NOI Techpark Südtirol/Alto Adige: Nature of Innovation

NOI Techpark is currently being built on a 12-hectare site in the south of Bolzano, on premises formerly home to aluminium works. The technology park will pool South Tyrol’s innovative strength, provide an environment for dedicated research and generate specific know-how while building an international network for smart minds from all over the world, thus acting as a driver for South Tyrol’s economic development.

NOI Techpark: South Tyrol’s Innovation Centre

Boosting innovation potential, supporting local businesses in research and development, internationalising South Tyrol’s business networks, creating attractive jobs and attracting highly qualified talents: these are the goals for South Tyrol’s future economic development.

NOI Techpark Südtirol/Alto Adige is at the heart of this strategy: it is an innovation centre creating a network for small and large companies as well as start-ups and research institutes and offering an environment for top-notch research and innovative businesses.

A special focus lies on those fields of excellence in which South Tyrol has proven to be at the vanguard on a global level:

  • Alpine Technology
  • Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency
  • Food Technology
  • ICT & Automation

In all those fields, researchers, students and entrepreneurs will come together to work on innovations. To this end, the park will offer fully equipped state-of-the-art labs and workshops. Businesses can get access to those infrastructures and the various innovation services provided, thus becoming a part of the NOI network and benefitting from the know-how and technology transfer taking place between the worlds of research and business.

In addition, companies can lease labs and commercial space or relocate their entire business to the technology park. Against this background, NOI Techpark will grow along with its users.

The Innovation Concept: Nature of Innovation

Nature itself is the world’s greatest innovator and shows constant cycles of renewal and adaptation, sometimes quick, like a flash of lightning, sometimes slow and gradually. The “Nature of Innovation” concept is just like that: innovation imitating nature. This is the concept that NOI Techpark is based on, where research institutes, companies and start-ups from South Tyrol and all over the globe will work together to prepare the ground for a sustainable future.

Working with representatives from South Tyrol’s business and research communities, BLS and TIS innovation park have developed the park’s “Nature of Innovation” positioning title, the initials of which give the park its name: NOI. And no other name would do a better job at reflecting what makes South Tyrol so special: depending on how you want to pronounce it, NOI can either sound like the Italian word for “we” or the South Tyrolean dialect word for “new”.

The NOI Site: From Heavy Industry to Innovation Environment

NOI Techpark is currently being built on the former premises of the 1937 Montecatini aluminium works in the Bolzano South business park. In the 1990s, the name of the works was changed to Alumix. The site is an important part of South Tyrol’s industrial history and historically significant and politically charged alike: the works are an excellent example of Mussolini’s fascist Italy trying to industrialise South Tyrol and make it more Italian by relocating Italians to work here.

Between 1937 and 1940, the land south of South Tyrol’s capital city, Bolzano, changed considerably as the extensive orchards were cut down to allow for the construction of these huge works. During WWII, a total of 1,700 workers produced two thirds of Italy’s overall aluminium in this factory. Melting aluminium requires enormous amounts of energy, which was supplied to the works’ two large power transformer buildings from the electrical plants located in the vicinity of the works.

The monumental principal structures “Bolzano 1” and “Bolzano 2”, once housing the power stations, are rationalist 1930s Bauhaus-style buildings and are protected as architecturally significant historic buildings. In 2008, “Bolzano 1” was restored for the European Biennial of Contemporary Art “Manifesta 7” and has been used for cultural events ever since.

The site’s history:

Normative Regulations

Implementation Plan

Space Allocation Plan

Earmarking of Funds