MIND Innovation Week: The Present Projects into the Future

The second edition of the MIND Innovation Week, held between May 5th and 11th, is further testimony to “an increasingly vibrant and dynamic district, a hub attracting projects and investments for research, development, and training.” This is the comment from Fabrizio Zichichi, Executive Project Director at Lendlease, a company that, three years after the start of construction, has completed the multifunctional hub MIND Village, which today hosts over 40 entities and is frequented by more than 2,000 people daily.

The MIND Innovation Week offers an annual format dedicated to the great themes of our time, giving a voice to all the players in the MIND ecosystem. The second edition saw the participation of over 4,000 people, more than 25 events, 32 companies involved, and over 180 articles published by national and local press. During the week of events, the second edition of the MIND Annual Report was presented, with participation from all the district’s partners, along with the Minister of Economy Giancarlo Giorgetti, the President of Lombardy Attilio Fontana, and the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala. “MIND is the epitome of an urban regeneration project capable of creating conditions for organic development from an economic, social, and civil perspective,” commented Minister Giorgetti. “It is an example to replicate. The results achieved are thanks to a strategic partnership between the public and private sectors.”

A Week of Events

The week was marked by a series of events, workshops, talks, and networking moments that addressed current themes, projected into the future: from medicine to biotechnology, from circular open innovation to education, from clinical research to restoration, from life sciences to the energy and environmental sustainability of future cities, and social inclusion. Among the events, on May 8th, the convention “Biotech Future: Building the Future, the Role of the Biotechnologist” was organized by Federchimica Assobiotec in collaboration with Edra and ITT Biomed. The round table hosted prominent industry representatives, including Giorgia Iegiani, president of Italian biotechnologists, and Elena Peron from Sanofi. The discussion highlighted the value of the biotech sector, emphasizing that young graduates have multiple opportunities for success. The stories of researchers like Alessio Lanna, Laura Gerosa, and Antonio Idà demonstrate how a career in biotech can lead to significant discoveries and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Lendlease managed the entire week’s programming and organized some events with Arexpo, Fondazione Triulza, and Think Smart Mobility@MIND. For instance, they inaugurated the week with a focus on hydrogen in mobility and logistics, conducting the first test drive of a hydrogen bus and cars in Lombardy.

TED Talks: Inspiring Technology, Entertainment, and Design

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks were chosen as a starting point for some events organized with Federated Innovation. Starting with Carlos Moreno’s inspirational talk on smart cities, a conversation was initiated to discuss solutions and ideas that Federated Innovation actors are developing for a more sustainable future, accessible to both the environment and humans, where technology and human intelligence collaborate to improve the quality of life.

Furthermore, Lendlease and Federated Innovation, together with Berkeley Skydeck, organized the meeting “Innovate with Intention – How Innovation Ecosystems Generate Initiatives” with environmental and social impact. Responsible innovation is seen as the key to building an inclusive future capable of generating growth. The Companies Talks format included an event organized by the Municipality of Rho and Lendlease focused on Netflix, highlighting how the platform not only sells movies or series but connects people to desired stories and places. On the occasion of the International Day for Safety and Health at Work, Lendlease organized the Safety Day Celebration to promote a culture of safety in a safe and protected working environment.

“It was a privilege to be an active part of such an ecosystemic initiative, bringing MIND and Italian innovation to the center of the European and global stage,” comments Domenico D’Alessio, Director of Marketing Europe at Lendlease. “To nurture and grow with the attitude that has always characterized Lendlease.” The MIND Innovation Week proved capable of speaking to everyone, from students to researchers, from new technology professionals to curious citizens, demonstrating the value and identity of the innovation district.