In September, the second and third Study visits in the Compete In project took place in the Emilia Romagna Region, organized by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and ERVET.

The purpose of study visits is to provide an on-site learning opportunity of the good practices identified and promote discussion and mutual learning among partners.

From the 19th to the 21st of September, Reggio Emilia and ERVET had the chance to present their European partners with the excellencies of the territory in terms of entrepreneurship, research and innovation, education, advanced technology and share their good practices in internationalization of the territory, attraction of investments and talents, creation of partnerships, for the benefit of SMEs.

On the 19th and 20th European partners, together with a large number of stakeholders (regional officials, technology transfer centers, business associations' representatives, Polytechnics and Universities), met with the institutional and economic players in Reggio Emilia that have designed and implemented important initiatives and projects.

On the premises of the Reggio-Africa Archive, the heart of relations with the African continent, representatives of the Municipality and the local companies active in the relations with South Africa (Irriland and Ecologia Soluzione Ambiente), South Africa Consulate General in Milan, the University of Reggio Emilia and local stakeholders (E35 Foundation for International Projects), emphasized how the development of friendship and trust between Reggio Emilia and the African state has led to the building of a strategic partnership, between solidarity, cultural and economic relations, of which both actors benefit in many areas.

Businesses, professors and students involved in Food Innovation Program and in the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia projects of cooperation with businesses (Food Camp and India Summer School) have presented an idea of higher education that, involving different actors, can foster economic development and international relations as well as talent attraction.

Enterprises, investors, public and private actors (Iren Rinnovabili and ASK Industries), who are the protagonists of the Innovation Park project, an international hub for the attraction of investment, businesses and talents, have presented to European partners a concrete idea of development based on research and innovation serving the economy and the quality of life in the city.

On the 20th and 21st, ERVET illustrated the Regional public support for internationalization: Invest in ER, the ER Go Global strategy and ERDF measures for SMEs. Among the good practices, Regional Law no. 14/2014 for the Promotion and Attraction of Investments was presented by representatives of Ervet and by Electric80, one of the companies benefiting from regional grants, as an operational support tool for companies wishing to establish or expand their business in Emilia-Romagna.

Foreign partners have also followed the experience of the Muner-Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna, a partnership born out of a synergy between the universities of the Emilia-Romagna territory and the automotive companies that represent excellence of Made in Italy on the international scene, to attract, on regional territory, the best university students from all over the world to form and enter into the job market as high-level professionals. Partners and stakeholders had the chance to share the experience of CNA-Emilia-Romagna (National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises) on the theme of regional public support for the internationalization of SMEs. As part of the 2012-2015 Regional Business Activity Program, which supports SME participation, SME aggregations and business internationalization pathways, CNA has supported the establishment, development and the growth of 9 consortia to increase the penetration opportunities of foreign markets. The partners’ interest has been focused on the initiatives presented by single and multi-sectorial consortia, as Consortium Expo Modena, Consortium Fun Italian Export and Consortium Moda Italy, in a view of future perspectives and critical success factors.