18 October 2022

MIND Innovation District

Author: Marina Egizaryan - International Part Time MBA student

Among all the MBA experiences I’ve already faced, real life cases are the most valuable. What I really would love to tell you about is our company visit to the MIND Innovation District.

The whole idea of creating a concept which allows the same premises to be reused after big events and make them financially and socially profitable is amazing.

Maybe it was even more fascinating for me personally as at my current job, we are working on similar projects. So learning about the experience from the best ones in the area provided some great insights.

While the district itself is not particularly exclusive in terms of attractions and is situated on Milan’s doorstep rather than having a central location, it more than makes up for this by its unique situation. What distinguishes it is the story behind it. Built for a one-off event – EXPO 2015 MILAN – the whole area was left abandoned afterwards. Obtaining the services of an experienced consultant (they had previously been invited to create a concept for former Olympic facilities in London and had proved their efficiency there) proved to be a turning point.

Now, as the land itself is under a lease agreement with the government for 100 years, the developer has every opportunity to create a whole new district with its own ideas, values and prospects.

As far as we could see, the project MIND district will be an independent hub for living, working and creating. Along with a business incubator, there will be all the infrastructure needed for living: co-living, schools and medical facilities, with all the additional services these entail. This location would be sufficient to both live and work, so that the synergy effect of different businesses being close to each other makes it even more efficient. Already being in the process of construction, the developer is making the most of having the District members on hand. Having all the most innovative specialists around you makes it so much easier to facilitate cooperation and arrive at decisions on common problems.

I also believe that such an environment creates a whole other community with shared values and principles, one which complements others and learns and grows with others. The environment itself created in the District is supposed to inspire creativity, innovation and a never-ending educational process.

Business and government cooperation in this particular project is also worth mentioning. The concession agreement assumes that both parties benefit: the city gets a number of high-class social facilities (not to mention additional taxes and workplaces, as well as an improvement in the image of the area), while businesses gets a 100-year guarantee for their growth.

The chance to get this information at first hand, discuss it, ask questions and see how it is already being implemented is unique. During the visit we had the chance to see how the whole project was undertaken, from the idea to the first members, who are already working on creating a new future there.

18 October 2022

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