For its 22nd edition, from 6 to 8 March MECSPE returns to Bologna with a renewed focus on talent preparation, integration of sustainability into industrial processes, and innovation as driving forces for the sector.

Italian manufacturing is constantly on the hunt for professionals and new resources, in fact, Unioncamere – Anpal data indicate that manufacturing will need as many as 500,000 workers by 2027 and at least 50,000 ITS graduates the year [1].

These figures clash with the difficult time the sector is experiencing in terms of resource availability: it is estimated that almost half of the profiles sought (45%) will be unavailable.

In fact, the positive trend in manufacturing employment over the last year (with 957,000 entries, +22,000 over 2022) is not enough to bridge the gap between the world of training and industry, which continues to have difficulty finding skilled workers.

The mismatch between the needs of companies and market supply reaches 60,3% and increases further (touching 65.5%) in the case of ITS graduates, a percentage that peaks in the case of specialised technicians in the mechanical area (74.3%). [2]

DEMU Project and Objective Sustainability Path

Young talents will also be highlighted in the Mold Square, where ample space will be given to the DEMU project, a challenge posed by a group of six international companies to second-year students of the degree course in Design, organised in Vicenza by the Iuav University of Venice, in collaboration with the Fondazione Studi Universitari di Vicenza.


The challenge was to exploit the potential of advanced injection moulding through the design of a small object made from renewable source polymers with a use value. The winning project among the 23 presented by the students is “Jaketa”: a folding travel hanger, awarded for its immediacy, usefulness, and ease of communication features that, as a recognition, will be produced and distributed at the show. With this square, MECSPE further highlights the close synergy between companies and university students.

The focus on sustainability will be emphasized by the Sustainability Pathaway, a historical appointment of MECSPE that undertakes to award the virtuous companies that implement sustainability in their company strategies, in all its three declinations: environmental, social and governance.

Sustainability is more and more fundamental for companies as it represents an unavoidable choice to face global challenges, answer to market requests and gain a competitive advantage not only on the national market, but above all on the international scene.

The second edition of the Italo-German Forum

Exports in fact represent a driving force for the Italian economy and guarantee the health of the industry every year. According to the latest data of the MECSPE Observatory, in fact, more than a quarter of the companies that export generate from 46 to 70% of their turnover abroad, while 15% of the entrepreneurs get to invoice more than 70% abroad.[3]

In this sense, in order to ride the theme of internationalization, the Italian-German Forum is back at MECSPE for the second edition, an appointment dedicated to the industrial transition in the automotive sector and to the big changes that are impacting on the whole supply chain.

The second edition of the Forum, organised in cooperation with the Italian-German Chamber of Commerce and the international association VDMA, will take stock of the current situation of the sector at international level and will examine all the technological aspects that the industry is introducing (including new ecological fuels, digitalisation, electrification and autonomous driving) with the aim of a low environmental impact mobility.

“We are coming back to Bologna with a new edition of MECSPE rich in contents and novelties, emphasising more than ever the need to bring young people closer to industry.

By working on the main guidelines of the show, such as sustainability, training and innovation, we favour the creation of synergies among the different stakeholders with the aim of creating useful value for the country system.

Manufacturing is one of the country’s most driving sectors and is on the verge of a turnaround on several fronts. Thanks to the insights that will emerge during the fair, we will be able to bring our contribution to the international level as well.Maruska Sabato, Project Manager of MECSPE

The infinitely recyclable material

March will also see the second edition of the Aluminium Energy Summit, a panel dedicated to this fundamental and infinitely recyclable material, 42% of which is used in Italy by the transport sector alone. A summit to explain what could be the possible future of primary metal production, the preservation of energy content through recovery and recycling, and what is the position of our country compared to foreign competitors.


There will be no lack of initiatives dedicated to the theme of innovation, one above all the Competence Center Area, a space created with the aim of favouring a matching between the MECSPE community – exhibitors and visitors of the event – and the Competence Centres and Digital Innovation Hubs, that will be able to share orientation, training and innovative projects in the sphere of Industry 4.0.

Finally, also this year MECSPE proposes the Solution Award, prize for innovation in robotics and prestigious acknowledgement for companies of the robotics and automation sector.

MECSPE Bologna 2023 in numbers
  • 59,845 trade visitors (+52% over 2022)
  • 92,000 m2 of exhibition space
  • 2,034 companies present
  • 2,000 m2 Heart Exhibition ‘Energy Transition and Mobility of the Future
  • 20 special initiatives

[1] Source: Unioncamere-ANPAL, Excelsior Information System, 2023, [2] Source: Unioncamere-ANPAL, Excelsior Information System, 2023, [3] MECSPE Observatory, III quarterly 2023.