The industrial conversion projects in the following stories are characterized by the eco-system element: the projects were possible thanks to the collaboration of companies, local and regional administrations, health system and technopoles and trade associations. In the words of the Mayor of Reggio Emilia to the press: "A winning recipe made of resilience and innovation, typical characteristics of the people of Emilia. All this gives us hope and trust".

The current emergency linked to Coronavirus has moved the Nuova Sapi, which boasts over 40 years of experience in the field of medical and industrial cleaning, to find a solution to the lack of surgical masks.

Within a week, the company designed and prototyped, starting from scratch, the first example of surgical mask made up of three layers of non-woven fabric and aware of not being able to manage the entire supply chain necessary to industrialize the product, they turned to their Association, Unindustria Reggio Emilia and a network has been created which involved Unindustria Reggio Emilia, Confindustria Emilia-Romagna, Regional Healthcare, Municipality of Reggio Emilia and Biomedical Technopole of Mirandola (MO). The aim was to develop a project that could benefit the entire Emilia-Romagna region.

Immediately a meeting was held with the Health Department of the Emilia-Romagna Region, to examine the product. A few hours later the coordinator of the working group of Confindustria regional for life sciences and reference figure in the Techopole of Mirandola was involved in videocall in order to define the procedures necessary for certification of the product.

In the following days the team worked in close synergy to find qualified people and materials necessary to ensure a high daily production. The collaboration has expanded to other stakeholders in Reggio Emilia who, thanks to the coordination of Mayor Luca Vecchi, have contributed to the success of the project.

In a few days the certification request has been forwarded to the National Health Institute and a pre-production of 20,000 prototype specimens began to test the efficiency of the cutting and packaging production process, as well as the reliability of the supply system. Two days later the production of over 100,000 masks per day began with the aim of exceeding 150,000 daily units in a few days.

The production will be ensured almost entirely to the regional health, but a portion will remain available to the province of Reggio Emilia, thanks to a single purchasing center that will be headed by the Municipal Pharmacies, which will reserve this product for the protection of workers and citizens.

A similar story regards the Nannini company of Reggio Emilia that received a request for the supply of protective glasses by the Reggio Emilia command of the Brigade Fire, where personal protection materials were scarce. The company understand that, in order to respond to this new particular and urgent request, it was necessary to create a new design and technical evaluation phase, which went beyond the range of products so far made.

After a first contact with Unindustria Reggio Emilia and, subsequently, with the Regional Healthcare they understand that there is a great need also for face-covering visors. Hence the precious collaboration with Raleri, a Bolognese company expert in the production of protective glasses for different areas of use, including sports and face shields.

Thanks to the technical contribution on the visors of the Bolognese partner and strong of Nannini's skills, in less than a week a protective visor, designed and developed by Raleri, and a model of protective glasses derived from the Modular project, already existing in Nannini, are made. In mid-April, the Modular "PPE" model was joined by a second protective eyewear with higher productivity, and a mask-type protector is being studied in Raleri.

After a very rapid design phase and the creation of prototypes for approval and certification, the Nannini - Raleri partnership was able to supply 3,500 protective glasses per day from mid-April, and 1,500-2,000 protective visors per day, with volumes growing in the very short period thanks to a production architecture that starts in the Raleri and Nannini factories, but which will also involve other companies from other sectors and supply chains. This, in order to avoid a productive concentration, which is risky in the current emergency period, and to allow individual laboratories or manufacturing companies interested in taking part in the project to provide support also on individual production phases.


For further information, please contact Andrea Seligardi, Studies, Education and ICT | Reggio Emilia Unindustria, E-mail: [email protected] Web: