The third edition of the “Mobility Observatory,” which reports up-to-date information on the state of development of Lombardy’s mobility industry and related Research Centers/Universities, is now available. The results were presented at the Cluster Assembly on June 28 in Milan. The economic and research and innovation achievements of the road vehicle, rail vehicle, marine and logistics industry sectors are covered. Indications on the performance of Research Centers and the University are also collected.

Below is a brief overview of the areas surveyed, taken from the latest edition (2018)


The “automotive” sector in the world, continues to be expanding, despite the state of crisis that has affected the economy especially in the West in recent years. Western countries have returned to pre-crisis production levels, with the exception of Japan, which is still growing, while emerging countries are rising sharply. This creates growing opportunities for those component companies that can offer technological excellence, rapid response, and the ability to work in codesign with end companies. Increasingly, in fact, business opportunities are being played out in the moments of vehicle project setup, when the terminal company’s partners must demonstrate autonomous proposition and development capabilities, within the assigned standards. It is a business model that has now been internalized for Italian companies and in particular those in Lombardy, which, making use of the skills they have acquired over time through their work with the national manufacturer and with European manufacturers, have long faced the challenges posed by the global market. In addition, the growth of vehicle volumes in Italy as well, starting in 2014, contributes to improving the welfare level of component companies.


The “railway” sector is essentially composed of the sub-sectors: Rolling Stock, Signaling & Telecommunications and Electrification, and moves within a framework in which globally there has been a growth in the three-year period 2013-2015 of 3 percent per year compared to the previous three-year period on the push of emerging countries, and forecasts show a still positive trend in the coming years with an estimated growth rate of 2.6 percent per year.
At the European level, this sector is central to the European Union’s strategy to improve environmental performance in the transport sector.In this regard, the European Union has set up a series of funds to co-finance or support projects related to rail infrastructure and has launched the Shift2Rail project, which is an initiative aimed at encouraging research and development in the rail field with funding of 450 mln euros in addition to the 470 mln euros from the major private industries in the sector.


In the recreational “boating” sector, according to data compiled by the Symbola Foundation, Edison Foundation, Assilea and Ucina, Italy ranks high in world rankings and is experiencing double-digit growth after the crisis period from 2008 to 2015, although, compared to 2008, the volume of business is still far lower.
More than 15 percent of global sales are generated by Made in Italy companies. It is an achievement that sees us first with 50 percent of the world’s production of yachts longer than 24 meters and second in the world, behind the United States, and first in Europe, for the production of pleasure yachts of shorter length. Italy ranks first in the world with a trade surplus generated by the entire industry of $1.7 billion. They are followed at a distance by Germany (1 billion) and the Netherlands (0.9 billion).
With more than 3.44 billion euros in 2016, Italy accounts for 10 percent of the world market for new recreational boats; in 2014 it was the second largest producing country in the world, after the United States (43 percent) and ahead of the United Kingdom (6.9 percent), the Netherlands (6.5 percent), Germany (6.4 percent), France (5.7 percent) and China (4.1 percent); in the market for boats over 24 meters, after several years of contraction, Italy is the leader (49 percent of world orders) ahead of the Netherlands and Turkey. There are more than 18,000 people employed in the nautical sector in Italy, and the contribution to the national GDP is 1.92‰.
In the “boating” sector, Lombardy ranks first in the number of companies and second in the number of employees; it represents the “backbone” of the production system, grouping the companies of the entire industry and its main sectors.


Logistics and freight transport are dealt with in the paper along with the fundamental topic of infrastructure and related scenarios, which concern Lombardy within an international and wide area (Alpine region) framework.
Road, rail, and node infrastructure (ports, airports, and intermodal centers) are in fact the backbone system of freight mobility and the key to business access in the global market. Lombardy’s position at the center of key European corridors (north-south “Rhine-Alps” and east-west “Mediterranean,” along with the Scandinavia-Mediterranean corridor across the Brenner Pass) and its economic and productive role, a leader in Italy and among the main “engines” of development at the European level, require coherent initiatives and investments on the front of ports (especially of Liguria), airports (Malpensa and Lombardy airport system), intermodal rail transport (to Switzerland), long-distance traffic (transalpine, including to Eastern Europe) and at the local level (distribution and accessibility sphere): in this area, large investments have been made in recent years at the regional level (over 10 bn euros) and as many are planned in the next decade.

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