The Innovation Days 2018 Conference (hashtag #attendID) took place the week of June 25th in Detroit and Chicago, offering Midwestern and Canadian companies in the automotive, advanced manufacturing and robotics industries extensive opportunities to engage with a group of Italian delegates organized by the Italian Trade Agency via its Rome and Chicago Offices.

This weeklong program underscored Italy’s position as US top solution provider and encouraged engagements between some of Italy’s leading companies and universities as they continue to seek to expand existing relationships and build new ones with industry peers, suppliers and research centers.

The main event took place on Tuesday June 26th, when leaders and innovators came together at the DC3S Center for Collaboration and Synergy in Sterling Heights, MI, for a full day of panels, bilateral meetings and networking opportunities.

The conference addressed the following areas:

  • Advanced manufacturing and automotive: past trends, prospects and government policies

  • Industry 4.0 is now: advanced manufacturing and robotics at work

  • Automotive manufacturing and new technologies: trends and challenges

  • Invest in Italy: updates on reforms and opportunities

  • Innovation and the automotive supply chain

  • Research centers and academic institutions building public-private partnerships

The event was filled with inspiring talks and great opportunities to spread the seeds of innovation and growth for Italian and North American participants alike. A session of bilateral meetings was followed.

In the following days, Italian delegates had scheduled site visits and meetings arranged to foster relationships with several US counterparts, in addition to attending a networking event at the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago at the presence of the Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe Finocchiaro, and of the business community.  

On June 29th, the Italian delegation had planned site visits and one-to-one meetings with leading counterparts in the greater Rockford, Illinois area and explored synergies and partnership opportunities.

The Innovation Days 2018 Detroit-Chicago program had the official support of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Automation Alley, Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, Federmacchine, Italian-American Business Council of Michigan, Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers’ Association, Michigan Economic Development Council, Regional Growth Partnership (Toledo, Ohio), Rockford Area Economic Development Council and Oakland County (Michigan).