MECSPE: Digital and energy transition at the heart of the fair

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The 22nd edition of MECSPE was attended by 66,906 visitors and more than 2,000 companies. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, training for new skills and energy transition were the main themes of the exhibition to provide new stimuli to the sector.

Manufacturing reconfirms its willingness to grow and open up to innovation and new sustainable frontiers: This is what emerged from the MECSPE, Italy’s leading exhibition dedicated to the manufacturing industry 3-day event, organized by Senaf, now in its 22nd edition and held March 6-8 in Bologna.

2068 firms from all across Italy gathered with 66,906 professionals (+12% compared to 2023) to form synergies and pool skills and information in the context of the fair, which serves as a catalyst for the industry’s national and worldwide growth.

The MECSPE edition focused on a topic that is as timely and of primary importance for the current year as it ever was: the digital and energy transition promoted by MIMIT‘s Transition 5.0 Plan. The plan offers multiple opportunities for companies in the industry, which have the chance to innovate with new technologies and become even more sustainable through the new incentives.

This was precisely one of the key topics of the Exhibition’s inaugural event, which, in the presence of Valentino Valentini, Deputy Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Vincenzo Colla, Councillor for Economic Development and Green Economy, Labor, Training and International Relations of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Massimo Bugani, Councillor for the Digital Agenda of the Municipality of Bologna, Antonio Bruzzone, CEO of BolognaFiere, and Ivo Nardella, President Senaf – Tecniche Nuove Group, highlighted the role of the NRRP and incentives for the development of the sector.

Indeed, the MECSPE Observatory presented during the inaugural event highlighted the importance of 4.0 incentives used by 50 percent [1] of companies for their digitization and innovation development.

These have enabled entrepreneurs to make investments that they otherwise would be unable to make. In fact, the Observatory confirmed that 63 percent of entrepreneurs would not have invested, or would have invested less, without the incentives. Therefore, growth must continue through the new 5.0 measures that put the digital transition alongside the energy transition for a transformation of the industry in an increasingly sustainable direction.

In addition to the inaugural event, this issue was also addressed within the MECSPE LAB – Innovation Space context, which positioned itself as a promoter of technological innovation based on growing social and environmental awareness, taking into account, in particular, energy efficiency and compatible alternatives, in perfect coherence with the goals of Transition 5.0.

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MECSPE focused on a topic of primary importance for this year: the digital and energy transition, promoted by MIMIT’s Transition 5.0 Plan.

«The success of the 22nd edition of MECSPE underscores the fervor and determination of the Italian manufacturing industry to pursue innovation and embrace new challenges. – said Ivo Nardella, president of Senaf and Tecniche Nuove Group -. This edition, which follows more than 20 years of success, saw the participation of more than 66,000 visitors, 18 special initiatives, and 72 conferences, reconfirming MECSPE’s role as a point of reference for the sector and as a driving force for the industry. In fact, the fair allows for the joining of synergies and the transmission of the power of the industry, new ideas, training and information aimed at transforming innovation into concreteness, with a view to evolution toward new horizons of growth and development.»

Thanks to the German-Italian Forum: 2035 and the Automotive Supply Chain, now in its second year, the topic of transition was also addressed in a more international way. This year’s event focused on ways to adapt the automotive supply chain to respond to a technological transformation that takes into account the industry’s new energy challenges.

Second edition also for the Aluminium Energy Summit, organized by Metef, the international trade fair for the aluminum supply chain, which took stock of concrete contributions and technological solutions that the aluminum industry can activate to achieve circular economy and decarbonization goals.

Another priority theme running through the entire fair was training; MECSPE every year strives to bring young talents closer to the world of industry by offering them a platform to engage with companies and institutions.

In particular, the second day of Start-Up Factory, which was dedicated precisely to the future of education, had the honor of hosting Professor Patrizio Bianchi, former Minister of Education of the Italian Republic and Full Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Ferrara, who in his speech recalled the importance of innovating the ways of education in step with the needs of society, while also teaching values oriented not only to the individual but to the community.

Then again, innovation, sustainability, and education, with the development of new talent skills, were the three focuses of the fair, charting new directions for creating the industry of the future. The appointment to return to these issues is again at BolognaFiere with the next edition of MECSPE, at its 23rd edition, March 5-7, 2025.

Facts and figures of MECSPE BOLOGNA 2024

66,906 trade visitors, 92,000 square meters of exhibition space, 2,000 companies, 2,000 square meters of MECSPE LAB – Spazio Innovazione along with 18 special initiatives and 72 conferences.


[1] Manufacturing MECSPE Observatory conducted by GRS Ricerca e Strategia on a sample of 731 Italian manufacturing companies.