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5 VEGA-VEnice GAteway for Science and Technology

“Venice Gateway for Science and Technology” is the extended name of the greatest SP of the Veneto region, in Northern Italy. It is particularly interesting to consider this case-study because it enables us to pinpoint past and present troubles related to national SPs.

From a legal viewpoint, VEGA is a company founded in 1993 as part of a European project within the SPRINT Programme (DG12 of the European Commission). Until July 2013, the company was controlled by the Municipality of Venice, the Provincial Administration, the Chamber of Commerce, and also by the agency for regional development “Veneto Innovazione” and Enichem, which is both a State chemical company and the owner of the old industrial plants where VEGA is located. Several private companies and the two Venetian Universities were part of the company as well. However, this private-public partnership drastically changed after July 2013, shaping the recent history of VEGA. The park's site covers about 35 ha and its development involves four areas (Fig. 1).

Until now, the construction of VEGA corresponded to Area 1 (Fig. 2), while the neighbouring Areas 2, 3 and 4 have yet to be completed.

I will present area by area in order to give an overall image of this SP.

AREA 1 (about 9.4 ha) (Fig. 3). The VEGA project was born from the conversion of this first area where, until 1993, the raw materials for the production of chemical fertilizers were produced. Modern buildings have taken the place of the abandoned factories: more than 28,000 mq were built by VEGA with the help of EU funding, European Regional Development Funds, allocated and managed by the Veneto Region. The remaining 35,000 sq m were completed through the intervention of the first private investor: the company Nova Marghera.

AREA 2 (about 8.8 ha). In continuity with Area 1, Area 2–historically known as

Depositi Costieri (Coastal Deposits) of Agip Petroleum–overlooks an important waterway that leads to the Venetian lagoon. Initially, the soil improvement was

Fig. 1 The four areas of VEGA

carried out by Agip using biological technology. The further development of the area was assigned to VEGA and Condotte Immobiliari Societa` per Azioni (a private company).

AREA 3 (about 11 ha). It is the continuation of the road joining AREA 1 and AREA 2. It is named ex-Complessi (“ex-Compounds”) because “complex” fertilizers (NPK—Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) were produced and stored here. This area is privately owned and is not yet completed.

AREA 4 (about 5.4 ha). This area is not yet developed and–as Area 3–it constitutes a site for the future development of VEGA. The project involves the functional and environmental redevelopment of an area named “ex-Cargo System”, originally used as a coal deposit. This area is privately owned.

Historically, VEGA has been oriented by two missions (Bigliardi, Dormio, Nosella, & Petroni, 2006). The first aim is to contribute to the re-industrialization of the old part of the industrial manufacturing area of Porto Marghera, which up to the end of the 80s was one of the most industrialized areas in Europe with over 70,000 workers. This industrial area was populated by petrochemical factories that produced polymers and chemical products for agriculture and mechanical

Fig. 2 VEGA Area 1

components for heavy industry and steel. The second goal is to elicit advanced technology transfer to companies operating in the Province of Venice in order to improve the local technological knowledge. The companies and research laboratories located on the VEGA site–which are start-ups, high-tech companies and other enterprises (among which, one academic spin-off)–work mainly in the Nanotechnology, ICT and Green Economy fields. The description of the four areas and the identification of project's missions enable us to approach the Venetian SP from both a spatial and a relational viewpoint.

Fig. 3 View of VEGA Area 1

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