03 September, Il Sole 24 Ore
After ten years between red tape and court trials, the Council of State has eventually released the block on the construction for Tecnopolo in Bologna, the last piece of the ten infrastructures dedicated to industrial research and technology that will make the region of Emilia-Romagna the centre of innovation at national level. After the regional administrative court, also the highest administrative authority has rejected the appeal from the company Pessina Costruzioni Spa, which ranked second in the public tender to obtain the executive project as well as 56 million euro to implement the first buildings of the research hub. The facility will raise in place of the former tobacco factory between Via Stalingrado and Via Ferrarese, not far from the Bologna trade fair.
The verdict came on 27th August after a two-month wait, as the hearing by the fourth section took place on 3rd May and 45 days had already passed. The Region of Emilia-Romagna as well as the in-house company Finanziaria Bologna Metropolitana and Minelli Impresa – the company from Monopoli (Bari) that won the bid two years ago – had been waiting for this verdict. The group Pessina appealed against the three entities first with the regional administrative court, but it lost the cause in November 2017. It then appealed to the higher court, which confirmed the fairness of the regional administration.
“These are good news, although our program had a completely different schedule and the public tender was published according to the old regulation – explains the Regional Councillor for the production activities, Palma Costi –. What matters now is accelerating with the program to complete the executive plan as quickly as possible and launching the construction of an infrastructure that will enhance the scientific vocation of our territory. The new hub will attract highly-skilled professionals also from abroad, without considering the significant positive impact it will have on the industrial sector in terms of revenue”. The verdict concerns only the first lot of Tecnopolo. The European data centre for climate research will also raise in the same area, occupying another lot to be completed by summer 2019 and expected to be fully operational by 2020, as agreed with 22 European partners.
It’s not exactly a success, considering that the first framework agreement between the City of Bologna, the Province of Bologna and the Region of Emilia-Romagna regarding Tecnopolo dates back to 2006 and the public tender was published on February 2011. Besides, once the executive plan is approved, it will take other three years to complete the works. “We’re ready to go back to work right away. The staff and the means have been ready for a long time. It would have been great if we had able to resume the works a couple of months ago, rather than being stuck for administrative reasons. Such a dealy is also due to the Italian tendency of appealing when you don’t win a tender without taking responsibility for the damages caused to the people and the country because of the standstill”, commented the managers from Manelli. The company staffs about sixty people and has already implemented the Cnr offices, the new student halls and the Hera Ambiente headquarters in Bologna.
The 100 thousand Sq m area was designed in the Forties by Pierluigi Nervi. Today, the area is neglected and destined to become (with a 200-million-euro investment) the heart of technology and big data, the last of ten hubs spread across 20 locations. The site has been selected by the Region to develop research and technologic activities to support the regional manufacturing sector. The network, which is composed of 96 facilities (82 laboratories and 14 innovation centres) capillary distributed, is partly funded by the Por Fesr European funds. The EU funded the project with 252 million euro, split between 112 million during the first planning phase (2007-2013) and 140 million during the second phase (2014- 2020).
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi