Pirelli signs R&D competitiveness agreement with regional government
As part of its activities to develop a new generation of tyres based upon the concept of “total safety,” Pirelli is undertaking a two-year research and development project that aims to optimise the conception and planning of new products. The name of this project is Total Safety System. Pirelli says it is investing a total of €5.35 million in the project, which is being carried out at its Milan headquarters’ R&D facility, and the work will be supported by the Lombardy regional government through a €1.9 million grant. The grant was formalised through the signing of a competitiveness agreement between the Lombardy regional government and Pirelli on 9 February.
The research carried out under the Total Safety System programme will extend to all phases of product conception and planning, from the use of new materials to the development of new fully-automated finished product inspection technology, and the implementation of new application safety systems that utilise tyre sensors. Pirelli anticipates that the project’s high level of innovative content will allow for further improvements in productivity, quality and efficiency levels, and will give the tyre maker additional know-how for various technologies.
The project will also allow Pirelli to study new product mixes that are oriented towards higher value-added segments and enable it to better anticipate market demand, thereby ensuring the company can maintain a high level of competitiveness. Beyond this, Pirelli expects the project will contribute to improved road safety, better tyre mileage and improved vehicular fuel consumption.
The agreement signed on 9 February is part of a Lombardy regional government programme to develop and enhance the value of human capital through training as well as production, environmental and infrastructure resources. The programme’s goal is to strengthen employment in the local region and generate additional employment through the entire supply chain. The agreement and related grant will directly benefit Pirelli by facilitating the employment of an additional 12 staff members at the company’s R&D centre in Milan over the coming two years; these new employees will join 130 centre staff who are already involved in activities related to the project’s implementation.
“The competitiveness agreement with Pirelli demonstrates how the synergies between the public and private sectors bring concrete results here in Lombardy,” commented Roberto Maroni, president of the Lombardy regional government. “Our goal is to raise investment in research and innovation up to three per cent of the region’s GDP, a figure that is now close to two per cent. These are two strategic areas that represent a natural vocation for our region as well as a great opportunity for growth.”
Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Pirelli, added: “The centre in Milan represents the main driver of our research and development and enables Pirelli to compete and continue to grow in international markets. The contribution of the regional government is an important recognition from the institution of the work conducted so far and will enable the launch of a project aimed at creating safer and more environmentally sustainable tyres that are able to offer clients not only safety and high performance, but also solutions that respect the environment.”