Inventions without investments
Is the inheritance of this automobile workmanship involved in an innovative project, or has it been simply sent to the cemetery? I walk around the city looking for an answer.
The two universities — the state owned and the polytechnical — take up the obligation: The first one invests many energies in creating inventive groups of many possible functions allowed by the use of new technologies, and I spent a whole afternoon listening their proposals and understanding their researches.
I’m in contact with the 31st floor of the new, very tall Intesa SanPaolo skyscraper (from which everything depends in Turin, so much that it would be rather worth it to vote for members of its board than for City Council) where 100 employees are awaiting to understand the future customers’ news. At the poly, there’s an incubator functioning in a similar role. And inside of it there is the only healthy child of the failed marriage between General Motors and Fiat. After the precocious divorce, it became only American, held by GM.
It’s the Power Train, the city’s most precious piece. Even the CGIL has contributed to creating a similar container in Moncalieri, looking to collaborate with the university and local entities. Very well.
The fact is that, if there aren’t investments aimed at creating inventions, the ideas remain on paper. The proud Turin business community as, also, a great part of the Italian one seems, instead, busy dealing with something else.
The Agnelli, for example, has placed most of its capital in Exor, one of the biggest U.S. insurance groups. An investment safer than the fluctuating automotive industry. For what’s related to the government, there are no industrial plans, neither here, nor anywhere else.
Work has been impoverished
A plan would be needed instead, a new idea for Turin, a project coordinated with other European countries. Instead, there isn’t: The most important companies have been unincorporated and acquired, step by step, by foreign groups who took away the most prestigious pieces.
The innovation that has reduced the number of workers is not here in Turin. On the contrary, it’s the work that has become impoverished. And the growth — especially related to the tertiary sector — is, anyway, not enough to compensate it. I’m not talking qualitatively, which is obvious, but also quantitatively.
The horizon in Turin is now designed by the saw-shaped roofs of the ancient industrial warehouses. It’s not like in Milan, where the de-industrialization happened decades ago, and in an age when the economy was still working.