An aerospace sector that employs 23,500 people, three thousand researchers, ten major research institutes, 5 billion in annual turnover and 2 billion in exports: this is the system that Lazio presented at Expo Dubai, at an event attended by Italy’s most important aerospace industries.
A unique ecosystem in the country, highly innovative and interconnected, ranging from environmental monitoring to precision agriculture, from the management of natural emergencies to the protection of strategic infrastructures, all the way to telemedicine: there are many solutions aimed at improving the life of our planet that the Lazio Region is able to guarantee, hosting a complete production chain of the space industry and adopting a model of innovation capable of interpreting the great technological adventure. All this was discussed during the Forum: “LAZIO, REGION OF SPACE. From Colleferro Space Capital 2022, the new challenges of the Space Economy”, which took place today in the presence of representatives of the Lazio Region and some of the most important regional companies in the aerospace and economic sector, such as Leonardo, Avio and Thales Alenia Space Italia.
The event is organised by Lazio Innova, Lazio’s innovation agency, which is present at Expo 2020 Dubai with a series of events that will continue until next March.
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The international meeting kicked off with the presentation of “Colleferro City of Space 2022”, since next year the city will hold the presidency of the Community of Ariane Cities (Cva), the European association of space cities founded in 1988. The Forum was also an opportunity to review the history of the city of Colleferro, which, while maintaining an industrial vocation, is now looking to the future with a view to sustainable development, through an urban regeneration programme and new training opportunities to attract young talent. The city is also a historic founding centre and stronghold of Italy’s most important aerospace industry, Avio, where the Vega launcher, a real Made in Italy gem, was born. During the presentation, issues related to the activity programmes envisaged for this year of the Italian Presidency will be addressed, also involving representatives of the Bordeaux metropolitan area, from which Colleferro will receive the baton at the end of 2021.
Lazio is Italy’s second-largest region in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) at € 198 billion, contributing 11.2% of Italy’s national GDP (2018 data), and its GDP per capita is € 33,600, higher than the Italian and EU average. Lazio also hosts one of the most important research and development systems in Italy, being home to important industries and multinational groups with their own research and development centres, and is the Italian region with the highest level of specialisation in knowledge-intensive, high-tech manufacturing and services. Moreover, Lazio’s share of exports in the main world sectors is double the national average (72% against 32%).
“Aerospace in Lazio means safety, development, research, quality employment and a future for young people. Our commitment is to enhance this excellence in the region and make it an increasingly crucial factor for the sustainable development of our cities and our economy. The new programming of European funds for 2021-2027 will provide us with important resources to confirm Lazio as an excellence in aerospace at a global level. I would also like to point out that today’s meeting will focus on the city of Colleferro, which is already a major player on the regional industrial scene and will play the important role of European Space Capital in 2022”. This was stated by the President of Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti.
“Lazio’s aerospace sector is one of the driving forces behind the region’s economic development, thanks to the presence of an ecosystem of excellence in the region, made up of universities and research centres, and of a highly specialised entrepreneurial fabric capable of providing technologies and solutions in many areas of the economy, from precision agriculture to safety and the automotive industry. This is a sector in which we are betting a lot and in which we will continue to invest, also thanks to the resources of the next NRP, in order to contribute to scientific and technological progress and the development of a more sustainable economic model. Lazio has what it takes to win this challenge and change the world with its small and large enterprises, researchers and young talents. In this context, Colleferro, with its industries that have been rooted in the territory for over a century and are an integral part of its identity, represents absolute excellence at a European level in this sector and fully deserves the role of European Capital of Space that it will play next year”. This was stated by the Regional Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Crafts, University, Research, Start-Up and Innovation of Lazio, Paolo Orneli.
Lazio therefore plays a significant international role in the aerospace, aeronautics, economy and space security sectors, both from an industrial point of view and for its specific skills in technological services and research and development. The Lazio Aerospace Technological District (Dta) was established in 2004 by a framework agreement signed by the Ministry of Research and the Lazio Region, and in 2012 the Lazio Dta was one of the founding members of the National Aerospace Technological Cluster (Ctna). Today, Lazio is the centre of a space economy capable of transferring the benefits of its technologies to citizens, businesses, communities and territories.
Space technologies can be applied to the development of agriculture; environmental and hydrogeological risk monitoring; emergency prevention; air traffic control; and the improvement of telecommunications services. It is no coincidence that Lazio companies are at the forefront of participation in two important European programmes related to space and Earth observation: Copernicus, the EU’s Earth observation programme established in 2001 and aimed at providing the EU with the capacity to act autonomously in the security and environmental sector through satellite surveys by 2021; Galileo, the European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), one of the largest and most ambitious European projects resulting from the European Union’s collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) to create a satellite navigation system.
Italy has played an important role since the beginning of the Galileo programme, first of all through the Italian Space Agency (Asi), and secondly through the involvement of Italian industry and, specifically, the Leonardo Group. In Lazio, in particular, there are the main LSIs (Thales Alenia Space, Avio and Telespazio), all companies owned/controlled by Leonardo, which, working in synergy with local SMEs, universities and the scientific community and with the help of public action, have achieved results of excellence at global level, thanks also to the significant role played by the District and the National Cluster in promoting long chains of innovation.
The event organised today is part of the Space Week taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai from 17 to 23 October, one of 10 thematic weeks led by Expo with the aim of finding collaborative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Taking place during the six months of Expo 2020 – which will end next 31 March – each of these thematic spaces will focus on specific themes, including: agrifood; climate and biodiversity; health and wellbeing; urban and rural development; travel and connectivity. In this context, the Lazio Region will promote a series of events ranging from cinema to agrifood, from health tourism to ecological transition, from precision agriculture for environmental sustainability to Smart Cities and the enhancement of the culture of the territories.