“Milano is ready” says its mayor Giuseppe Sala. “The new EMA headquarters? Ready. It is “Il Pirellone”, in the heart of the city. We will just have to hand the keys” says Roberto Maroni, the governor of the Lombardy Region. The rent will be peanuts compared to what the European Medicines Agency is paying now in London.
And what HQ that will be! Il Pirellone is an architectural masterpiece by the famous Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti, close to the main Milan railway station, the city’s most important transportation hub. And with a fast connection to the three main airports of the area, quick train and road links to Switzerland, Austria, France, and other central European countries.
Did you say transportation? Fast trains guarantee connections with the main Italian cities in a few hous: less than three for Rome, two for Florence, one for Venice, under four for Naples. One hour to Geneva a bit more for Bern or Zurich, Vienna or Munich etc. A big hub? Indeed! Milan is a big air transport hub with over 250 flight connections to London airports to facilitate the commuting of staff especially at the beginning of the process of relocation. Nearly 1,300 weekly flights connect Milano to the other 27 EU capitals and seamless highways connect Milano to France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Slovenia.
The “Pirellone”: With its over 50.000 square meters, a big conference room, a multifunctional space on the top floor, the “Pirellone” has been recently refurbished and equipped with state of the art materials, a very flexible and easy to redesign office space distributed over 31 floors. Its offices are complemented by sixty meeting rooms with between 8 and 32 places each. There is also a kindergarden, a gym and other services can be added.
Science and innovation: Milan is a European centre for science and innovation, with eleven universities and five arts academies with over 200,000 students from all over the world, not to mention an extensive network of public and private research institutions including the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) which collaborates with a broad network of top researchers and public and private research institutes. Italy has the second largest pharmaceutical industry in Europe in terms of production volumes and is the world’s largest exporter of medicines per capita. Milan and surroundings accounts for over 60% of Italy’s overall pharmaceutical production.
A massive hospitality network was developed in Milan on the occasion of the Milan World Expo in 2015: hotels, residences, guest-houses and a wide range of different kinds of accommodation will guarantee welcoming places for guests in the very centre of the city where the prospective HQ of the EMA will be located. Not to speak of the variety of restaurants in the centre and all over the city with local specialities or international cuisine to serve all kinds of tastes.
With its leading role in manufacturing and design, engineer and fashion, communication and health sciences, banking and finance, Milan is the home of nearly 3000 multinational companies, many of them linked to science and research. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is based at Ispra (60 km north of Milan) The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is based in Parma (120 km south of Milan) thus creating the potential for a powerful hub for science and research agencies in virtually the same area only 200 km apart with ample opportunities for collaboration.