Located in the north of Italy, at the heart of the most economically advanced European area, Lombardy is a bridge to the Mediterranean Sea. Its strategic location places it geographically on the principal eastwest axis of Europe too. Lombardy’s surface area is nearly 24,000 square kilometres and it has almost 10 million inhabitants; this makes it comparable to a nation.
Lombardy’s GDP is €331 bn, about 21% of Italy’s GDP. In terms of economic performance, Lombardy’s GDP is higher than that of Norway, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Portugal, and it is rated second for GDP among European regions (Source: Eurostat); for population, Lombardy is the 3rd highest populated region in Europe, after Île-de-France and Baden-Württemberg.
Lombardy is the leading provider of financial services in Italy: 19.9% of the Italian added value produced by the financial sector comes from this region. The national Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, is located in Milan.
Entrepreneurship in Lombardy is both widespread and dynamic, and it shows an international standard in the search for innovation, development and technology. 821,819 registered enterprises (about 16% of the national total) are based in Lombardy. Despite wide deindustrialization throughout the 90s, 34% of the workforce is still employed by industry. The productive sector is dominated by micro and small enterprises, mainly grouped into industrial districts and networks. Lombardy is one of the most specialized areas in Europe for technologically advanced products. There are 68,000 people working in high tech manufacturing, making Lombardy the 5th region in Europe in this respect. There are nine technology clusters, one of which awarded with the Gold Label (Cluster for Energy and Environment ) and eight with the Bronze Label (aerospace, agrofood, green chemistry, intelligent factory, mobility , life sciences , smart cities and communities , technologies for the living environments), with more than 660 stakeholders of the Lombardy innovation ecosystem (compared to 560 in 2015).
Lombardy is the leading region in Italy for foreign direct investments and is now considered the 10th most attractive European region for investors (Ernst&Young).
The Region is a renowned centre of creativity, particularly in fashion, advertising and industrial design. The university system in Lombardy comprises 13 universities: 7 public universities, 5 private universities and 1 higher education centre. In addition to universities, Lombardy hosts several prominent centers for research, both private and public, among which there are 12 institutes of the National Research Council (CNR) out of 107 in Italy (Source: CNR) and 17 teaching and research hospitals (out of 42 Italy-wide). In Lombardy there are 6 scientific and technology parks, active in the energy, agro-food, aerospace, life sciences, bio-and nano-technologies, and new materials sectors.
Lombardy is the main logistical hub in Italy, both in terms of flows generated and concentration of management activities. Lombardy is also a leader in Italy for its energy infrastructure. Excluding energy from hydroelectric plants, the production of energy from renewable sources has increased 285% since 2000. Today 36.5% of the energy capacity in Lombardy is from renewable energy sources, thus contributing to the achievement of the EU 2020 targets.
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