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Investing in Italian Innovation: Digital Solutions and the challenge of Industry 4.0

The digital economy is offering opportunities to spur innovation, increase competitiveness and foster sustainable growth and job creation, provided that those pressing policy challenges brought about by the transformation underway are addressed. Governments are putting in place comprehensive policy frameworks to enable change and ensure that the digital economy stays inclusive, while mitigating the potential disruptive effects that new technologies can have on labor markets and on societies as a whole.

The Italian Government now scores amongst the frontrunners in Europe in supporting digital transformation processes. Its Industry 4.0 National Plan, adopted in 2016, developed a comprehensive policy of regulatory, financial and fiscal measures to support domestic and foreign investors, with a focus on digital manufacturing and innovative businesses: according to the Digital Tax Index 2017 of the University of Mannheim, the Italian tax system has become the most attractive for digital business models among G7 partners, and the second in Europe after Ireland). The Italian growing innovation ecosystem is attracting increasing attention from investors.

During the conference, over 200 Italian and German companies and startups will meet to discuss common challenges to digitize their products and services. Cross Border cooperation and Digital Innovation hubs can provide easy access for SMEs to the latest design, prototyping and manufacturing capabilities and can help to facilitate access to finance. We will discuss how to create awareness on the opportunities of Industry 4.0, how to provide support to the development of innovative investment plans and how to enhance access to public and private financing.

The conference will be structured in three parts:

– a high-level policy introduction focused on the Italian policy framework, in order to support innovation and digital business and attract skill-intensive Foreign Direct Investments. We will present the Italian general policy framework, which aims at attracting foreign investors, both at national and at regional level, as well as the policy framework to promote investments in Italian Innovation, one year after the launch of the Industry 4.0 National Strategy
– six pitching sessions among selected Italian and German companies across the sectors most deeply affected by digital transformation processes (Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0; Fashion & Design; Foodtech and Innovative Agrofood; Fintech; Creative Industries, Smart Mobility and digital web content; Life Sciences)
– Policy conclusions by the representatives of the Italian and German Governments and by the Presidents of the Italian and German Business Associations, Confindustria and BDI, which will frame out the results of the German-Italian Business Forum, held in Bolzano on the 19th & 20th of November this year)