MECSPE driving force behind manufacturing: over 2,000 companies in Bologna

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From March 6-8, the 22nd edition of the flagship trade fair for the manufacturing industry will offer its rich program of conferences, meetings, and insights, with a special focus on the new Transition 5.0 Plan.

MECSPE, the main exhibition dedicated to innovations for the manufacturing industry organised by Senaf, a reference point for the sector and an opportunity for production technologies and industrial supply chains to meet, returns to Bologna.

From March 6 to 8, BolognaFiere’s halls will see well over 2,000 exhibiting companies participating in the 92,000 sq m of exhibition space with 13 thematic salons, 18 special initiatives and a program full of appointments and meetings dedicated to the digital and ecological transition.

The new edition will devote ample space to discussions among industry players in light of recent developments on the PNRR front and the new Transition 5.0 Plan, with its €6.3 billion allocation for 2024-2025. The issues of transition and progress, as relevant for Italian companies, will be explored in depth at the opening event of the fair, during which data from the new MECSPE Observatory on the Italian manufacturing industry will be discussed in the presence of representatives of MIMIT – Ministry of Business and Made In Italy.

MECSPE LAB: the new soul of the fair gives space for innovation

An edition with important new features, starting with the new MECSPE LAB – Innovation Space exhibition area, will be the meeting point for all visitors interested in demonstration initiatives to integrate Industry 4.0 with Industry 5.0.

This is an unmissable opportunity for young people to compare and evaluate with an eye to the future the new challenges the sector faces. There, new talents will be able to learn more about the potential of new jobs in the industry, which involve the use of advanced tools for managing production processes.

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This year’s MECSPE LAB – Innovation Space will also include students from the University of Bologna with the UNIBOAT research team. Students will present a project to develop and produce an all-electric boat, focusing on environmentally sustainable solutions related to clean energy and recycled, reusable, and low-carbon footprint materials.

In addition to this, the exhibition of Formula SAE prototypes, the educational event organized annually by ANFIA in collaboration with the University of Bologna, More Modena Racing, Unibo Motorsport, and Race Up of Padua, is reconfirmed.

Training as a binding force for industry

The theme of education will play a central role in the event, which every year serves as a dynamic platform to direct young people to the industry world. This is an increasingly urgent issue according to the latest Unioncamere data that highlight the difficulty of finding resources; in 2023, in fact, the sector could only count a few thousand ITS graduates, an extremely low number compared to the industry’s demand of about 47 thousand graduates, including more than16 thousand in the mechanical field.

Among the initiatives dedicated to training is the return of MECSPE Young&Career, a pathway that offers young visitors the opportunity to participate in training events organized by the fair and exhibitors, get in touch with companies, and apply for job opportunities.

«MECSPE is a real catalyst for significant and positive change throughout the manufacturing sector» comments Maruska Sabato, MECSPE project manager. «The expo is a key crossroads for exchanging ideas between companies, institutions, and young people. In the face of growing demand for specialized skills in the industry, MECSPE becomes an indispensable platform to orient young people toward innovative and rewarding careers in the industry. We will also give ample space to the topic of incentives: the presence of MIMIT this year is a signal of great importance, made even more relevant by the imminent implementation of the Transition 5.0 Plan, on which we intend to focus on providing companies with all the necessary insights to accompany them in this new phase of development.»

NRP and Competence Center: MECSPE hosts MIMIT

Training and digital innovation will converge in the Competence Center Area, where the meeting between the MECSPE community and the Competence Centers will take place, offering orientation activities, training, and innovative projects in Industry 4.0. The space within which the eight national Competence Centers, with the participation of MIMIT, will exhibit, will be enhanced by a schedule of training events for SMEs.

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Energy transition and sustainability

Two, in particular, will be the internationally focused conferences on current topics for the industry that MECSPE will host again this year. For the second time, in fact, the German-Italian Forum will take place: 2035 and the Automotive supply chain, dedicated to the energy transition toward which the automotive industry is moving. A conference that aims to provide the entire automotive supply chain with a macroeconomic and technological view of the sector, including through expert testimony and presentations of success stories.

Second edition also for the Aluminum Energy Summit, organized by Metef, the international exhibition for the aluminum supply chain. The summit’s goal will be to take stock of concrete contributions and technological solutions that the aluminum industry can activate to achieve circular economy and decarbonization goals.

Finally, the Sustainability Goal Path will again this year reward virtuous companies that have distinguished themselves by making sustainable choices.

A program full of events

Many other initiatives will enliven the three-day event, which strives to leave a constructive imprint for all industry players every year, paving the way for a new, more conscious, innovative, and human-centric way of doing business.

Among the new features, Mold Square highlights the close synergy between international companies and university students, who have collaborated to create an object made of polymers from renewable sources that will be produced and distributed at the fair.

The Planning and Design Square for this edition is dedicated to Italian producers of luxury materials, while the TMP Square hosts its associates, manufacturers and processors of everything related to the world of plastics, and will give voice to activities aimed at young people and schools, sustainability and greenwashing unmasking, with the purpose of information and technical training.

In line with the innovation needs expressed by the market, the Startup Factory brings together high-tech B2B startups that will be able to present themselves to a broad audience from the manufacturing industry.

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These are just some of the special initiatives proposed by MECSPE, which, as every year, will have the honor of hosting the historical institutions and industry associations that, in more than two decades, have helped elevate the event to a benchmark for the manufacturing industry: Confartigianato, ANFIA, ASCOMUT, CNA Produzione, and AIDAM, each present at the fair with their own dedicated space.

Facts and figures of MECSPE BOLOGNA 2024

59,845 professional visitors (2023 edition), 92,000 sq m display area, more than 2,000 companies present, 2,000 sq m of MECSPE LAB – Spazio Innovazione, 18 special initiatives, 72 conferences.