Invest in Emilia-Romagna | Emilia-Romagna region

Smart and effective governance

Emilia-Romagna Region promotes simplification, transparency and legality to ensure effective and reliable governance together with easy and fast procedures for businesses and citizens.

The territory is governed at regional level by the Emilia-Romagna Region and comprises 331 municipalities grouped into 1 metropolitan city (Bologna) and 8 provinces (Bologna, Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia and Rimini), with a total population of 4.5 million residents.

Smart region

Emilia-Romagna is the first Italian region according to the Digital Economy and society Index (DESI) elaborated byErnst&Young in 2016. The index summarizes a set of about 30 indicators grouped in five categories: connectivity, human capital, use of internet, integration of digital technologies, digital public services.

Bologna is the leading Italian city according to the Smart Cities Index 2016 (source: Ernst & Young) and also ranked at the top of the iCity rating 2017 (source: ForumPA). These two indexes consider indicators concerning the economy, governance, broadband coverage, mobility, innovation, quality of life, green economy, etc. It’s worth highlighting that, according to the two quoted reports, the 9 main regional towns in Emilia-Romagna rank at the top at national level, out of a total of more than one hundred Italian towns (see the following table).

Broadband network for regional public administrations

Lepida Spa, the broadband network for Emilia-Romagna’s public administrations, ensures the availability of high-speed connectivity throughout the entire region, from the Adriatic to the Apennines, boosting efficient e-government services for companies.  All local bodies have certified e-mail (PEC) and all regional Local Councils offer at least one online interactive service.

Broadband coverage

Emilia-Romagna boasts high broadband coverage thanks to digital infrastructure that ensures high levels of connectivity throughout the entire territory. 95% of regional companies have a broadband connection.

EU funds management

European funds 2014-2020, along with the national co-financing, will allocate Emilia-Romagna about 2,500 million Euro. The Emilia-Romagna region always excelled in the management of EU funds, ranking first in Italy for its ability to use them: about 479 million euro have been spent and certified through the ROP ESF (European Social Fund) and about 280 million through the ROP ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) up to June 2013.

Effective procedures for businesses

All the procedures required to register a company are electronically processed in a ‘Single Communication procedure’ that allows applicants to start their business activities on the same day.
The Regional SUAP network offers One-Stop Shops for businesses available in all municipalities. Each shop relates to a local council or to a group of local councils. One-stop shops are aimed at simplifying bureaucracy and providing a single online procedure, managed by a central desk, to obtain authorisations and licences concerning health, safety, environmental protection, pollution and urban planning.

Settlement and development agreement

The “Settlement and development agreement” (Regional law, 14/2014) provides support in the forms of new public infrastructure and social services related to the investment project, simplifies relations between the investor and the local bodies involved, and provides certainty about timescales. Incentives are also available for investment of high regional interest. For more info: click here.

Innovative start-ups

The Business Register of the national Chamber of Commerce reported 865 innovative start-ups in Emilia-Romagna in February 2018, placing the region second in Italy in absolute terms. Many opportunities are available. For more info: click here.

Top FDI strategy

The region is a strategic location for Foreign Direct Investment, as confirmed by: the "European Cities & Regions of the Future 2018/19" report, released by the Financial Times FDI division, that ranked Emilia-Romagna as Top 6: Southern European Region, and Top 5 ‘Large European Region for FDI Strategy’.


New territorial model (regional law 13/2015)

The regional law aims to create a new model of territorial governance that defines the new institutional roles played by Region, Metropolitan City, Provinces, Municipalities and Unions of Municipalities, in a framework based on the principle of maximum integration among all the institutional levels.

The strategic framework is based on this organization of the competences:

  • Region: strategic policies, planning and monitoring.
  • Metropolitan City of Bologna’ and Provinces: vast area government
  • Municipalities and Unions of Municipalities: local government



Strumenti personali

Invest è realizzato da Ervet s.p.a su incarico della Regione Emilia-Romagna

Via Morgagni, 6 - 40122 Bologna tel. 051/6450411 - P.I. 00569890379 - fax 051/6450310 - e-mail: -