Agri-urban Lab
Short description
After an initial tender phase of 4 months, the City of Milan, as the Main Urban Authority for the UIA OpenAgri project, launched in February 2018 an Urban Agriculture Lab within the area of Cascina Nosedo, the future Open Innovation Hub of this urban metropolitan fringe.

The Lab will explore innovative techniques in urban agriculture (from production to logistic, from Internet of Food to sharing economy) and it will engage a series of selected partners on using in the best possible way a public owned 30 hectares plot of land surrounding the south Milan Parco Sud boundaries. The Lab is primarily set to help entrepreneurs to develop new practices in Peri-Urban agriculture, to create new job opportunities and to revitalise a fringe area of the city.

50 proposals were submitted and 18 were selected, a great success for such an innovative call for ideas. OpenAgri Lab presents a series of innovative projects, clustered in three main subjects: production and other agro-economic services, innovation and ICT, social innovation and sharing economy.

We provide detailed description of a sample of three projects, one for each cluster, to underline what we hope to achieve with this project in term of jobs and skills creation, redevelopment of the urban fringe and innovation in the field of urban-rural agriculture sector:

  • Production and other agro-economic services

“Narrare il Pane” project aim is to create in the urban fringe a spin-off of a centrally located bread production and selling facility. The producer will use 7 hectares of Open Agri Lab agricultural areas and they will create a selling point and a series of workshops on how to make bread activating the neighbourhood inhabitants.

  • Innovation and ICT

“A.S.T.R.A.” project is an innovative startup operating in the drone industry, particularly in the precision farming on-demand domain, providing remote sensing services to the agriculture business. The aim of the proponent is to develop a pilot project in the Open Agri open laboratory area, in order to research big data platforms and machine learning processes.

  • Social innovation and sharing economy

“Lavoro e vita oltre l’autismo” project will empower persons with autism in an agricultural project based on Open Agri Lab agricultural areas. The users will be involved in a range of activities, in order to enact their participation and act as an innovative welfare approach to handicap.

We also set up an innovative communication strategy called #MilanoUpsideDown: Innovate the Rural | Growth the Urban. The main media will be the project FB page supported by a FB group to share relevant documents and reports. The tag (supported by the explanatory claim) has the ambition to be the label of any idea, action and actor in Milan who questioned with a positive and proactive practice the consolidated hierarchies: Close vs Far, Centre vs Suburbs, Rural vs Urban. Within the communication and engagement strategy OpenAgri will also launch a series of #MilanoUpsideDownLabs where everyone from every part of Milan (from the partners to normal citizen, from big companies to startups, from no profit associations to local government bodies) will be invited to present a project related to the values attached to the overall Tag and Claim of the communication plan as stated before. These meetings (15 between 2018 and 2019) will take place both on the ground in the form of workshops (for gathering and preparing the candidates projects) and in central media venues or occasions.
The first one took place on the 27th of March 2018 in the cultural institution “Triennale di Milano”: more than 60 attendees shared their experience about several projects happening in the urban-rural fringe of the city.

So, let’s start to #MilanoUpsideDown with UIA initiative!

Author: the OpenAgri project team

Other news from this project

Milan OpenAgri Open Badge

The Open Badge, an innovative tool to enhance individual skills

In this Zoom-in, Miguel Sousa, UIA Expert for the OpenAgri presents an innovative instrument developed in the framework of the project: The Open Badge...
"Promised Land" event in Milan

OpenAgri presents “Promised Land: the future of urban consumption”

On June 20th-21st Municipality of Milan organized Promised Land, a two-day event discussing about future skills, new technologies, narratives and poli...
Milan journal 3

Milan OpenAgri's 3rd project journal

In the third edition of the OpenAgri journal, the UIA expert Miguel Sousa, gives a complete overview of the latest development and challenges faced by...
Research projects selected to enter the OpenAgri Lab

Research projects selected to enter the OpenAgri Lab

The UIA projext Open Agri successfully completed an ongoing selection of a research project in the scope of contemporary artistic languages....

OpenAgri Zoom-In: In-depth look at the Experimentation Lab in Urban Agriculture

In this first Zoom-In, the UIA Expert Miguel Sousa looked at one of the innovative aspects of the OpenAgri project in Milan, the Experimentation Labor...

Check our latest project video!

The city of Milan with this UIA European Project is experimenting a very innovative policy: new economic and entrepreneurial activities will be locate...

Implementing the Open-Agri project in Milan: get an update on the activities carried out in the second UIA expert journal

UIA Expert Miguel Sousa has been collecting the knowledge stemming from the implementation of the innovative solution proposed by the City of Milan fo...

OpenAgri Journal 1: Hear from the project’s UIA Expert how it is implementing its bold solution

Get to know better what Milan is doing in this UIA Expert journal!...
Rossana Tori, project manager Open Agri Milan

On the project's side - Interview of the OpenAgri project

The UIA Secretariat organised a series of interviews with the projects selected under the topic "jobs & skills in the local economy". Wh...
UIA project OpenAgri

Milan is launching an Urban Agriculture Lab within UIA OpenAgri project

After an initial tender phase of 4 months the City of Milan, as urban authority for the UIA OpenAgri project, will launch in Jan 2018 an Urban Agricul...

Milan is talking with Companies and other stakeholders upon the next Open Innovation Hub for Peri-urban Agriculture

Through the project Openagri Milan is to launch a truly open change process, including all parties that in the city and in the metropolitan area are f...