Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ferrari Unveils New F1 Car For 2014

Will this be the design to bring them back to the Constructors pinnacle?

Ferrari is basically the only team in F1 where the car arguably matters more than the drivers. While Alonso and Raikkonen will look to win a title, the Ferrari mystique remains a top priority has it always had throughout its illustrious history.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Alenia Aeronautical's Aviation Design

Alenia (Aermacchi) Aeronautica manufacturers the C-27J Spartan transport aircraft principally used by the Italian, Greek and soon Australian (2015) air forces as well as the USAF for its Joint Cargo aircraft. Its production is nor estricted to airplanes and includes drones and missiles both as Alenia and in collaboration with other manufacturers.

Website here.

Among its successes it includes the unmanned combat air vehicle (fancy way of saying drone) Sky-X and Alenia ITV:

"...The Alenia ITV is a technology demonstrator aircraft developed in Italy in the early 21st century. In the spring of 2003, Alenia Aeronautica of Italy unveiled a non-flying ground-test prototype of a half-scale UCAV demonstrator, known as an "Integration Technology Vehicle (ITV)", with a flight prototype to follow."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Role Of Venice In The History Of Business

Florence is often cited as the spiritual and practical head of capitalism where Western civilization is concerned. However, it wasn't the only big player in the most successful economic system ever devised.

Before it there was Venice and still before each existed Rome. Once their economic relevance passed Italy came to have its famous Milan-Torino-Genoa economic triangle in the 20th century.  In this way, it should surprise absolutely no one why Italy possesses the business, manufacturing and industrial heritage it possesses.

Business Insider summarizes the long, complicated Venetian business culture pretty well.

Genoa is of particular interest. A fierce rival of Venice during the Middle-Ages, it managed to maintain its economic prowess well into the 20th century.

Interestingly, the contemporary talk of globalization was no different back then. Globalized trade has always been with us and Venice and Genoa were perfect examples of this phenomena. Italian merchants were trading as far off as the Volga river during the early Middle-Ages.

The innovations found in Venice (the birthplace of capitalism) remain with us to this very day from double-entry book keeping, bank deposit processes and joint-stock companies. As a uniquely and strictly business society (Yes, it owes much of it success to generous treaties with Byzantium as the article mentions, but Venice earned those stripes in blood and money by defending Byzantium - spiritual head of the Roman empire whom the Venetians descended from - right until it was toppled by the Turks in 1453. It also took to Crusading as a lucrative endeavor)  it only make sense they would come up with new innovations to match increasingly complex commercial practices.

Between Rome, Florence, Genoa and Venice Italy has provided a lasting massive influence and impact on modern business.

It's interesting to note, and this is the purpose of this blog, that today travelers and tourists come to Italy for its art and architecture but this neglects (to me anyway) its commercial and industrial heritage roots.

After all, grandeur and beauty comes usually after you have the funds to pay for it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Solar Energy Growing In Italy

May as well keep in with the Green theme.

Rete Rinnovabile (RTR) is a leading solar company in Europe and largest solar energy producer in Italy.

RTR is Italy's largest solar energy producer, and one of Europe's leading companies in this sector. Supported by its shareholder Terra Firma, RTR quickly built the largest solar portfolio in Italy, displaying leadership and management capabilities at the highest levels.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fashion: Italian Made Goods Remain Popular

Fashion/textile industry proposals to Italian policy makers. Read here:

Intesa Sanpaolo and Sistema Moda Italia: together to help textile and fashion manufacturers grow in international markets
In 2012 exports of textiles & clothing stabilised at 2011 levels
Exports: excellent results, particularly in Russia (+10.9%), Japan (+16.8%), the US (+17.3%) and China (+18.7%)
Internationalisation, growth and innovation: strategic leverages to economic recovery.
"...Since domestic demand is expected to remain weak throughout 2013, companies in the fashion industry will need to place even greater emphasis on exports, prioritise the qualityy of their products and seek out new sources of growth in foreign markets, where demand is picking up and Italian-made goods are particularly popular."
 For Italian companies, exporting and 'globalizing' is key to their success:

“Italy is making an increasing name for itself as a manufacturer of luxury goods for
consumers a result, it is becoming ever more urgent to safeguard the entire supply chain. Companies upstream are being worst affected: textile exports fell by 3.6% in 2012 and our main textile manufacturing areas are at risk, with export figures well below the pre-crisis levels. However, there are also some fineexamples of textile manufacturers who have improved their results by prioritising qualityand globalisation."

Italy's High-Speed Trains Offer Advanced Technology

From Forbes:

"Right now, Italy is Europe’s cutting-edge country when it comes to high-speed trains. It not only has two versions, but they’re competing in a socialist-capitalist drama. In one corner is Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa, Italy’s state-owned TGV, and in the other, the privately owned Italo, which launched in April. It was created by two of Italy’s most powerful businessmen, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, CEO of Ferrari, and Diego Dalle Valle, CEO of Tod’s.  In effect, Montezemolo and Dalle Valle said to Trenitalia, “see you and raise you one.”

Bold mine - and no kidding.

There are wrinkles they need to weed out but it's a start. Anytime the free-market is given a chance the consumer stands to gain.

More Green News

While Italy has cracked into the top 10 in terms of green investment behind USA, UK, Germany, Spain and Canada, there are challenges.

From Eurofound:

"Two distinctive features of Italy’s “green agenda” emerge from this CAR. Firstly, as stressed by the social partners concerned, Italian legislation on renewable energy is incomplete. The 2008 Budget Law mentions various measures, but they have not yet been implemented. Also lacking is a systematic concern with economic and, especially, employment potential. Scant references are made to incentives for training or to enterprise start-ups in this sector. The second feature is the influence of the territorial variable on the quantity and the quality of the ‘green’ initiatives undertaken. In fact, some regions are much more active than others."

Still, there are positives from Panorama:

"It is interesting to notice that Green Italy report has counted nearly 40 per cent of Italian companies belonging to the “green” category, and that this sector has planned to employ 216,500 people in 2013, which means a bit more than a third of new jobs that will be offered in Italy this year (563,400), usually with long-terms contracts rather than seasonal ones. 

Less surprising is the fact that these companies have been responsible of more than 60 per cent of research and development hires in Italy, and nearly half of their workers is under 30.
The report states that this trend will surely strengthen in the near future, and it stresses that this evolution will have a strong impact on Italian exports. To confirm this forecast, the report highlights that in 2012, 42 per cent of Italian green companies found it easy to sell their products abroad.
Finally, green companies have also been praised for their innovative touch. GreenItaly report highlighted that 30.4% green groups recently approached the market with entirely new products or services, compared to 16.8% of non-green companies. 

A few years ago, green economy was approached as an answer to the crisis itself. Since then, it has not disappointed any expectation."

According to Innovasjon, the Italian green economy is booming and see opportunities for Norwegian companies to invest in Italy:

"Italy still represents one of best market for the companies operating in the green economy sector. This is what is reported in the survey "Green Economy on capital markets 2012" carried out by Vedogreen and published on the occasion of the presentation of the "Good Energy Award 2013". The study stresses how Italy despite a slowdown during the first quarter of 2012, still offers the best market opportunities, with increasing incomes of seven percent."


Greening Italy: Italian Companies Jump On Green Technology

Italy increasing investment in 'green technology' as it sees it as a way out of an economic recession with 20% of companies now investing in it - particularly with regards to the high unemployment rates among the young.

From Gazzetta del Sud:

''Not only is there an Italy which is making it thanks to the green economy, but the green economy can help the country make it'', said Environment Minister Andrea Orlando at the presentation of the fourth annual 'GreenItaly' study in Milan on Monday. 

 Data from the report ''showed that those who invested in the green economy proved more resilient during the crisis and succeeded better in taking advantage of the recovery'', added Orlando. The green economy sector, which is based on sustainable development, social equity, and the reduction of environmental risks, attracted companies which ''invested in innovation, technology and research''. 

Firms investing in the green economy will be making 38% of all projected hires in the industrial and services sectors this year - an estimated 216,500 out of a total of 563,000, the report found. 

Green economy companies moreover will make up 61.2% of all research and development hires in Italy and 42% of all hires of workers under 30 in 2013. Youth unemployment in Italy reached a record of 40.1% last month. Eco-friendly investments have benefited exports with 42% of the 34,000 Italian green manufacturing firms exporting their products abroad in 2012. 

Green firms also tend to be innovators. In the manufacturing sector, 30.4% of green firms produced entirely new products or services compared to 16.8% of non-green enterprises. More than half of Italy's green firms - 52% - are based in the northern Lombardy region which has 60,000 eco-enterprises, 18% of the total, the report found. Italy's capital Rome Is the province with the largest number of companies investing in the green economy with 20,450 firms, about 6.2% of the total. The country's financial capital Milan follows with Turin, in the North-West, and Naples and Bari in the South. About 28.5% of green firms are based in the South, followed by central Italy which has 19.8%. On a regional level, the north-eastern Veneto region has 30,670 green companies - 9.4% of the total - followed by the central Emilia-Romagna and Lazio with 28,000 companies each, 8.6% of the total, then Piedmont, Campania, Tuscany, Puglia, Sicily and Marche. 

According to Ermete Realacci, who chairs the Symbola Foundation and the Lower House environment committee, investing in the green economy also implies investing in innovation and quality. ''Saying that 'when Italy acts, Italy makes it' can sound like a slogan but it's true'', he said."