The growing importance of the aerospace industry in Apulia, a region in the South-east of Italy, 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. The protagonists of this revolution are small and medium-sized enterprises which, together with an ever-increasing number of innovative start-ups, are becoming instrumental in developing innovative space services, technologies and products. We are bringing regional excellence and the results we have achieved in the aerospace industry to EXPO 2020 Dubai, during the thematic “Space Week”, scheduled from 17 to 23 October 2021. Through the exhibition “A journey into beauty and innovation: Apulia, the aerospace region”, we intend to showcase, in the White Space of the Italian Pavilion, a range of products and prototypes, technologies and inventions, which respond to three major challenges: Living & working in Space; Space for our planet; Innovation & Technology in the new space economy.

On display, in addition to performance clothing and food for astronauts, micro-satellites, technologies for earth observation, management and processing of satellite data, additive manufacturing, as well as products and prototypes in composite materials, all of which have been made possible by the regional R&I system, represented by the Polytechnic of Bari, the University of Salento and the University of Bari, research centres, the Technological Aerospace Cluster, in addition to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises.
We intend to tell the story of the key role of “small” regions and small businesses in the development of the global competitiveness of the aerospace industry. At the same time, we want to make the potential of Apulia known to a wider international audience, taking into account our ambitious plan for the creation of an aerospace industrial park at the airport of Grottaglie (Taranto), Italy’s first and only spaceport which is a strong contender to become the European hub for reusable space transportation systems.
Our journey to bring Apulia, the aerospace region, to EXPO 2020 Dubai, aims to foster new opportunities for collaboration and investment in a strategic sector at international level.

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