project concerns sustainable health that encompasses the creation of fully equipped mobile operating rooms in containers. Such structures are useful both in the developed countries which may need a temporary replacement structure

(for instance in case of renovation of the “fixed” one or in case of emergency due to disastrous events), and for the developing ones which need more flexible and less expensive solutions able to reach areas devoid of hospitals. In 2009 Dimensione Group provided the British Vanguard Healthcare with the first wheeled operating room. Currently, the entirety of orders commissioned ensure an annual turnover exceeding 40 million of which 60% is generated abroad; a group that employs 170 people, above all architects and engineers of whom at least 30 were contracted in the last three years. That growth allowed opening branches in the countries such as Tunisia and Kenya. Building Energy from design to production Building Energy, a company operating in the sector of renewable energy, combines its expansion across the globe with a change in its business model shifting from the development of plants for third parties to their design in order to become an independent producer.


29 october 2015

Hotel Parchi del Garda Pacengo di Lazise - Verona, Italy 2nd EDITION



At present, the enterprise is building or has completed plants in 24 countries all over the world, from Japan through the United States, to Uganda and Zambia. A few weeks ago we received the news that the company was awarded contracts related to two projects in South Africa. The company will complete the development and construction of a wind farm of 140 MW in Roggeveld, in an area that encompasses three provinces of Northern and Western Cape. The farm will generate 590 GWh of energy a year. Moreover, the Italian Group will deal with construction of a small-sized hydroelectric plant in Kruisvallei, in the province of Free State that under operation at full capacity will produce 36 GWh per year. In the past years, the enterprise built a photovoltaic plant in Kathu and a biomass plant in Mkuze, for which it was contracted in the first and the second round of REIPPP - Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, respectively. With the new contracts granted this year, Building Energy becomes the first independent producer of energy from renewable sources to develop projects by applying four different technologies of photovoltaic energy generation, windand hydroelectric power as well as biomass. Pharmaceutical sector: experiments open in Japan and China Geographic expansion in China, the U.S. and Europe is the guideline for the 2015-2017 action of DiaSorin, a pharmaceutical company operating in the field of in vitro diagnostics, in particular, in the segments of immunodiagnostics and molecular diagnostics. DiaSorin announces that before the summer it will found a partnership with a U.S. group – the name of which has

not been revealed yet – to enter the Chinese market regarding the tests for hepatitis. Actually, China is currently the second market for DiaSorin in terms of volumes, exceeding also the Italian one. Moreover, Japan granted the Italian company a permit to determine vitamin D which was awaited for a long time. By the end of 2017 the company plans to have a turnover of 550-570 million euros versus 444 million euros in 2014. The net profit should reach between 110 and 114 million euros with respect to 84 million in 2014. Italian giant ferries to transport automobiles between Europe and the United States This month Grimaldi Group, the global ferry production leader in terms of capacity, will complete the acquisition of five large-sized ferries to transport Fiat-Chrysler vehicles from Italy to the United States and the other way round; the vessels will transport 7 thousand cars each on 13 bridges. The total order value will amount to around 300 million dollars. The family-owned business, based in Naples, manages more than 100 vessels by five main companies - Grimaldi Lines, Atlantic Container Lines, Minoan Lines, Malta Motorways of the Sea and Finnlines. That procurement is the proof of how the Italian company is appreciated. Indeed, on March 5, at the 23rd awards ceremony held at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors awarded Grimaldi Group with a prize in the Supplier of the Year category. This year's prize of the Supplier of the Year is the 14th recognition that General Motors gave to Grimaldi Group in the last 15 years.





Silicon Valley


Research, training and start-ups – the key issues to get back on the growth path. Interview with Professor Mr. Fabio Sdogati, Head of International Economics at MIP – Business School, Politecnico of Milan, the largest technical university in Italy.


Professor Sdogati, some countries, among others, Italy, reveal evident signs of difficulty in the field of growth, boosting of employment and evolution of their own social systems. We should approach concepts in a simplified language. Are there any “universal” recipes that you could advise? We all live deluding ourselves that rationality guides all our actions, being admirers of the Diderot’s thought, or Voltaire. At the same time, we are the children of the environment in which we are living, with cultural roots that are inevitably present in our thoughts. There is a saying that “you do not think as you do because you think, but you think as you do because you have grown up in a certain context.” That was stated already in the Babylonian Talmud: we do not see things as they are, but as we are. Having said that, I find myself questioning what Italy has thought for many years: we have created islands of beauty, elegance and placed the aesthetics at the heart of our speculative criteria. We are lucky to enjoy the works of art from the Renaissance and we are all grateful to the Gods of Olympus for their artists, designers and stylists; the problem now are our children. Fashion, accessories or design are welcome. Yet these are not the segments that are foundations for planning the country's growth which in turn has to be part of thoughts and actions that will bring into focus the technology, the industry, the competences, and the technical excellence Italy can boast about. Italy is already an industrialized country and on these grounds it can rebuild the wealth; it is an idea that we cannot give up or sideline, because precisely on the basis of that principle beneficial value is created. Ever since I returned from the United States, in 1990, I have insisted on strategic planning of a new Italian industry that would start for example from precision engineering or electronics, both deeply rooted in our country, both present in the DNA of our technical experts, and currently, more than ever, are recognized at the international level.

So what needs to be done in order for the industry in Italy to become of pivotal importance again? Along with the new awareness and cultural dimension, what is missing is a cultural policy able to produce new contents. That problem also concerns other countries, but in Italy there has been too much talk of the policy of subsidies to the enterprises rather than of the industrial policy. In this respect we can draw on some points indicated by the European Union: the first one is “Research” for which each government may earmark all the resources considered necessary. A plan that in Italy has been almost completely shifted to the enterprises. If we analyze the American model, which from my point of view should be treated as reference, we will see the presence of two government agencies, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health that finance universities dealing with basic research on a series of subjects indicated by them (and thus agreed with the government). The companies which “smell” the applicability of research join the project with their own resources that the U.S. Government then exempts from taxation. In Italy we see good examples in the private sector. For instance, Mapei, the company of President of Confindustria (Italian Employers' Federation) Giorgio Squinzi, finances a series of researchers at the Politecnico of Milan. Intellectual property of the academic results belong to researcher and the Politecnico, whereas the application becomes a patent of the company. The second important point concerning a serious plan for the industrial policy is called “Training.” It is at least seven years that we have been facing a very deep crisis and the entire human capital expelled by the companies gets either lost or if it returns, it becomes obsolete. On my website I have published a series of articles that enumerate 10 aspects indicating how our country is committed to training. The third crucial point aimed to push Italy towards a new industrial policy is called startup. There are some signs of vivacity, although the local data on enterprise creation are certainly not comforting. The abundant creativity in Italy is not always translated into business, although significant progress has been observed.



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This is the case of Poli Hub (Startup District & Incubator) of the MIP (Politecnico of Milan) and its magazine “EconomyUp” which is a publication that brings together and gives voice to a great deal of new companies, set up therein. The incubators' companies make contact with other organizations such as Startup Business, an initiative of Emil Abirascid, in charge of scientific supplement of Sole24Ore, created in turn to facilitate networking among innovative start-ups. This is an example that Italy shows extremely vital signs. Finally, it is necessary to increase our “productivity”: we are the only country within the 19 countries of the Economic and Monetary Union where it has diminished from 2003 onwards. It is normal when no investments are made, not even in general maintenance of the existing plants.

Can Italy start again with its talent and also technical creativity that it has often revealed? Certainly, we are not short on talent. What we need are entrepreneurs and perhaps economic resources. For this reason Italy could be an attractive country for international companies who want to invest; they find talents, aptitude, and innovation. Our secondary education system is great, some universities that exchange their expertise at the international level which is reflected in numerous technical experts and managers who are sought-after all over the world. The problem is the business risk, the energy to act at the international level which now means, above all, the ability to beat non-EU countries. If we consider the factors mentioned above, that is, the economic policy, the investments, the research, and the training, we will see how every single European country acts without comprehensive framework. If we analyze data concerning for instance, the training, we will notice all the existing discrepancies in terms of investments between Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain. What is more, a European government does not exist. For an economist, the reference conceptual apparatus is the Nation-State, represented through its capacity to conduct the trading policy, the currency exchange policy, the monetary policy and the fiscal policy. Nineteen coun-

tries transferred 3 out of these 4 prerogatives of the Nation-States to the Council of Heads of State and Government. Only the fiscal policy remained, but when it comes to everything else, each country conducts the policy (also of expenditure) in its own way. And in every country behavior often changes without a coherent and far-reaching program: for instance, in Italy the Berlusconi’s Government transferred the income of the middle class to the business sector, the Government led by Renzi shifted 80 euros to the citizens of lower classes, and so on; these are the actions that hardly indicate a long-term economic vision.

Italy could be an attractive country for international companies who want to invest; they find talents, aptitude, and innovation.

It appeared that European civilization was supposed to lead the world in terms of thought and technique... History shows millenarian cycles during low phases of which we would like to remember the glory and high phases. The “res”, the economic “thing” became crucial much earlier; now it is the economist that sets the rules of the game, not because he is enlightened, but because of a series of values that are different than the economic ones that have been lost. This Europe without government seems to create programs that are closer to the logics of underdevelopment than the intelligence and comprehensiveness to which its demand refers. The spheres such as health care in general, and especially hospitals give a clear overview of degradation we are facing. The virtuous case in Italy, that of IEO (European Institute of Oncology - Istituto Europeo di Oncologia) led by professor Umberto Veronesi, is based on three pillars: research in the first place, than technology,


and management capacity. This is possible owing to the entrepreneurial spirit and reasoning through a vision of a person that draws on medical and scientific field which is combined with an idea of development for the human being.

The Politecnico's Master program prepares executives; Can it create a new school of entrepreneurs that would be useful for the country's development? We consider ourselves craftsmen who help grow specific people; we take great care to deliver instruments so that each participant of our master program could also be able to do business. We had to forget a generation, we stopped looking back, although we tried to get back perhaps to the year 1950 when De Gasperi and Togliatti drew Italians away from the fields and brought them to the world. Years when small-sized companies were created by the artisans who “knew how to do it.” I call that period the years of “pride” when people facing hardships rolled up their sleeves and got down to create the backbone of the country. At the same time, the State and the State's industry believed it with IRI, Finmeccanica, Fincantieri. Two worlds: SMEs and big industry which learn to co-exist. I used to do a lot of training for the companies with the Politecnico of Milan. The opinions I heard most frequently were complaints of elder company bosses about professionalism/willingness of their well-to-do children, who are more interested in luxury goods than the development of the enterprise created by their fathers. Perhaps,we have not forgotten but we have entered another reality, because young people who doing their Master degree, with whom we interact now abandoned the old logic, they travel around the world, they have found the spirit, force and willingness in (or perhaps in view of) the current difficulties.

If a general favorable scenario is missing, can the aptitude of specific people boost the economic system? Is it possible to do it without the institutions? I will answer with an example. What is the basis of success of Germany? In my opinion, it derives from the fact that trade union members are part of the management board and the fact of applying a method that resambles

co-management. It means that the government indicates a strategy which is shared by all the parties concerned; as early as the Schröder’s Government had understood that a model of sharing with the trade union of the metalworking and mechanical engineering sector – which is the strongest in the world – would create a right balance. Those who behave in a different way, pay a high price; in Sweden, after the “great famine” of 1933, the industry and the trade unions entered into an agreement pursuant to which they then launched Volvo and the great heavy industry. In the last three years, Italy has lost hundreds of thousands of people aged under 35, a great deal of whom have changed the country. When 36 years ago I was leaving Italy, it was clear that the world was expanding; a trip from Milan to Rome took 7 hours and 20 minutes; now it takes a little more than to go from Milan to Shanghai. From my personal point of view, I am glad that young people make international experience. However, from the social standpoint, the objective of public education, of the school, is to invest in human resources able to make business, and as a result to pay taxes in the future. Nonetheless, if these resources leave Italy after they have been educated, there cannot be any re-


payment from the economic point of view. A social pact enables all the parties concerned to grow, but I repeat, a strategy for development is necessary; and currently this is missing.

Let us get back to the initial question regarding Italy's chances. All the possibilities are open owing to research, training and new enterprises. There are signals of change that should be noted and exploited. But it is a process of which all the parties concerned must be aware. Aware that the luxury goods market – of which we are very proud and that it is undoubtedly a jewel in the crown famous worldwide – employs less people and engages a limited number of graduates, engineers and researchers. Italy is ready to industrialize the world with its machine tools, engines, smart power grids, energy accumulation systems, etc. Although we are ready to make everybody live better with tales, lamps, sustainable materials, it must be clear that the added value lies in the industry, in the technologies. This is where the real development is, where decent salaries may be paid, under regular contracts for a significant number of people. We have a rich cultural heritage, but for instance, a great deal of services of the hotel sector are performed by non-Italians who are happy with the conditions that the Italians do not accept anymore. The biggest clothes producer is Pakistan, the turnover related to the fashion weeks in New York and Hong Kong (were Prada was listed) is remarkably higher than that of Milan. The world shifts, it needs people who think of technologies, exportation, quality, system integrators, and competitiveness. This is where work for young people is generated and employment rates increase again. We must be willing to make efforts, because, as in the case of our generation with respect to that of our grandparents, the youth of today may generate value obtaining much higher income than ours. Nowadays technologies and industry is money, salaries, profits, well-being for our children and grandchildren. Italy has the expertise, the skills and the spirit of enterprise. A government that takes efficient measures is necessary. First of all: based on Italians' income declarations

for 2008 and 2014, the period of the deep crisis, it should analyze which social groups became richer. Let us increase the tax rate in that group from 44 to 51-55% and let us finance research with such extra revenue. What is wrong with that solution? Why cannot we have a try? Is it against the banks (less rules, less taxes, do not they affirm)? Currently, the only government in Europe that has understood what is really going on is the Greek Government; the other ones defend the banks against the middle class and those who work. For this reason, the middle class is facing serious difficulties when it comes to the income distribution.

My last question regards the goals of the MIP – the Politecnico of Milan. What are you proud of? We deliver the class of executives, prepared and qualified people; we deliver entrepreneurs by means of ad hoc courses. And we focus a great deal on start-ups by means of Poli Hubs; people with ideas whom we help grow in our environments and laboratories. Then if a start-up is launched, it depends on the abilities of small entrepreneurs who have resorted to decide on their development or sale to large companies. We must push for individual initiative, and contribute to enhance high quality, strong and solid management. Once it was present in public companies that managed great projects. Presently, Milan has young people who share ideas and projects with us, thanks to modern facilities, revealing enthusiasm and spirit of enterprise. But there are also important laboratories of ideas in complicated areas of the country, such as for example in Casal di Principe, where the rate of criminal organizations is high. The problem lies in reaching a critical mass that, among others, would be noticed by Confindustria (Italian Employers' Federation), which should be a driver for those initiatives. We entered a process of bucking the trend, at least here, at the MIP. But Italy and the political sphere must rapidly think of the industry as the only way to start to grow again and and provide economic and cultural development.


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GSE is the state-owned company which promotes and supports renewable energy sources (RES) in Italy. The sole shareholder of GSE is the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which exercises its rights in consultation with the Ministry of Economic Development.


Over the past decade the field of renewable sources has wordwilde known a strong acceleration. Cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions on the one hand and the many incentive policies for renewable sources on the other, have made the field of cleantech one of the most important, both from an economic and an occupational point of view. Today, with the progressive moratorium on incentives and with the maturation of the green technology (which led to the so-called grid-parity), the password for access to foreign markets is "quality". Quality on the design, on the final product and on the components. All aspects for which the industry Made in Italy is able to compete and to rise to the leadership of the European industry. The first to believe in this potential has been the Ministry of Economic Development, which in 2010 asked the GSE, by virtue of its role as specialized technical sector, to support the companies active in the field of renewable sources and of energy efficiency, in order to promote the growth of the industrial sector, aggregate and support Italian SMEs and help to create a cleantech "System Italy". To pursue this goal, GSE has realised “Corrente� initiative, which now has more than 2,050 members companies, research centers and innovative start-ups, expression of all sectors of industry. The total turnover of the member companies amounts to over 20 billion euro. For five years Corrente attempts to provide solutions to the major impediments that, in a global context, slow down the growth of SMEs, on top the difficulty of access to international markets, often the most attractive, in terms of investment and bankability projects. Without proper training on how to access European funding or on how to create a network of companies and without a comprehensive information on the opportunities offered by foreign markets, for an enterprise of small size it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to be competitive. Not to mention the fact that, often, it is necessary to know how to create a versatile team that knows how to make proposals of adequate quality to tenders in place. On these issues introduces Corrente, an initiave that organizes workshops together with institutional partners such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ICE, Confindustria and Anie, to inform the member companies on available opportunities, to support them in creating a network of com-

panies and propose a flexible offer and finally, to update members, through permanent observers on the trend of European and international markets. Today there are workshops and activities going on in Ukraine, China, Latin America, Middle East, North Africa, Singapore and throughout the region of Southeast Asia. In addition to support to MiSE with services for cleantech start up, Corrente, in collaboration with ICE, has also initiated several Observers, including the main, which concerns India. The activities of Corrente allowed to reach the signature of several contracts and the birth of many projects, all under the sign of Made in Italy, now synonymous with worldwide quality and creativity. To know all the activities undertaken, to register or to get in touch with the staff of GSE, visit the website .




212 million 81million 38% 4%


Euros in Export

Export share of total Turnover

intra-mural R&D Expenditure on total Turnover











Currently, sustainability is a prerequisite for the development of national economies which appears to be indispensable for growth. Yet, when does the green growth really occurs? What are its limits? In order to further define that concept and get the picture of the state of affairs, we have sought the view of Edoardo Croci, professor and environmental economist from the Luigi Bocconi University of Milan.


In the recent years the governments of different national states, have begun to take into account also of the environmental impact – that is potential environmental damage produced in the entire cycle of transformation of raw materials – as a factor that may negatively affect the GDP. Despite the absence of clear policies, the political decision makers have acted by taking corrective actions, focusing on renewable energy, adopting good practices, pushing for energy efficiency and rational use of energy, investing money in research on green products and technologies. The so-called green economy has become an economic model that makes it on of priorities of the manufacturing industry. According to a report entitled Green Italy 2014 the Italian green economy is one of the most viable and profitable in Europe. In fact, as many as 341,500 companies with at least one employee in our country invested in eco-sustainable products or technologies in the last six years. Apparently, it is a winning choice, considering that in 2013, 18.8% of green companies increased their turnover in versus 12.6% of the Italian average. It is due to major competitiveness in the international markets and major capacity to produce innovation: 19.6% of green companies actually export their goods outside Italy on regular basis, versus the average of 9.4%. What is more, 20.6% have developed new products or services in the course of the year, versus 8.7% of enterprises that do not invest in green products. The number of employees working in that sector is also remarkable. Indeed, over 3 million workplaces in Italy are green. That is to say 3.3% of the overall employment of the country. It is also expected that this rate will continue to increase in the upcoming years, in that about 234,00 people with green competences will be employed, which is more or less 61% of the current demand for work. These are important figures. But when an economy is really green? There is an ongoing debate, also on the definition itself, in that some proponents point out to a distinction between green economy and green growth. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines the green economy as one that “results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scar-



cities. (..) a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.” Income and employment growth related to Green Economy require both public and private investments, aimed to: reduce CO2 and others pollutants emissions, increase energy and resource use efficiency and prevent biodiversity loss and ecosystem services degradation. UNEP also puts forward a definition of Green Growth that does not completely overlap with the definition of green economy: “Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. It focuses on the synergies and trade-offs between the environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development”. Edoardo Croci, professor and environmental economist at Bocconi University in Milan explains that “the first and real problem in this respect is to find indicators by means of which that green growth could be measured correctly”. There are several international initiatives working on a “Beyond GDP” economic accounting system. These initiatives try to develop indicators that are as clear and appealing as GDP, but more inclusive of environmental and social aspects of progress. Economic indicators such as GDP were never designed to be comprehensive measures of prosperity and well-being. Therefore indicators not only of economic growth, but also prosperity and well-being are necessary; the alternatives proposed include a variant of GDP that is Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). Nonetheless, the picture obtained by means of that indicator shows the lack of real growth of the global economic system from the end of the 1960s, as the consumption of environmental resources compensated for that described by the GDP. Currently, the indicators proposed to measure the Green Growth are related to five different dimensions: the first one regards productivity of systems and environmental resources; the second one is natural capital; the third dimension considers the quality of life; the fourth one encompasses political responses and the fifth one regards social and economic aspects. The OECD proposes six

headline indicators aimed to communicate central elements of green growth in a balanced manner. Those indicators have to do with the environmental and resource productivity, a natural asset base and an environmental quality of life (which basically encompasses the quality of air that the population is breathing every day). “It is about arbitrary indicators” continues Croci “with respect to the variety of eco-systemic aspects and natural capital; however, it is a first attempt to elaborate a basis shared at the international level. Yet, it is interesting to understand what kind of scenarios would come true, if these indicators were applied”. If we think of the CO2 generation with a production - based approach by means of indicator GDP / production based CO2 (how much GDP is created with respect to the CO2 generated to produce that GDP), we will see that between the year 2000 and 2010 there was an improvement, as, in order to obtain that amount of GDP, the CO2 production shrank. A signal showing that global economies manage to produce more goods and services emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere; this refers at least to the developed countries. The situation of the developing economies is different, as they have still long way to go in this respect. If the GDP is considered from the viewpoint of the demand-based CO2 productivity, the scenario significantly changes with the OECD countries which in that case are ranked lower. Actually, the demand - based emissions reflect the CO2 emitted during the various stages of production of the goods and services consumed in domestic final demand, irrespective of where the various stages of production occurred. “Thus – explains the academic from Milan – the choice of methodological approach is decisive for the results. Let us consider for instance a product that Italy imports from China. The production-based approach entails major responsibility of China for greenhouse gas emission (the country that manufactured the product sent to Italy); on the contrary if we apply a demand-based approach, it is Italy – as importer and consumer – that is more responsible”. Another approach is related to the Material Productivity for which the calculation is as follows: GDP/ domestic material consumption. The indexes selected by the OECD cover those of natural resources-natural resource index, which also includes water. Although in the OECD


countries the consumption trend may make us expect a decrease, owing to increasing actions aimed to improve efficiency and save energy, in the rest of the world – and especially in the developing countries – a significant growth is projected, due to the need to produce more energy and the demand of the manufacturing industry. Another index regards the exposure of population to particulate matter (PM10). Although the global situation has improved since 1990, also that approach points out to a clear difference between the OECD countries and the other, especially developing economies. What benefits can the green growth bring to the economy? “When it comes to the OECD countries, what is emphasized is the insufficiency of comparable information on economic opportunities in terms of employment and competitiveness deriving from sustainable policies” affirms Croci. This is an important limitation and after the crisis of the last decade at the global level, different countries have aimed at the green growth by adopting green packages. Despite the well-known cases of Korea or the United States, what is missing is a real comparison that could translate into data and statistics the influence that sustainable policies have had on single economies. At present, it is easier to work out how to measure the sector rather than quantify the green change of economy across the globe. Although the absence of a measurement makes the analysis in its entirety less clear and flexible, it does not cancel certain benefits that the green growth has entailed. They include, among others, the creation of workplaces – the so-called green jobs – green services, technological innovation, energy services, less negative impacts on the environment and also possible operations of restoring to previous environmental conditions.

In a way, the willingness to find more and more environmentally sustainable solutions has given an impetus for technological innovation. Taking account of the number of registered patents related to green technologies may become a good growth meter of that economic model, especially in the OECD and BRIICS countries. For this purpose, Croci explains how “from the process data emerges how the number of patents is rapidly increasing in both country groups.” The OECD indicates that predictability, flexibility and stringency of environmental policies often lead to higher investment in innovation. Green technology development is accelerating in all areas. Since 1990, in most regions and countries, the share of green patents has increased, reaching more than 10% of total patents in 2011.” Therefore is it better to aim at the green growth? Perhaps it is not the point, whereas it is fundamental to figure out under which conditions a green growth may produce real benefit, to what extent they may have longterm effects, and which policies may encourage sustainable development. According to Croci the problem lies in applying a shared measurement model that should go beyond the GDP. “Italy has a competitive advantage in terms of Resources Efficiency and Energy Efficiency. For this reason, it has to aim at the Green Economy to foster the economic recovery; moreover, the experience of other countries, for instance in the Scandinavia, shows that shifting the income taxation towards the polluting activities is a stimulus for the economy”.




34 Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, 1563, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The new Smart Lab is the result of experience gathered in the course of three years of work when our laboratory was visited by thousands of people who expressed their extremely positive feedback. Such opinions, after careful evaluation, directed the choice of newly added products and services, which are useful for experimenting the solutions responding to the challenges related to rapidly evolving electric power distribution systems. Facility for simulating the behavior of grids and electrical systems now integrates and interconnects more components from all ABB divisions, promoting cross-business collaboration and an “Internet of Things, People and Services”. The power demands of a hospital, an airport or even a whole city can be simulated inside a single room – that’s one of the capabilities offered by ABB’s Smart Lab, based at its Medium Voltage power products site in Dalmine, northern Italy. This state-of-the-art facility allows engineers to reproduce the demands of large-scale electricity networks under controlled conditions, helping them identify innovative approaches to managing such networks and aiding smart grid development. Originally inaugurated in 2012, the lab has now been enhanced after incorporating inputs from customers, research centers, universities and specialists. The “nextgeneration” Smart Lab was inaugurated on May 19, 2015. The original facility included distribution network components, such as medium and low voltage switchgear, pro-

tection relays, current and voltage sensors and related communication devices, as well as the monitoring system to control the network. It now includes components across ABB divisions, offers new simulations and represents more megatrends. For example, water and gas sensors, SCADA and robotics technology have been added, while new simulations include those for radial and meshed networks, as well as for microgrids. In fact, the lab itself can be considered an example of a microgrid in its own right, which runs on electricity from the rest of the Dalmine site. Here, energy produced by solar panels installed on site is stored in batteries and converted by inverters into the facility's power supply. Work inside the laboratory can offer solutions for some key trends and issues. These include smart grids, energy efficiency and storage, greater use of renewables, rural electrification, and integration of components and systems, which ABB views as part of the evolving ‘Internet of Things, Services and People’. A significant cause of change to today’s grid, for example, is the increase in generation from renewable sources. This can be accommodated by the evolution to smarter grids, which are capable of coping with more distributed and intermittent generation, such as that from renewables. Smart grids are highly automated and innovative and offer a significant level of system reliability, flexibility and accessibility. In addition to supporting the integration of more renewable energy, it is hoped that these intelligent power solutions will help mega-cities address the growing need for reliable power as ABB demonstrates its commitment towards a better world. These years Smart Lab has been visited by Universities, Research Centers and international consultants; at the same time, the plant's potential allowed for elaboration of numerous master's degree theses. The entity organizes University Days and ITIS Days on regular basis. Those events are dedicated to the students from the main universities located in Northern Italy and technical colleges of the province of Bergamo, offering also trainings aimed to introduce young people into the job market and favor contacts and competencies also with a view to selection of new resources.



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Tech in Italy - n. 2/2015  

Tech in Italy is a bi-monthly web magazine. It comes from two main objectives: to consolidate the role and position of Italian System in the...

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