Competence Center


1,960 exhibitors, a 92,000 sqm exhibition area, 13 halls, 46 special initiatives, with conferences to boost this sector’s recovery, underpinned by digitalisation, sustainability, and training

Milan, 11th October 2021 – the 19th edition of MECSPE is nearly here, the key event of Italy’s manufacturing industry, on from 23rd to 25th November at Bologna Fiere, with 92 thousand sqm of exhibition space, 18 halls, 13 exhibitions, 46 special initiatives and conventions, and over 1,960 exhibiting companies.

For the first time ever, scheduled initiatives will include a focus on Competence Centres, introduced by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development in 2018, as part of the National Industrial Plan 4.0, with the purpose of assisting companies on aspects like training, digitalisation and the development of innovation, in the field of Industry 4.0.  Italy is continuing to grow, as shown by estimates recently disclosed by the government, with a GDP growth forecast of 6% for 2021; as confirmed by latest Eurostat data, our Company is in the lead in terms of industrial production recovery, up 20% this year. Therefore economic recovery rates trace a path which looks to the future with renewed positivity, casting the world of businesses into the thick of the fourth industrial revolution.

In such a context, MECSPE is an important opportunity for finding out more about companies dedicated to supporting businesses through their digital transition and in the development of innovative and highly competitive technologies on the national and international market. In light of all this, the Competence Centre Plaza  has been created (hall 21, Bologna Fiere), as an opportunity for discovering the uniqueness of the six Competence Centres present at MECSPE, with orientation and training activities, as well as innovative projects in the field of Industry 4.0. MECSPE Observatory data on the 2nd quarter of 2021 reveal that just 8% of companies have worked with Competence Centres or Digital Innovation Hubs, and many are yet to get to know them (46%), despite the fact that over a third of respondents confirmed their ability to support companies in building and experimenting with Industry 4.0 projects. Therefore, we need to accelerate cultural change by informing supply chain players, so that they can attract young people to the smart factory world.

At the Competence Centre Plaza, visitors will have the chance to interact in person with Competence Centres specialised in 5G, Additive Manufacturing, Big Data, Cyber security, Digitalisation, Artificial Intelligences and Robotics. The Plaza will be divided into a Demo area, where some of the projects already completed by Competence Centres will be on display, together with companies supported by them from 2018 to the present day, and a Speech area, for short training sessions on available services, and an area dedicated to trade, where it will be possible to speak with heads of Centres to identify the most fruitful forms of partnership for your company. The following companies will participate in the 19th edition of MECSPE: ARTES 4.0, BI-REX, CIM 4.0, MADE, SMACT and START 4.0.

  • ARTES 4.0, based in Pisa, will present projects funded by competitions for companies, including icone®, the first all-in-one, plug-and-play, transportable and cloud connected robotics system, for the neuro-rehabilitation of upper limbs, also certified for non-hospital use.
  • BI-REX, the Bologna-based Competence Centre specialised in Big Data, will present projects including one focused on the development of Additive Manufacturing technologies in the mechanics industry, from design to build.
  • CIM 4.0, The Turin-based Manufacturing 4.0 Competence Centre will present its own services, including the Digital Factory pilot line, a laboratory for testing the operation of a fully digitalised and connected line and its training offering, which includes Learning Hub courses, at CIM 4.0, and the CIM4.0 Academy, an upper education path designed and implemented in partnership with the School of Master’s and Lifelong Training of the Polytechnic University of Turin.
  • The exhibition by MADE, the Milan-based smart factory, will be built around four projects, including a 3D printed insole that is highly customisable and fitted with IoT sensors, and a smart vehicle (UGV) for the building and management of data on the subsoil, infrastructures and the environment.
  • SMACT, The Padua-based Competence Centre, will present a few videos and projects implemented in the Triveneto area, including innovative technological solutions and “use cases” regarding digitalisation, 3D scanning and relative machine learning algorithms.
  • The Genoa-based START 4.0 will present three highly innovative projects including Genova 5G, which paves the way for the spread of important services for the community, contributing towards the creation of a smart city in which people, vehicles and infrastructures communicate and interact in real time.

MECSPE is the ideal place for exponents of the manufacturing industry to meet to delve into key trends. Digitalisation, training and sustainability will be major topics of this edition, as part of a necessary path, embraced by the exhibition event in a multitude of special initiatives. One stands out in particular: Gamification: the limitless factory, the beating heart of the entire event. Here, amid demonstrative, interactive and experiential activities, exhibitors and visitors can gain first-hand experience of the new concept of factory: smart, technological and capable of captivating young people, drawing them into a world which needs to attract talent of tomorrow in order to grow.


Companies are learning that green is a concept they will need to embrace in the future and although 40% of companies declare themselves as already “green”, there is still a need to attract investments and improve reputation as far as sustainability is concerned. The ECOfriendly pathway– “Io faccio di più”, (I do more) is the MECSPE space dedicated to the exploration of such topics, where companies that have distinguished themselves by embracing an increasingly green and ecofriendly path in production processes and in the production and commercialisation of bio or recycled products, will have the opportunity to present their latest ideas. The Design Area by Materioteca will be dedicated to the “Blue Economy”.


There is still so much more to MECSPE. In partnership with Gellify, an innovation platform that connects B2B start-ups, the Solution Award and the Robotic Innovation Prize are back, created by the journal Automazione Integrata and dedicated to those who own an innovative application, in their capacity as technology providers. Startup Factory is the project conceived to encourage dialogue between startups and SMEs who aim to promote their competitiveness and present themselves to stakeholders of the manufacturing industry.


The 2021 edition of MECSPE will also be rich in conventions and focus moments, including the Simulation Summit, in partnership with E-FEM, for CAE (Computer-aided engineering) users, engineers, mechanics, players and stakeholders of the market, with the aim of encouraging aware and effective use of simulation in product development, with different focus moments on challenges of the future. Numerous associations will also be present at this new Bologna-based edition. TMP (the Italian Association of Plastic Material Technicians) is the organiser of the eponymous plaza, where some member companies, active in various segments like polymerisation, mould construction and moulding, compounding and distribution, will be presented. AIDAM (the Italian Association of Automation and Mechatronics) will also participate, with a round table on training and finding new school-company integration models for young mechatronic technicians. The ASCOMUT Village (Italian Association of Machinery, Technology and Tools) is a rich exhibition area dedicated to importers, subsidiaries of foreign manufacturers and distributors of machines, tools, measuring and control instruments.

Lastly, the Foundry Plaza by METEF, will include a training and exhibition area promoted by METEF, the international aluminium exhibition, which has teamed up with associations the calibre of AIM, ASSOFOND, FACE and other important players players of the industry, to provide a rich program of meetings and focus opportunities on current topics of the sector.



MECSPE in numbers, updated on 1st October 2021

92,000 sqm of exhibition space, 1,960 exhibitors, 2,000 sq.m dedicated to the Limitless Factory Exhibition, 46 special events and conferences. 50,000 professionals are expected to attend the event in compliance with the Covid safety measures.


MECSPE Exhibition Halls

Machinery and tools – Machine tools, Equipment, Tools, Design Software Metal Sheet – Machinery, materials and processing – Bending, Moulding, Cutting, Assembly, Welding, Materials and Software; Digital Factory – Industrial computing, IoT, Industrial sensors, Cloud-manufacturing, Automatic identification technologies, Applications, devices, instrumentation, and smart components for interpreting and interconnecting processes; Logistics – Wrapping, Packaging, Handling, Material handling, Lean manufacturing, Warehouse management software, Supply chain management, Safety systems, PPE, Outsourcing; Mechanical Subcontracting – Precision mechanical processing, Metal carpentry, Mechanical construction, Fasteners, Foundries, Small parts, Wire working, Outsourced industrial processes, Micro-processing; Electronic Subcontracting – CEM (Contract Electronics Manufacturer), Wiring, EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Service), PCB (Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers), Engineering and design firms; Moulds, Machines and plastic, rubber and composite subcontracting – Plastics, rubber, and composite processing, Machines and plants, Auxiliary equipment, innovative materials, Moulding, Extrusion, Packaging, Blow Moulding, Moulds, Models, Normalised parts for moulds, Design, Simulation and design software, Micro-processing; Additive Manufacturing – 3D printing, Rapid prototyping, Rapid manufacturing, Systems and services for reverse engineering, Additive technology, Materials, Services, Hardware: 3D printers and scanners, accessories, Simulation and design software; Treatments and Finishes – Surface treatment systems, Furnaces, Galvanic finishes, Chemical and electronic processes, Washing, Metallising, Glazing, Galvanising, Products and accessories for treatments, Thermal treatments, Painting; Non-ferrous materials and alloys – Processing of non-ferrous materials (Aluminium, Titanium, Magnesium, Light Alloys), Die-casting, Foundries, Outsourced industrial processes, Technologies, Design, Engineering; Motek Italy – Automation and robotics, Assembly, Mounting and handling; Control Italy – Quality certification and control, Metrology, Measurement instruments, Laboratory tests, Calibration, Analysis equipment, Vision systems; Power Drive – Mechanical power transmission systems, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Mechatronics, Motion control, Maintenance, Compressed air.


For information, www.mecspe.com

For further information

Press Office

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Roberto Grattagliano – mobile 338 9291793 e-mail roberto.grattagliano@mypr.it

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