The Challenge of Innovation - Interview with Roberto Maroni

Valerio De Molli interviews the President of the Lombardy region, Roberto Maroni, on the spinoffs of Expo 2015 for Milan and the Lombardy region, and the relationship between Lombardy and Europe.

The Challenge of Innovation – Interview with Roberto Maroni

Innovation and concrete action: these are the key concepts behind the actions of the administration of the president of the Lombardy region

Innovation in Lombardy today is 90% financed by the private sector, but the tendency will be for it to be strongly promoted by government, with the idea of doubling the current economic contribution to raise public investment in R&D to 3% of the regional GDP by 2018, bringing it into line with its main European competitors.

“We cannot compete with other European countries in terms of labor costs,” President Maroni has said on various occasions, “but we can in other areas. For example, the fact of having hubs of higher education and research centers, for which Lombardy is without rival on the European continent.”

Part of this approach is also the decision to “build a network” with other major European industrial regions. The Alpine Macro-Region (46 regions in 7 different European countries) and the Four Motors for Europe association (a network which brings together Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia) represent new institutional frameworks in which the Lombardy region can make its economic and industrial weight felt.

All of which, looking towards Expo 2015, could be a potential impulse towards a new phase of growth and development in Lombardy and northern Italy.

Milan, March 11, 2014.


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