The aim is to give new vigour to the Bolognese tradition in mechanical, mechatronic and automation industry, considering technological and digital opportunities
“The relaunch of technical culture” represents a local implementation of Emilia Romagna’s regional S3 strategy, in which mechatronic is one of the 3 strategic priorities. This pillar has been incorporated in the Metropolitan Strategic Plan, under the specific objective 4.E: “Manufacturing, New industry and school as engines of development”. Thus, this practice represents a concrete implementation of these two policy instruments.
The aim is to enhance technical culture by operating an investment in the education system, making it an integral part of the “rebirth” of the Bolognese manufacture after the economic crisis and a support to new trajectories of recovery of the local industry by creating links between young people and mechanical/technical companies. The specific focus is to enhance mechanic sector’s attractiveness, with the goal to match the request (in continuous increase) of specialized personnel in the field.
This goal has been pursued through a dense involvement of companies, training institutions and support organizations in a set of interventions, including support tools and services, festivals, events, training courses.
Local actors set up a solid network, made an analysis of their service and needs, identified priority area of intervention, building the basis for the concrete implementation of the aforementioned activities.

Resources needed

It is realized thanks to the contribution in human resources and skills of all partners: the coordination required 2 full time equivalent resources; partners contributes with in-kind resorces, events' organization, venue location, expertise.

Evidence of success

The network is gradually growing (150+ local actors involved), as well as the number of events organized (more than 500 last year), the participants (1000+) and the areas of interest. Events and initiatives organized for startup new business ideas and alternative finance were overbooked. The reference area have grown from provincial to regional scale. Students enrolling in technical institutes are clearly increasing.

Difficulties encountered

Established companies do not always see benefits in participating, as the co-design of the initiatives requires time and energy. Coordinating a large network is challenging.

Potential for learning or transfer

The network has allowed policy makers, private sector, third sector and civil society to better implement S3 at local level, and re-discuss the role of science, technology and skills of young people in the development of a more integrated and cohesive society, capable of growing and being more competitive and attractive. The great participation, the quality of initiatives realized and the impact on the relationships system of the involved actors contribute to make the festival a regular event. Operating at metropolitan scale allowed to be more effective in designing and delivering successful policy actions, facilitating the inclusion of different actors and stimulating the extension of the practise to new sectors and areas, and generating transferable knowledge through the whole region.
Main institution
Città Metropolitana di Bologna
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
September 2013
End Date


Valeria Stacchini Please login to contact the author.