In Lombardy, the tradition of clusters generates innovation in ICT

Lombardy has a long tradition in the ICT and Media industry. Milan is now the point of reference of the Italian ICT industry.

Milan attracted the advertising industry at the end of the Seventies, when multinationals like Unilever and Nestlé moved part of their staff, originally headquartered in Rome, to the capital of Lombardy, which was going to become the economic capital of Italy. This was the starting point: advertising, market research, public relations, sales promotion and all the related services were at the end concentrated in Milan.

The rhythm and the speed of the city were suitable to keep up with the timing of marketing. Want to rent a dog for an advertising movie? Just select the specialist in the city. What about finding models for a campaign? The fashion industry brought to Milan the most famous model agencies. Need an international photographer? Just select from the hall of fame.

It was like the Golden Age and the cluster system worked very well: the deepest specialization was sustainable in an ecosystem where the big advertising groups used to hire freelancers for very specific services.

The advertising and communication business is still vital, even if renovated, and was the origin of the multimedia business, born to decrease the costs of advertising production and enhanced by the needs of the new private television networks booming at the end of seventies.

Nowaday, Milan ranks as the best Italian city for the quality of ICT clusters. Compared with other Italian cities, Milan offers the best cluster infrastructures, labour availability and quality.

The main industry association (Assinform and Assintel) are based in Milan, 23% of all Italian high tech companies are located in Lombardy, 65% of these are active in the IT industry and related activities, another 6% are primarily in the telecommunication field. Lombardy is the national leader for import and export in the telecommunication sector and accounts alone for more than a half of domestic interchange.

Lombardy is also the second European region for number workers employed in the publishing sector. Milan is the most important publishing centre of Italy and Lombardy is the second European region for number of workers employed in the publishing sector.

The environmental conditions for ICT in Lombardy are ideal: broadband is covering 96% of all users in Lombardy, Milan is covered by 4G, 60% of SMEs in Lombardy have higher investments and ICT facilities than the national average. The city is less extended in comparison to Rome, transfers are easy and quick.

High qualified human resources (e.g. engineers, skilled workers, etc.) have competitive salaries compared to other EU Countries. In the last five years a trend of nearshoring became evident, attracting to Milan ICT projects from abroad, especially Germany.

The ICT industry is, of course, crossing with innovation and 7 of 24 Italian ICT certified incubator are located in Lombardy:

Incubators are, of course, next to coworking spaces and related to the development of freelancers and startups: Milan is literally full of coworking spaces, the first network, called COWO, was started in the city and counts now alone about 40 venues in Lombardy.

*Land in Lombardy Partner

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