High technology, industry of cultural assets, fashion and excellent training institutes. Four points of strength for Florence’s economy that are not always known, and four reasons to invest in the Tuscan capital well known for its artistic heritage and its very fertile literary history, for the beauty of its landscapes and the agricultural and food products, but perhaps less well known for the high level of its industries in innovation and technology applied to both “new” and traditional sectors. The statistics, however, state that these qualities are appreciated abroad as well: in fact, foreign groups control 400 businesses or productive structures in the region and the vocation for exports has been the driving force behind the local economy even in these years of unfavorable economic outlook.
Florence inserts itself into an already lively high-tech context. Tuscany is host to nearly 1,500 businesses with a high level of technology and a turnover of approximately 12 billion Euroa, and the capital accounts for approximately one third of the “high tech” companies and for nearly half of the comprehensive turnover. The four reference sectors for the Florentine high tech are photonics, biomedical, mechanics applied to energy and environment, and information&communication technology.
Due to an “industry” constructed on the sizable historic, artistic and cultural heritage, Florence is the Italy’s top province in terms of the incidence of businesses tied to the cultural sector on the total of activities and aims to become a capital in advanced technologies and in added value services applied to this field. Florence’s strong sectors span from conservation to restoration, and from museum services to catering.
More than 9,000 businesses, nearly 37,000 employees: the figures from the fashion industry in the Florentine area are very consistent. The specializations are in leather production in the Valdarno and Castelfiorentino areas, and of textiles in Empoli. It is almost superfluous to discuss the excellence of these products, it suffices to mentions some of the names that became global brands synonimous with high quality, artisanship, tradition and fashion: Gucci, Ferragamo, Prada, Braccialini e Celine to name a few. The leadership recognized in all that is fashion (garments, jewelry, accessories), the presence of a complete chain of value in the sector (from product design to marketing), the strength of three brands of lifestyle and quality (“made in Italy”, “Tuscany”, “Florence”) and the know-how conserved both at the artisanal level and developed in the training centers are the main reasons behind an investor’s choice to gamble on Florence.
In the end, it is the very same international institutions that certify the high quality of the training opportunities present in the Tuscan capital. Various American institutes and universities have, over time, established branches in Florence (Harvard, Stanford, New York University), attracting many overseas students: the concentration of university institutions, superior schools and research centers of reknown level, combined with the city’s cultural offerings are at the basis the capacity to attract that Florence exerts abroad.
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