Apulia, a dynamic region in the South-East of Italy, plays a leading role in today’s aerospace industry, with over 550 companies operating in the aerospace supply chain, in various fields of R&D and manufacturing, from the design and production of aircraft component and engines to space software, micro-satellites and E.O. solutions.

During the “Space Week” at EXPO 2020 Dubai, from 17th to 23rd October 2021, Apulia Region will be showcasing the pioneering technologies of Apulian companies and research centres at the Italy Pavilion, in an exhibition which will take you on a journey into the beauty of flight and space travel, through innovation.

On Monday 18th October 2021, an International Forum which will present the strategic role of Apulia in advancing autonomous access to space for Italy and the whole of Europe, as well as exploring the new frontiers of space transportation, with a focus on the potential of ESA’s Space Rider missions.

Discover the exhibition


A journey into beauty & innovation

Apulia the aerospace region

People have dreamed of flying and travelling to space for centuries. The history of aviation extends to over two thousand years, from the early attempts at kite flying in Ancient China, dating back to several hundred years B.C., to Leonardo Da Vinci’s dream of flying and designs for various forms of flying machines, dating from 1488, from the modern aeroplane, the first of which was famously invented and flown by the Wright brothers in 1903, to today’s new generation of spacecrafts which is making space exploration and space travel a reality for budding “space tourists” and not just for astronauts. The beauty of space has always been a source of inspiration to explorers and scientists and the evolution of flight and space travel has been powered by technological advancements, research and innovation.

From physics to chemistry, from material sciences to engineering, the pursuit of air travel and space exploration has produced revolutionary technologies and vastly broadened scientific knowledge, improving our everyday life in many ways.
Today, new technologies and a new entrepreneurial spirit are rapidly shaping the new space economy where SMEs are exploiting frontier technologies and the data revolution to play a key role and so small regions, such as Apulia, with a highly developed ecosystem for research and innovation are becoming essential to the competitiveness of the global aerospace industry.

Three major challenges

The exhibition “A journey into beauty and innovation: Apulia, the aerospace region” displays a range of inventions by Apulian SMEs, Universities and research centres which respond to three major challenges:


Living & working
in Space


Space for
our planet


Innovation & Technology
in the new space economy

The new space economy
in Apulia

The growing importance of the aerospace industry in Apulia is a clear example of how regional policies can drive strategic innovation. Over the past few years, thanks to a mix of public funded initiatives and incentives, the regional government has stimulated business investments totalling over 400 million euros in the aerospace industry in Apulia, which has become a global player, accounting for more than 11% of national industry exports in 2020.

In this scenario, the space sector is also becoming increasingly important for Apulia and so our region is preparing to play a key role in the new space economy. Regional investments in innovation have favoured collaboration between local companies, universities and the wider research ecosystem, fuelling technological progress and the entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of the new space economy.


List of projects