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The digital future of sustainable industrial manufacturing in Italy and beyond

10 March 2021

 The digital future of sustainable industrial manufacturing in Italy and beyond

BRUSSELS/ROME, 10 March 2021 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO has organized a second virtual dialogue in the framework of the European Union (EU) Industry Week 2021.


Bringing together representatives from UNIDO and the EU, as well as key figures from the private sector and academia, the panel addressed the Italian manufacturing sector’s shift to a digital economy, while also drawing attention to the significant role of industry 4.0 in the new industrial strategy of the EU.

The event provided a platform facilitating knowledge exchange, highlighting the importance of promoting innovation and strategic partnerships in building resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.


In her opening remarks, Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy, stressed the impact of digital technologies and the role of UNIDO in shaping the future in Europe and developing countries. “With a contribution to the EU competitiveness in a changing global landscape, UNIDO, together with its network of ITPOs, supports developing countries to build their capacity for industry 4.0.”


Ulla Engelmann, Head of the European Commission’s Advanced Technologies, Clusters and Social Economy unit at DG GROW, presented EU efforts to foster the diffusion of advanced technologies, highlighting the significance of public-private partnerships to effectively tackle the challenges faced by Europe.

In his presentation, Marco Taisch, Professor of Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing at Politecnico di Milano, stressed that digitalization has to be seen as an opportunity for implementing new business markets. In his view, “sustainability and digitalization, Green and Blue, have to be merged; digitalization is the strongest enabler for going towards a sustainable economy, circular economy and circular manufacturing.”


Franco Scolari, Director of Alto Adriatico Technological Pole, also emphasized the need to exploit new technologies, especially since we now observe an acceleration, with everything being shared faster. “Industry 4.0 is not an evolution. It’s a revolution”, asserted Scolari.


Cinzia Guido, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Digital Advisor at the Brussels Delegation of Confindustria, mentioned that industrial digitalization is key to Europe’s recovery post-COVID-19, but also to address the needs of new partnerships and allow for more collaborative ways to together support the manufacturing sector.


Fabio Golinelli, Advanced Processes and Technologies Manager at ABB S.P.A, also took the floor to share the experience of one of Italy’s leading global technology companies, which directly applies digital solutions to improve EU industrial competitiveness. A virtual tour of the ABB factory allowed all participants to get a more concrete understanding of what digitized manufacturing processes look like.


In his closing remarks, Patrick Gilabert, Head of the UNIDO Brussels Office, reiterated the significance of industry in the EU and enhanced partnerships to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in developing countries.  


The third and last event of this UNIDO series in the framework of EU Industry Week 2021 will take place in partnership with ITPO Germany, on 24 March and will look at “Investments and Technology Transfer from Germany as Driver for Economic Development in Europe and Africa”. (For information about the first UNIDO EU Industry Week event, click here)



For more information, please contact:


Patrick Gilabert, Head of UNIDO Brussels Office



Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy