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LOMBARDY DISTRICT “FOUR CORE” PRODUCTION CLUSTER EXPORTS ENERGY MACHINERY WORLDWIDE


LOMBARDY DISTRICT “FOUR CORE” PRODUCTION CLUSTER EXPORTS ENERGY MACHINERY WORLDWIDE

The latest example of the tradition of manufacturing machinery for energy production in Italy, established in the early 1970s, goes by the name of Energy Cluster . It is the result of a coordinated regional system in a part of the country which has already earned a global reputation for the production of equipment involved in energy transformation and generation. In recent years, the technological advances accompanying the advent of renewable energy have involved all the players in a search for important new innovations and a concentrated focus on this area of expertise. This has demanded some heavy investment and a consistent capacity for creating new engineering solutions

The Italian network of energy machinery producers has certainly risen to the challenge. The economic picture sees the Lombardy cluster of energy associated businesses accounting for 50% of production in the field of industrial, civil and infrastructural engineering in Italy, with revenue of 145 billion Euros in 2009. The Energy Cluster brand is now recognized as a hallmark of quality for its cutting-edge products, with special attention to the renewable energy sector. The cluster brings together the advanced manufacturing skills of more than 500 investors, who constitute the members of a group employing some 23,000 workers. Energy Cluster has built up a stock of technological expertise over time, achieving unprecedented commercial success in the export market. Indeed, 70% of its turnover in 2009 was attributable to its successful sales operations in countries outside Italy, beginning with Europe and then venturing into other continents. As Alberto Ribolla, President of this high-tech zone explained: “We are developing a network of industrial expertise, acquired as a result of many years working in the field. We are using this as a means to draw up certain strategic guidelines for common development, and also to support the internationalization of the various businesses. At the same time, we are engaged in a dialogue with the principal energy clusters operating in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Canada, and the Saint Petersburg Region”.

The element which makes Energy Cluster a reference model for the sector resides in the fact that this business is made up of many “cores”, as determined by the operators themselves. Their multi-faceted production effort started with their involvement in the thermo-electric sector. Lombardy has been a leading pioneer in the production of steam generators, turbines, heat cycles, cooling towers, transformers, fans, windmills and large pumps. The traditional sphere of production for Lombardy’s manufacturers of energy machinery has also been that of hydro-electrics and geothermal power. In this area, the 500 industrial members of the Energy Cluster have learnt how to specialize in producing the main equipment required for transforming, collecting and transporting fluids. Finally, the area of renewable energy is a vital component, and Energy Cluster has become expert in this field, manufacturing cutting-edge energy production systems which make use of the sun, wind, biomass, biogas motors and bio-fuel. These are new segments of the market which are becoming increasingly competitive, thanks to the investment in research and the involvement of private concerns. In addition to manufacturing companies, the production zone also involves the participation of public institutions: including 7 research bodies and universities, and 8 associations representing the Lombardy business network. The message being given is: unite together if you want to grow. As Ribolla explained: “Thirty-eight per cent of workers in European industry are now employed in clusters, made up of businesses whose rate of growth is superior to that of those companies who choose to go it alone in the marketplace and on the development front”.

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