Major collaboration between the University of Pavia and Arexpo for the Parco Gerolamo Cardano for Sustainable Innovation


University of Pavia Rector Francesco Svelto and Arexpo Managing Director Igor De Biasio signed a collaboration agreement today to initiate the creation of an innovation ecosystem in Pavia comprising a network of public institutions and businesses, with the pivotal support of Regione Lombardia.


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A major agreement between the University of Pavia and Arexpo has been presented today to initiate work on the Parco Gerolamo Cardano for Sustainable Innovation, an initiative promoted by the University of Pavia in concert with other local institutions to support applied research and development united with entrepreneurial planning.

Speaking at the presentation were the Rector of the University of Pavia (UNIPV) Francesco Svelto, the Managing Director of Arexpo Igor De Biasio, the mayor of Pavia Fabrizio Fracassi, and the Vice Rector of the Third Mission of the University of Pavia Hellas Cena.

PARCO CARDANO – The “Parco Gerolamo Cardano for Sustainable Innovation” will include the University of Pavia’s “Centre for Research and Training” and infrastructure for technological innovation for use by private enterprises that are interested in developing applied research projects. The Park will be located in the Cravino area on land belonging to UNIPV.

PARK THEMES – Parco Gerolamo Cardano will focus on sustainable innovation in environment and health in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the thematic objectives of the European Green Deal. Enterprises in four industries have already expressed interest in the Park: Health, Agrifoods, Information Technology, and New Materials.


THE CONTRIBUTION OF REGIONE LOMBARDIA – The project aligns with Regione Lombardia objectives for economic recovery and stimulus. With its Deliberation no. XI/4381 of 3 March 2021, the Regional Council earmarked 12 million euros for the creation of the Centre for Research and Training in the Park.

The agreement with Regione Lombardia stipulates completion of the Centre for Research and Training by the end of 2023. The Centre will bring enterprises in contact with the eighteen departments of the University of Pavia and other research centres in the city (three Clinical Research and Health Facilities [Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico – IRCCS], the National Research Council [CNR], IUSS School for Advanced Studies of Pavia, the National Oncological Particle Therapy Centre [Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologica – CNAO], and the Fondazione Eucentre), as well as providing them with opportunities for training and targeted learning.


AREXPO and UNIPV – The collaboration with the University of Pavia marks a new phase in the Arexpo strategy. This is one of Arexpo’s first initiatives outside of the MIND project, and the goal is to disseminate throughout Lombardy the logic and practices of innovation based on the cooperative involvement of public institutions and private enterprises.

Arexpo is a corporation owned by the Ministry of Economics and Finance (MEF), Regione Lombardia, the Municipality of Milan, and Fondazione Fiera Milano. It has specific experience and expertise in urban regeneration projects and is currently engaged in the development of the Milano INnovation District (MIND) on the former Expo Milano 2015 site.

THE AGREEMENT – Thanks to the agreement with the University of Pavia, Arexpo can make a significant contribution to the planning, design, construction, and management of high-tech infrastructure in the Park. In particular, Arexpo will provide procurement services for the competitive tender procedures, design, and the construction of the Centre for Research and Training. It will also generate assessments and proposals to establish collaborations between public institutions and

private enterprises dedicated to scientific/technological research and innovation, work to select an institutional real estate management fund, and make its network of international relations available to the project.

THE COORDINATION COMMITTEE – A Coordination Committee will be established to coordinate and monitor the activities provided in the agreement. It will be composed of six members: three from the University of Pavia and three from Arexpo.


Statement by the Regione Lombardia Commissioner for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation, and Simplification Fabrizio Sala: “One of Regione Lombardia’s objectives is to ensure continuing collaboration among institutions, universities, and businesses to support applied research and planning by Lombard companies. Research centres are fundamental for facilitating and stimulating innovation in scientific research in order to create fertile ground for the creation and development of innovative projects that can be marketed with immediate effects on employment and professions. Parco Gerolamo Cardano is the perfect embodiment of our vision of future research: a network of enterprises connected to the university, working in close contact with all the regional players. It is a new phase in our strategy of innovation that fosters public-private synergies. These synergies already work well in Lombardy and we want to export them to the rest of the country.”

Statement by Arexpo Managing Director Igor De Biasio: “The agreement with the University of Pavia for initiating work on Parco Gerolamo Cardano for Sustainable Innovation represents a very important step forward for Arexpo, as our first project outside of the MIND initiative. However, there are many points of contact between the Pavia project and the Milano Innovation District, starting with the decision to focus on innovation. Arexpo will be a leader in this project, which unites a major university, the regional institutions, and the excellences in the private sector into a new public-private ecosystem for innovation, which is needed so that our region and the entire country will be able to undertake the great challenges awaiting us in the near future.”

Statement by University of Pavia Rector Francesco Svelto: “The partnership that is taking wing today fully reflects the strategy of the University of Pavia, which aims to increase the impact of its institutional missions on society. In particular, Parco Gerolamo Cardano establishes a bridge between the university and businesses under the banner of innovation. Arexpo, a well organized public corporation, will provide a key contribution to the development of the initiative from the international perspective. The effective support of Regione Lombardia for this project has been a determining factor, providing funding for the Centre for Research and Training.”

Statement by the Mayor of Pavia Fabrizio Fracassi: “Last 15 April, during the presentation of the plan for Parco Gerolamo Cardano for Sustainable Innovation at the University of Pavia, I called this idea, one that embodies a great deal of mutual ambitions, a first step towards an Italian Silicon Valley—or perhaps better to call it a Ticinum Valley—symbol of an alliance among research, the public and private spheres, and entrepreneurship in the service of people. Today we are taking another step in this direction: a step towards a Renaissance in our city that projects Pavia into a national and even European leadership position in the fields of innovation, eco-sustainability, and the green and circular economy. With this project, which is also an alliance among public agencies, we have chosen not to place limits on the future of our city and I would like to personally thank all the people and organizations that are making this dream possible, starting with the University of Pavia, Regione Lombardia, and Arexpo S.p.A., which is joining us today in this grand plan.”


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