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The Italian Way: capital equipment and sustainability

Monday 03 Aug 2020

The sixth The Italian Way event, organised by UniCredit in collaboration with Federmeccanica and Fondo Metasalute, focused on capital equipment and sustainability

The capital equipment sector has been tested by the pandemic. With more than 13,000 companies, the sector generates added value of around €59 billion and contributes over 1% of Italy’s GDP. The sector however shows a good resistance thanks to innovation in supply chains and exports, valid levers on which it can restart.

The sixth The Italian Way eventfocused on capital equipment and sustainability, was held on 21 July in Bologna in partnership with Federmeccanica and Fondo Metasalute, Italian capital machinery federation and the Italian health fund dedicated to steelworkers. 

Joining the discussion on how to restart the sector were Andrea Casini, Co-CEO Commercial Banking Italy UniCredit; Andrea Burchi, Regional Manager Centre North UniCredit; Alberto Dal Poz, President FedermeccanicaLuigia Mirella Campagna, Industry Expert UniCredit; Lucio Poma, Scientific Manager Industry and Innovation Nomisma SpAElio Catania, President Digital technical group Confindustria and President Quid Informatica S.p.A.; Antonello Marcucci, President Umbra Group and Advisory Board Member Centre North UniCredit; Carmelo Giuffré, Founder and Managing Director IRRITEC S.p.A and Advisory Board member UniCredit Sicily; Antonella Candiotto, General Manager Galdi srl and member General Council of FedermeccanicaMichele Poggipolini, Executive Director Poggipolini Spa and President young entrepreneurs Confindustria Emilia. 

UniCredit Sector report


The sector has been impacted by the crisis

Capital equipment constituted the largest segment of the manufacturing sector. It is made up of 13,000 companies that generate an added value of almost €59 billion a year and contribute to more than 1% of Italy’s GDP. It is a very cyclical sector and the economic impact of the heath emergency has been very negative. In 2020, we expect a drop in revenues of around 30-35%.


Exports: pros and cons in the post-Covid era

After Germany and China, Italy is the third-largest exporter in the world of capital instruments. The drop in global demand determined by the pandemic jeopardises foreign revenues. However, the large number of export markets (the top10 countries represent only 50% of the sector’s export levels) have allowed the sector to achieve a good differentiation in sales for each geographical area.


The sub-sectors hit by the Covid emergency 

The hardest hit sub-sectors are machine and textile industry tools, clothing and leather, metalworking machines. Less impacted are the sub-sectors of robotics, packaging, food & drink and paper processing machines.


The pillars to restart: innovation, supply chains and diversification

This crisis will impose the search for new entrepreneurial models to build a new beginning. The most strategic themes for the sector remain: innovation (the crisis has accelerated the path towards digitalisation and sustainability); supply chains (the pandemic has highlighted the importance of proximity and the need to have access to a network of distributors); and, lastly, the diversification of products, markets and sales channels. 

Speaker quotes

Andrea Casini, Co-CEO Commercial Banking Italy UniCredit

“UniCredit is at the forefront – as a bank, supporter and exchange and networking hub – in helping Italy’s manufacturing sector. Capital equipment is an industry we support strongly in terms of supply chains, innovation and export strategies”

Lucio Poma, Scientific Manager Industry and Innovation Nomisma SpA

“Cultural changes lead companies to consider digitalisation as a big stream of knowledge across the global value chain that leads to reducing the gap between the secondary and tertiary sectors”

Elio Catania, President Digital technical group Confindustria and President Quid Informatica S.p.A

“The ability to manage complexities will be a success factor over the coming months. Digital technology is rightly amongst Italy’s top priorities”

Alberto Dal Poz, President Federmeccanica

“We must place a lot of attention on supply chains in order to save a system which is more fragile and compromised by the recession and the pandemic. This system, made up of subcontractors, is at the base of the Italy’s capital equipment added value but has barely been touched by digitalisation and sustainability”

Antonello Marcucci, President Umbra Group and Advisory Board Member Centre North UniCredit

“The three post-Covid drivers for us are: independent digital investments (also intended as verticalisation); social sustainability and not only environmental one; M&A acceleration to increase company size and to consolidate SMEs in the supply chain”

Carmelo Giuffré, Founder and Managing Director IRRITEC S.p.A and Advisory Board member UniCredit Sicily

“Keeping a trustworthy relationship with our clients and continuing to pursue our company values characterised by a commercial ethic are key factors that help us tackle this historical moment”

Antonella Candiotto, General Manager Galdi srl and member General Council of Federmeccanica

“The pandemic has pushed us to significantly accelerate projects that were dormant for quite a while. Collaborators and clients have understood the importance of web platforms and digital projects that had been developed over the years but never considered to the full”

Michele Poggipolini, Executive Director Poggipolini Spa and President young entrepreneurs Confindustria Emilia

“Thanks to open innovation and working closely with innovative start-ups, we are exploring new digital solutions that will allow us to develop new business models. In this historical moment, technology-sector SMEs are truly an added value to our business landscape”

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