The Lombardy health system, after becoming aware of the gaps that emerged in health risk planning and the consequent initial difficult reaction to the pandemic, has reacted with pride by starting to face the future with a well-planned, organic approach capable of dealing with emergencies.

Lombardy is the Italian region with the most developed Life Sciences supply chain in economic terms and with sustained and above-average growth rates: with a production value of 71 billion euros, over 25 billion in added value and 355 thousand employees, according to the Assolombarda 2020 Report. The Region can also boost a manufacturing export value of 8.2 billion (24% of the entire sector), as stated in unison by Assolombarda Vice President in charge of Life Science Sergio Dompè, President of Aschimfarma-Federchimica Paolo Russolo, and President of the Cdmo-Specialists of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of Farmindustria Giorgio Bruno. Moreover, as emerged at the latest exhibition of the pharmaceutical world, the CPHI Worldwide, held at Fiera Milano Rho from 9 to 11 November 2021, Lombardy is the first Region in Italy for investments in Research and Development, in the areas of pharmaceutical production of active ingredients and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (Cdmo), which amount to over 400 million euros.

The future of Milan matches with the Mind Ecosystem and in particular with Federated Innovation for Life Sciences, of which I am proud to be a founding member with the Be Whiz | Beside You Group structure, together with prominent companies such as Novartis, Astrazeneca, Bracco, Nippon Gasses, Stavanato-Group, SynLab and Accenture. It is a cutting-edge model based on the public-private collaboration of universities, research centres and companies, which aims to share resources, technologies and programmes to stimulate and support the development of innovation and business sustainability initiatives, an ideal reference point for innovative start-ups in the Life Sciences sector.

The Mind (Milano Innovation District) model is designed to prepare the ground for the birth and development of truly innovative start-ups in the sector and the consequent employment of qualified human resources.

The areas of consultancy that I have brought together within the Beside You group, from professional corporate consultancy to more innovative areas such as corporate sustainability and technology finance, together with the focus on the Life Sciences area, help to create a perfect environment for the rapid and solid growth of innovative initiatives in the Life Sciences sector both at home and abroad.

Milan, as a metropolitan area and the hub of Lombardy, has the characteristics to act as a centre of excellence in the sector in Italy and in other countries such as Germany and France.

This is also demonstrated by the fact that Milan is trying to consolidate its presence at events dedicated to the sector, such as CPhI Worldwide (Chemical Pharmaceutical Ingredients), an event representing the entire supply chain of the pharmaceutical industry, which involved 170 countries around the world, with a total of around 800 companies in the sector, 20% of which were Italian, representing all the links in the pharmaceutical chain: from the companies in the Cdmo, to the producers of active ingredients and excipients, from those of machinery, to packaging, to finished products, not forgetting the suppliers of outsourcing services.

Thanks to events such as the latter, and to the development of innovative ecosystems such as Federated Innovation-Mind, the Life Sciences sector can count on an important and articulated set of investors, companies, training and research institutes, and a useful area for the birth and development of start-ups in the sector, while also enriching itself with an area of international relations and networking.

We now need to continue to stimulate the growth of the Lombardy Life Sciences sector, also through greater cooperation between all the players involved – public, private, third sector, voluntary and pharmaceutical sectors – an articulated ecosystem aimed at strengthening our health service, attracting new investments, new highly innovative manufacturing companies and enhancing centres of excellence such as Mind”, thus making it increasingly capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

Fulvio Mastrangelo