UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Exploring regional industrial transformation for a ‘just recovery’ in Emilia-Romagna

28 May 2020

IIPP is working with Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy on a just recovery response to both the COVID-19 crisis and the climate emergency.


IIPP’s incoming Head of Research, Professor Antonio Andreoni, is working with policy leads in Green Economy and Industrial Strategy Martha McPherson and George Dibb in a collaborative project towards a just transition in Emilia-Romagna.

The region of Emilia-Romagna is famous for its manufacturing industry, with a long-standing tradition of automotive manufacturing – home to Ferrari and Maserati – and food, with Bologna, seen by some as the food capital of Italy.  In the time of the climate crisis, the region is facing challenges in the quality of life of its residents, including industrial air pollution, and pressure on the car industry.

The project hosted its kick off meetings and planning workshops in April 2020, and the IIPP team is looking forward to working closely with regional innovation agency ART-ER, urban innovation specialists Fondazione Innovazione Urbana and strategic IIPP partner EIT Climate-KIC.

The project takes a cross-sectoral systems change lens, working together with local industry partners and policy-makers to explore pathways for a ‘just transition’ to a greener economy in the time of the climate crisis – a shift in industry and employment that prioritises workers’ rights and welfare. It is nested within IIPP’s ongoing workstream shaping the future of work and welfare, with research and policy projects in Spain, the UK and the US – work that has only become more complex, vital and pressing in the COVID19 crisis.

IIPP’s work in Emilia Romagna also forms part of the institute’s COVID-19 rapid response, which also includes economic advisory work with the Italian and South African governments, and the Vatican.

About the team

Professor Antonio Andreoni the academic lead for our work with Emilia-Romagna, is an industrial economist whose research has given particular emphasis to the entrepreneurial role of the state in creating and shaping the boundaries of the market and managing transitions. He has worked extensively in the region, exploring Emilia-Romagna’s industrial landscape and in particular its packaging and medical device sectors.

Martha McPherson, the project’s policy co-ordinator, heads up the New Innovation Paradigms project which this project has grown out of. New Innovation Paradigms has seen IIPP working closely with our partners at EIT Climate-KIC to explore and challenge the underlying economic paradigms at play in innovation landscapes across Europe, and to embed our work of rethinking value, transforming institutions, and market co-creating, at the centre of climate change innovation across Europe.

This project is funded by EIT Climate-KIC

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