Dubai: Umbria Region, the "green heart of Italy", celebrated its Regional Day at the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 yesterday. Organized by Sviluppumbria, the Agency for Economic Development of the Umbria Region in collaboration with the Italian Pavilion, the Regional Day was the occasion to introduce the rich ecosystem of the Region through a series of events that roll out through the day.

Umbria, located in the centre of Italy and famous for the high density of historical monuments and for its beautiful landscape, is historically committed to protecting the environment; the region is now becoming the Italian laboratory of sustainability, a key innovation element of the companies in its territory.

Opening the Regional Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, Donatella Tesei, President Umbria Region, said “Umbria has all the characteristics to be the driver not only of a circular economy but also to give birth and to nurture a true culture of sustainability. A path that we have undertaken and that we carry forward with confidence. Ours is a Region that believe in the values of Peace and respect, respect for mankind and for everything that surrounds us. It is in this context that the production approach can and must have a different vision from the past.

Umbria with its characteristics is a place where it is possible to do business in a privileged and unique context, where nature, culture and history are combined with innovation and advanced training offered, for example, by our universities.

We talked about this at Expo, where we presented our excellence and above all the fertile ground that Umbria can offer to successfully respond to the challenges of the ecological transition”

The main appointment of the day was the Forum "Umbria Harmony and Emotions" that presented with three thematic tables –Beauty, Innovation, Nature - the excellences of the Region in different fields from university to culture, from design to sport.

"We are present here today at Expo 2020 Dubai to present a region that surprises for its ability to combine tradition and innovation, a region that deserves to be increasingly known and appreciated internationally" declared Michela Sciurpa, Chief Executive Officer of Sviluppumbria, the Agency for the economic development of the Umbria Region.

"During the Regional Day we present a territory capable of telling itself not only through its millenary history, reflected in the landscape, in the artistic and cultural heritage, in the villages and in the quality of life, but also through the trajectories of internationalization and innovation of its companies, supported by the projects developed by the Region to encourage exports and attract ideas, investors and talents to Umbria.

Birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy and of St. Benedict of Norcia, patron saint of Europe, Umbria today is no longer just the historic green heart of Italy but a European region in the center of the Mediterranean candidate to become the Italian laboratory of sustainability. We talk about this with entrepreneurs, university professors and representatives of the world of culture and regional sport during the three panels that Sviluppoumbria has organized in collaboration with Green Table, the digital platform launched by Umbria to open an international debate on major environmental challenges of the future, and on the occasion of the Italian Dialogues session organized by the University for Foreigners of Perugia together with the Italian Pavilion, dedicated to the promotion of the culture of Italy and Umbria in the world "

Talking at the Forum were Paolo Glisenti, General Commissioner for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai; Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the United Arab Emirates; Donatella Tesei, President Umbria Region; Michela Sciurpa, CEO, Sviluppumbria; Michele Fioroni, Councilor for Economic Development, Digital Innovation and Simplification of the Umbria Region; Maurizio Oliviero, Chancellor of the University of Perugia; Padre Enzo Fortunato, Franciscan, journalist and writer (Francis’ Economy, Manifesto of Assisi); Andrea Margaritelli, President, National Institute of Architecture, Brand Manager Listone Giordano; Catia Bastioli, Managing Director, Novamont; Maurizio Servili, University of Perugia; Marco Caprai, Managing Director, Arnaldo Caprai; Valerio de Cesaris, Chancellor of the University for Foreigners of Perugia; Chiara Biscarini, UNESCO Chair, University for Foreigners of Perugia; Massimo Mercati, Managing Director, Aboca; Costanza Laliscia, International Endurance Champion.

Michele Fioroni, Councilor for Economic Development, Digital Innovation and Simplification of the Umbria Region “The Umbria that we present today is a region that makes the encounter between tradition and innovation a distinctive element. A real laboratory of sustainability, where technology, research and experimentation focus more and more often on the enhancement of the products of the earth, of sustainable materials, of processes aimed at producing more while consuming less.

Umbria today is a territory that makes its limited size a strength, a place where you can experiment with new ecosystems of innovation and sustainability, which are as varied and dynamic inside as they are interconnected with the outside. And this is why Expo Dubai represents a very important opportunity for our Region, because in this city, which over the years has become an international hub for testing of new technologies, we tell the world about a Region so closely linked to its traditions as well as future-oriented. A Region that wants to interact and connect with the outside world, confident that it has a uniqueness to tell and aware of the importance of collaboration with those who, like us, make innovation a development paradigm.”

One of the Forum’s thematic tables was dedicated to the Green Table, an innovative hybrid event and an on line platform (www.greentable.it) gathering leading international figures from the worlds of design, economics and culture to  meet and share their ideas focusing on issues of broad and current interest, providing their experience and visions.

“I find it particularly significant to have presented at Expo Dubai, in this historical moment, the reflections of Green Table, the international forum on architecture and design of the future, which the Umbria Region hosts and promotes as an integral part of its identity. In fact, perhaps never before, has the culture of sustainability and the global challenges caused by climate change been so intimately linked to the culture of cooperation between people and the promotion of peace" said Andrea Margaritelli, President of the National Institute of Architecture.

To celebrate the special bond between Umbria and Dubai in the name of Endurance, during the Forum was screened the short movie “Umbria – Dubai, Twenty Years of Friendship in the name of Endurance”.

As part of the Regional Day, the University for Foreigners of Perugia in collaboration with Sviluppoumbria, organized a session of the Italian Dialogues of the Italian Pavilion entitled "University for Foreigners of Perugia: Ambassador of Italy and Umbria in the world. Italian language and culture: dialogues on humanism, communication, internationalization and innovation”. The three dialogues involved teachers, researchers, experts and students who discussed the theme of Italian culture as a place of openness, tolerance and encounter between people of different origins, configuring itself as a real intercultural training laboratory.

Prof. Valerio De Cesaris, Rector of the University for Foreigners of Perugia, said "The Regional Day is an opportunity to enhance the excellence of our territories in the very important context of Expo2020 Dubai. The University for Foreigners of Perugia is an Ambassador of Italy and of Umbria in the world and contributes through its academic, cultural activities and over 300 agreements with institutions from other countries, to the internationalization of our Region".

The day was concluded with a beautiful concert for solo piano by Danilo Rea, one of the top Italian jazz artists, presented by Umbria Jazz, the international jazz music festival held since 1973 in Perugia and which this year will take place from 8 to 17 July.