An event, 'Yi Tech', was hosted by Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, showcasing innovative Italian technology companies operating in China, and bringing together experts for a discussion on the future of such enterprises.

“Italy is among the top three countries manufacturing 20% of the products available on the global market,” said Roberto Donà (pictured below, left), professor of practice in the management group of International Business School Suzhou at XJTLU, and co-organiser of the event.

“Yet, what do people usually know about Italian Technology? The goal of this event is to showcase Italian excellence and to assess how we can contribute to China’s striving for economic growth and superior manufacturing,” he said.

The event was held in the South Campus International Research Centre, and was organised by XJTLU academics in collaboration with the Association of Italian Academics in China (AAIIC), and with the support of the Italian Embassy in China and the Italian Trade Commission.

An exhibition of posters from 25 Italian companies operating in China highlighted their innovative technologies, as well as their company histories and visions for the future.

“This exhibition presents students, researchers, and business leaders with examples of Italian excellence,” said event scientific expert Ruggero Canova, lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design at XJTLU.

Italian companies represented included those operating in the fields of mechanical engineering, mechatronics, manufacturing, and industrial automation, including Carel, Danieli, Pirelli, and Piaggio Group.

Following the exhibition, Dr Guido Giacconi (pictured below), chairman of business consultancy In3act, gave a keynote speech on Made In China 2025, the government’s action plan to transform China from the ‘factory of the world’ to a leader in innovation and high-end products, and how Italian businesses can take part in it.

Dr Giacconi’s speech was followed by a panel discussion on how academia, corporations, and professional services can cooperate to improve Italy’s involvement in MIC2025.

Peter Hawkins, a British manufacturing consultant who specialises in lean optimisation and who attended the exhibition, said that he thought China will face many hurdles in moving towards an innovation-based economy, as Chinese companies are traditionally reluctant to invest in research and development.

Roberto Donà introduced some of the University’s research centres, and the International Technology Transfer Centre that serves as a bridge between industry and academia to oversee the commercialisation of new technologies, of which he is co-director.

“The ITTC facilitates the links between research centres, new technology development, and company needs,” explained Roberto.

Additionally, Liting Zhang, business engagement manager at IBSS, introduced the Business School and its cooperation and collaborations with the corporate world.

Other companies that participated in the exhibition were Bonfiglioli, Brembo, Candy, Casappa, Comau, Corghi, Faist, Fameccanica, Fluid-o-Tech, Gefran, Loccioni, Magneti Marelli, Marchesi, Marpos, Mattei, Microtech, Pelliconi, Ponzini, SFH, Santoni, and System China.

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