The Municipality of Reggio Emilia hosted an interregional study visit at the beginning of May for the preparation of the Regional Action Plans. A delegation from Austria visited the good practice in Reggiane Innovation Park that is key to the Austrian Action Plan developed by Business Upper Austria in collaboration with local stakeholders. The Austrian delegation was composed of two representatives from Business Upper Austria, Hannah Silber and Dan Dutescu, managers for investment attraction, and Sabine Rabl-Berger, Responsible for Contaminated Sites of the Ministry of Environment.

On the 4th of May, the interregional visit took place at the Reggiane Innovation Park. Massimo Magnani, Head of Territorial Programming and Special Projects Area of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, and Saverio Serri, Responsible for the Research, Innovation and Internationalization Unit of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, presented Reggio Emilia’s ecosystem and the resilient strategy of the city, which focuses on the development and valorization of the Innovation Park.
Luca Torri, CEO of Reggiane Innovation Park, presented the project and the idea behind. The Park represents a dynamic reality open to the local, national and international context, which supports and strengthens the innovative capacity of the territorial social-economic system.

Following the coffee break, some representatives of research facilities and companies introduced their organization or business and explained the reasons that pushed them to move to the Innovation Park and the benefits of living in a “community” made of different actors. Andrea Parmeggiani, Director of Fondazione REI, presented the Foundation, which manages the Technopole, the first shed of the park that was regenerated in 2013 and dedicated to research and technological transfer. Katia Bassi, General Director of Silk-FAW, a company that produces ultra-luxury, high-performance, hybrid and electric cars, combining different cultures and experiences, explained why the company chose Reggio Emilia and in particular the Park, because of its welcoming ecosystem that offered the best conditions for the company to establish here. Finally, Mirco Garuti,  Senior Researcher of CRPA, introduced the work of the laboratory, dedicated to the technical, economic and social progress of the livestock sector and the dissemination of the most advanced forms of environmentally friendly agriculture. In particular, Mr. Garuti presented a project on biogas developed within the Innovation Park, thanks to the collaboration with the Municipality and research centres. The delegation also visited CRPA’s premises, where they conduct their research and experiments.
The morning ended with a tour of the Reggiane Innovation Park. The delegation visited the renovated sheds and areas (Technopole, Shed #18, and Piazzale Europa) as well as those under construction (Shed #17, #15A, and #15B/C).

The study visit continued in the afternoon with a transfer workshop between Francesca Saccani and Daniela Lepori, Urban Development Managers of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and the Delegation from Business Upper Austria. The meeting focused on the infrastructural development of the Innovation Park and the reuse and transformation of use of an abandoned site by enhancing its characteristics and geographical location. The rationale behind the project is to usefully transform and enhance a degraded area in order to produce new opportunities of sustainable development for the local community.

The delegation then visited the northern area of the city, in particular the Mediopadana High-speed station and RCF Arena, being the perfect examples of requalification and reuse of dismissed areas of the city. Mediopadana HS Station, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, is the only stop on the line between Milan and Bologna, and represents an important intermodal exchange hub thanks to interconnection with local and regional railway lines. RCF Arena is the largest outdoor Music Venue in Europe, recently inaugurated (2022). It is an open air arena for music shows and large events, in a city park, providing an organic footprint and a parterre sloping to 5% to allow good visibility, organized in ring sectors to allow adaptability for concerts from 10 thousand to 100 thousand attendees for the most impressive shows.

The day ended with a team building activity, consisting in a workshop in food regeneration, organized by Pause – Atelier dei Sapori. Austrian partners along with stakeholders and staff from Municipality of Reggio Emilia cooked “tortelli” together, traditional ones and an innovative version made by using food waste (i.e. vegetable peels).

For further information please get in touch with [email protected], Responsible of Research, Innovation and Internationalization Unit of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia at the Reggiane Innovation Park, Website