The Emilia-Romagna Region at EXPO DUBAI

The Emilia-Romagna region has been present for the six-month duration of the Universal Expo with numerous activities and events that were concentrated in particular in October, December, January and February. 

Various initiatives – institutional, cultural, and scientific – took place at the Expo site both inside and outside the Italian Pavilion, as well as in other places outside the exhibition ground that were significant and functional for the promotion of businesses.

Expo Dubai has represented a global showcase to present the excellences, technological and scientific innovations, best practices of public and private entities and an opportunity to start new international collaborations and partnerships between institutions, companies, academic, scientific and cultural organizations.

Emilia-Romagna focused its presence on issues related to the well-being of people, communities and territories and the growth of businesses, with particular attention to the management of big data as a tool to improve living conditions, increase industrial competitiveness and address climate and environmental challenges.


For this reason, the thematic weeks of the EXPO calendar dedicated to Travel & Connectivity, Global Goals, Health & Wellness, and Food, Agriculture & Livelihoods were identified as the ones of greatest interest: in those weeks the Emilia-Romagna Region played a central role affirming its positioning upon those topics on the national and international arena. 

The presence in those moments reflects the will of the Emilia-Romagna Region to be a key stakeholder on very important global issues. The first one is the path towards sustainability and the efficient use of resources, which the Region is pursuing through a wide-range of targeted policies and the development of technological innovations. The second is the field of health and well-being, in which it can boast cutting-edge experiences, recognized as some of the most advanced at a national and international level.


The Emilia-Romagna Region was present at Dubai World Expo during the whole period.

It started its activities on October 1st at the opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai and of the Italy Pavilion – of which the Emilia-Romagna Region was official partner. It continued on World Food Day on October 16th with a virtual exhibition and thematic webinars on the sustainability of the agri-food chain proposed by the regional universities.

In December the launch of the regional participation to Expo took place with a focus on the Motor Valley, the promotion of the agri-food system and of cultural and touristic regional excellences.

In January 2022, at the Italy Pavilion the Emilia-Romagna Regional Day was held, with the presentation of the Big Data Technopole and the Forum on Artificial Intelligence organized by IFAB – International Foundation Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Human Development and the Big Data Association, and with projects of the regional universities on the themes of cultural heritage and smart energy.

Events outside the Pavilion were also scheduled with the participation of regional stakeholders such as the Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Vinegar Consortia, the Agri-food Centers and the Clust-ER MECH, with associated companies and industrial research laboratories.  

From mid-January the exhibition “Eccellenze Italiane. The new generation of Italian illustrators for children” was on stage. It wasdedicated to young illustrators of children’s books, conceived by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

At the same time, the Video Wall of the Italian Pavilionscreened the Emilia-Romagna Regional Monography film made by Gabriele Salvatores dedicated to the “Saper Fare Italiano”, Italy’s know-how.

From mid-January to mid-February the Italian Pavilion hosted a set of innovative projects, workshops and events jointly organized by the 4 regional universities of Bologna, Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Piacenza, research centres and Clust-ERs aimed at promoting learning, teaching and research on areas such as life sciences, personalized medicine, food and sustainability, agriculture 4.0, Internet of Things.

A calendar of cultural initiatives of high significance began on 6th and 7th November 2021 at the DEC Theatre – inside the Expo site – with the show “The Firebird”, one of the most important and popular productions by Teatro Gioco Vita: a shadow and dance pièce based entirely on the “choreographic story” from “L’oiseau de feu” by Igor Stravinsky for the Russian Ballet. 

The performance was accompanied inside the Studio space of the Italian Pavilion by a series of Shadow Theatre Workshops, promoted in the context of thematic areas dedicated to children.

The exhibition “Design is Everyday” was staged in the second half of January 2022 at the Italian Pavilion, showing a selection of inventions realized in Emilia-Romagna where design is placed at the service of everyday life and human health.  It is the case of 3D printing tools, which combine robotics, mechatronics, surgery and physiotherapy skills, to develop innovative materials for the orthopaedics and bioengineering sectors.

At the end of January the world premiere of the experimental show “Virtual Dance for Real People” was on stage. It introduced a new form of immersive dance with 3 so-called MicroDances that combine dance with modern technology thanks to the use of VR and 360° videos.

This cultural program is an expression of regional artistic talents who promote culture as a means of intercultural dialogue where creativity is being transformed, originating innovation and exploration of new horizons.

Numerous companies were also present at Expo Dubai, with the support of the Region, to explore business opportunities and the promotion of innovative products and services in the sectors of automotive, electric mobility, life sciences, design, fashion, culture, boating, agriculture, circular economy, ICT and IOT.

The combination of integration, collaboration, sharing of skills, values ​​and ideals defines the Emilia-Romagna Region approach and make it possible to weave new relationships and consolidate existing ones on highly important topical issues.


The participation of Emilia-Romagna to Expo 2020 Dubai symbolically represented the restart, the projection – in the global context and towards the future – of a region that has been able to face the great difficulties caused by the pandemic, looking ahead.

Strengthened by its social fabric, a solid and innovative economic system, a network of efficient health services and an integrated and robust education system, the Emilia-Romagna Region has been able to create the foundations for a restart based on a far-sighted political vision. This vision is shared with the social partners and formalized in the Pact for Labor and Climate (Patto per il Lavoro e per il Clima), which main axes fit perfectly into the international dialogue on global challenges and in the topical issues that Expo Dubai has faced and shared with the global community.

Emilia-Romagna is – and aims to be more and more – a player of international importance. The heritage of relationships that have always characterized this land nurtured the innovative minds that made it possible for it to become famous in the world as a region of outstanding achievements in various fields, with a quality of life made up primarily by the people and their shared knowledge.


The logo designed for the participation of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Expo Dubai was based on the symbolic elements of the regional emblem, blending them structurally and chromatically with those of the Italian Pavilion and Expo 2020 Dubai.