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promoted by Regione Emilia-Romagna during Expo Milan 2015 from 1 May to 31 October.

After Expo, the Emilia-Romagna Region is setting its sights on the Silicon Valley

President Bonaccini is on a mission to forge institutional alliances and establish new economic relations. The Focuses: start ups, research, innovation, high technology and the quest, after Expo, to find participants in the World Food Research and Innovation Forum
After Expo, the Emilia-Romagna Region is setting its sights on the Silicon Valley

The president of the Region, Mr Stefano Bonaccini

From Google to the University of California, Davis, right down to the start ups from Emilia Romagna engaged in a training course to absorb the opportunities offered by the Silicon Valley. The exchange of views with the corporate leaders of the US agro-industry at “Re-Think Food 2015” and the relations with the highest authorities in California following the first edition of Expo, in order to present the platform for strategic dialogue that the World Food Research and Innovation Forum provides with a view to convincing operators to join the project and inviting them to participate in the edition of the Forum to be held from 9 to 10 May 2016 at the Cibus exhibition in Parma.

The institutional mission of the president of the Emilia-Romagna Region Stefano Bonaccini and councillors Simona Caselli (Agriculture) and Palma Costi (Productive activities) to California will pursue these themes and objectives, accompanying several businesses from the agro-industry and high-tech sectors in Emilia-Romagna (Barilla, Granarolo, Casale Spa, Conbio; Horta; Arete) in addition to Unione Parmense degli Industriali and Consorzio Parma Alimentare, Future Food Institute, the Universities of Modena and Reggio, Caab and Fico Eataly World, the agro-food platform of Aster.

A follow up to Expo

“After the mission to Guandong, we are focusing on being able to confirm that Emilia-Romagna Region is constantly striving to open its doors and attract not only foreign investors but also all other forms of commercial, production-related and research based partnerships on an international level. In Silicon Valley – emphasised the president of the Region, Stefano Bonaccini – the objective is to perform an immediate follow-up operation to Expo Milano 2015 focusing on the business opportunities in the American market for companies from Emilia Romagna’s agro-industrial and technological innovation chains”.

The strongest focuses will be on the business opportunities in the stars and stripes market for regional companies, the attraction of investments to Emilia-Romagna following the important commitment of Philip Morris and the reinforcement of what are already important, but also often fragmented, relations between the USA and Emilia Romagna in the fields of innovation and university education, with the definition of bilateral exchange and research programmes. All this will take place by promoting the legacy of Expo 2015 and will particularly look towards the date of the World Food Research Innovation Forum in Parma in May 2016, as well as the forthcoming launch of Fico, the great agro-food park that will be set up in Bologna. “In California - adds Bonaccini – we want to encourage a higher level of participation in the World Food Research and Innovation Forum for its second edition. The permanent platform ‘Made in Emilia-Romagna’ for exchanging ideas on, and discussing the themes of, research and food, indeed launched at Expo, to favour a global debate on the development strategies for the food industry, and promote the contribution of research to the diffusion of a model founded on security, safety and sustainability, the three fundamental pillars for guaranteeing the universal right to sufficient, safe food”.



The USA is currently the top country outside the EC for importing regional products with over 5 billion euro (+16% between 2008 and 2013; over 3 billion in the first half of 2015 alone, an increase of more than 24% compared with the same period in the previous year). It is the second top country overall, behind Germany, but if current trends were to be reconfirmed, (expansion of the US market, downturn of the German market), at the end of 2015, the United States could become the first commercial partner of Emilia-Romagna. In practical terms, for every 100 euro exported from between Rimini and Piacenza, over 12 of these are destined for the USA.

The products

The main regional products destined for overseas markets are motor vehicles, mechanical equipment (over 60% of the total) and tiles. The agro-industrial export business was worth 230 million euro in the first six months of 2015, (+18% compared with the same period in 2014) with Parmigiano Reggiano top of the rankings, followed by Balsamic vinegar.


Start ups

There are 10 start ups in Emilia-Romagna, which could embark upon an on-the-field experience about what it means to operate in the Silicon Valley.  From 5 to 15 November, the companies PlumeStarsFruttaWeb ; Sgnam; EasyDinnerGoVid; Saladz;  TicketeLocalJob; Spesacasa; Elements  - all selected during a regional call for tenders – will participate in the first edition of a course that will become a permanent training mechanism in the Silicon Valley.


Re-Think Food 2015 is one of the most important appointments regarding innovation in the field of food. A part of the delegation from Emilia Romagna, led by councillor Caselli, will participate in this event, scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 November in the Napa Valley.

Less emissions

California is in the front line in the commitment to preserving the environment. The Emilia-Romagna Region will sign the “Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum” an agreement promoted by the American government and Baden-Wurttemberg to call for the commitment of sub national companies in reducing emissions into the atmosphere, looking towards the Climate Conference in Paris at the end of November. The president of the Region, Stefano Bonaccini, will sign the deed during a meeting with Jerry Brown, governor of California, on 8 November. With various sector-specific plans and with the Climate ChangER project, for the reduction of greenhouse emissions generated by agriculture, Emilia-Romagna is already a key player in the battle against climate change.

World Food Forum

The meetings with the authorities will also include one with Karen Ross, minister for agriculture of California, whom Emilia-Romagna will ask to support the next edition of the World Food Research and Innovation Forum.

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Published Nov 02, 2015 — last modified Nov 11, 2015

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