Within an online event, Bi-Rex and Intesa Sanpaolo announce the creation of the new Observatory “Industry 4.0 Solutions and Technologies for businesses” and present an ad hoc research implemented by the Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department, aimed at illustrating the state of the art of Emilia-Romagna companies in the mechanical sector, in relation to the adoption of innovative technologies.



An opportunity to outline a framework on the competitiveness of the mechanical industry of Emilia-Romagna, assess the degree of innovation adopted by regional companies and provide an extra tool with great added value. This is the focus of the online event organized this morning by BI-REX (Competence Center based in Bologna which gathers 57 players in partnership between universities, research centers and companies of excellence) and Intesa Sanpaolo, which saw the participation of the world entrepreneurial and institutional.

After the introduction to the works by Stefano Cattorini (BI-REX General Director), Serena Fumagalli and Carla Saruis (Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department) presented the survey “Mechanics and Industry 4.0 in Emilia-Romagna: challenges and opportunities for businesses“. An analysis which was followed by the reflections of Cristina Balbo (Regional Director of Intesa Sanpaolo) and Vincenzo Colla (Regional Councilor for Economic Development). During the morning, the aims and methods of the newly established Observatory on “Solutions and Technologies 4.0 for businesses” were also presented by Giampaolo Amadori (BI-REX Business Development Manager) and Giovanni Foresti (Intesa Studies and Research Department St. Paul). Michele Poggipolini, CEO of Poggipolini SpA of San Lazzaro di Savena, and Francesco Millo, Strategy, M&A and Corporate Development Director of Bonfiglioli Riduttori SpA of Lippo di Calderara di Reno, also brought their direct experience. Moderator of the meeting Manlio Urbano (BI-REX Marketing & Communication Manager).

With the digitalization of the economic system becoming even more central with the outbreak of the pandemic, for the Italian manufacturing sector the automation of production processes represents one of the main development drivers for the future, in an increasingly pushed logic of Industry 4.0. The survey conducted by the Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department and BI-REX on a sample of companies in Emilia-Romagna, highlights a good degree of diffusion of 4.0 technologies, with a more marked incidence among medium-large companies. Larger companies in particular emphasize the importance of the world of universities and corporate research centers, while the main obstacle for the implementation of 4.0 solutions is the finding of human capital. To optimize investments in technology, it will be necessary to accompany them with adequate training, qualification and enhancement of professional skills.

The survey also highlights how doing business in Emilia-Romagna is a qualifying element. Operating in the region brings positive externalities to companies in terms of commercial relations, exchange of information, drive in the paths of internationalization and, indeed, in the innovation process. It is no coincidence that the supply chain relationships are central and will remain strategic also in supporting the spread of 4.0 through the supply of technology, plants and machinery.

“In confirmation of our pro-activity and our intention to set ourselves as a fundamental point of reference in Italy with regard to technological innovation – says Stefano Cattorini, General Director of BI-REX– today we add a new important piece in the portfolio of services that we are able to provide to companies: after the inauguration of the Pilot Line, with today’s event we are launching the “Industry 4.0 Solutions and Technologies for Businesses”, a tool developed together with Intesa Sanpaolo and developed available from our Competence Center in order to monitor, accompany and guide SMEs on the path towards Industry 4.0. We have established an important partnership with our consortium Intesa Sanpaolo that will allow us to provide additional services with high added value, precisely with the aim of supporting entrepreneurs and companies along this path”.

“The crisis triggered by the pandemic is proving to be a strong accelerator of transformations that were already underway and which, if caught with timing, can be formidable drivers of relaunch. Digitization, technological innovation, attention to sustainability are both needs and opportunities for companies of all sizes, as also emerged from the survey we conducted among our customers. A dynamic that is evidently also central to mechanics, the backbone of the regional productive fabric. – explained Cristina Balbo, regional director of Emilia-Romagna and Marche of Intesa Sanpaolo – For our part, since the beginning of the emergency, we have been close to companies to cope with the need for liquidity and to accompany them on their relaunch paths. In this sense, on the one hand, in the first nine months of the year we granted new credit to the mechanical companies of Emilia-Romagna for over 200 million euros. On the other hand, we provide ad hoc credit lines for innovation, ESG, Circular Economy, as well as a consultancy network capable of accompanying and supporting them. We are happy with this collaboration between BI-REX and our Studies and Research Department: following the economic dynamics carefully is essential in order to be able to respond promptly and, if possible, anticipate the needs of the production fabric “.

Download the BI-REX presentation (Ita)

Download the survey “Mechanics and Industry 4.0 in Emilia Romagna: challenges and opportunities for businesses”  (Ita)

Download the presentation of the new Observatory “Industry 4.0 Solutions and Technologies for Businesses” (Ita)


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