Baltimore & Turin, Italy

Categorized as Case Studies, News from NA

Neighborhood regeneration, social innovation & equitable economic development


Social Innovation

As a result of the IUC exchange, Baltimore adopted a focus on social innovation based on the “Torino City Lab”. The 2020 Accelerate Baltimore program selected applicants with technologies that are addressing four major city issues – blight, digital equity, mobility and racial justice. In 2019, Baltimore hosted two visits from Italian entrepreneurs that Baltimore officials met during the Torino learning exchange visit: a vermouth distillery (vermouth was first crafted in Turin) looking to start a USbased operation and an Italian entrepreneur looking to move to the US to build out a social software platform.

A delegation of seven stakeholders from the city of Baltimore (three funded through a grant from a Baltimore-based organization) attended the 2019 Open Innovation Summit sponsored by the Italian Foundation, Fondazione Giacamo Brodolini. The conference theme was “The City as a platform: turning assets into shared value leadership, governance and community in the era of digital transformation.” Turin and Baltimore participants presented on best practice in urban development, public financing and entrepreneurship education and support.

Neighborhood (Urban) Regeneration

An international business partnership has been signed to launch an innovative project on social housing in Turin: Homes4all. The City of Baltimore has signed a letter of support for the application “House of emerging technologies” submitted by the City to Turin within the Italian National Fund for innovation and internationalization. A Baltimore-based real estate corporation has evaluated the interest to invest in the conversion of a closed factory into affordable housing in a district in Turin.

“In terms of learning through the IUC program, [the cooperation with the City of Baltimore] re-affirmed the crucial role of public institutions as key players to promote urban development based on principles of equity, inclusion, community welfare, and local production in deprived urban areas.”


Equitable Economic Development

A program of acceleration has been jointly designed by two private actors to promote the exchange of startups between Turin and Baltimore. The delegation from Baltimore participated in several technical visits related to this topic including: Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center which launched a new Lab in Milan dedicated to the circular economy and a €5 billion credit facility for SMEs and Corporates. The cities have ongoing dialog regarding opportunities for future support and collaboration. Another technical visit with OGR Torino – A hub for collaborative creativity and a new ideas incubator focused on start-ups, creative industries and smart data as well as round table meetings with the Italian Ministry of Innovation, Turin Deputy Mayor for Innovation of the City of Turin, key stakeholders of Torino City Lab project and Baltimore. Baltimore and Turin share similar opportunities, challenges and resources. The Baltimore Delegation learned that collaboration and shared use of resources could leverage mutual advancement of entrepreneurial ventures, business and job creation and international expansion of local businesses. Both cities achieved the goals of connecting with key contacts strengthening their mutual cooperation effort to create tangible results. More than 30 local actors have been involved in B2B dialogue with Baltimore delegation.

Tech4Good Exchange – building on their cooperation experience the two cities aim to pilot an exchange program of US and Italian start-up companies focused on social entrepreneurship and social innovation. The Tech4Good exchange programme is co-promoted and will be implemented by two business support structures locally based: – Open Incet , the Open Innovation Center of the city of Turin, as Anchor Partner in Turin, and Betamore, a coworking, education, and community space for the doers, as Anchor Partner in Baltimore.

“Baltimore and Torino have many common strengths and challenges. Most importantly, both cities have a strong desire to succeed and improve their future through innovation. It is this optimism and grit that has forged a strong cooperation between our cities that is sure to last beyond this program. Baltimore plans to highlight the IUC program in its upcoming strategic plan as a successful effort to expand Baltimore’s global reputation and adopt best practices from peer cities.”


Case Study: Baltimore & Turin, Italy

Neighborhood regeneration, social innovation & equitable economic development