Birmingham Made Me a Milano! Birmingham’s First ever delegation to Milan Expo

Milan Expo, Citta

A fifty-strong ‘Birmingham Made Me a Milano!’ delegation and BMM15 Capsule Expo will descend on Milan next week to join this year’s Expo in Citta, a project put together by the northern Italian city’s Municipality as an alliance with their Chamber of Commerce.For the first time, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands Region will have a significant presence at the world’s foremost design and making symposium employing 20,000 to welcome visitors from all around the globe.

Birmingham was invited to attend the event by the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, who wrote to city council leader Sir Albert Bore. After four successful years BMM, our own design and making expo, is stepping out and up.

Simon Topman of exhibitors Acme Whistles paid tribute to this Birmingham City University-led initiative saying: “The university has created this collaborative opportunity for businesses, students and our region to demonstrate the ingenuity and creativity that has always been our hallmark. And to profile our success, in a practical way, that has not happened before.”Senior academics, business leaders, students and creative sector representatives will travel to Italy for the event, taking place between June 2-5.

City council cabinet member for Development, Transport and the Economy, Coun Tahir Ali, is scheduled to meet with representatives from Consigliere di Milano, Municipe di Milano, and the British Consul in Milan to explore stronger trade links between the two cities.Birmingham City University representatives are due to meet with Politecnico di Milano and senior design representatives, including John Mathers, CEO, Design Council.

Beverley Nielsen of Birmingham City University and its Birmingham Made Me Design Expo, which takes place in June, played a key role in organising the trip.“The rationale for the visit, at least as far as Idea Birmingham think tank members were concerned, was for Birmingham as a city to learn more about how Milan has built an enviable reputation through strong associations with the companies based there,” she said.

“As a result, we have managed to arrange visits to Italian manufacturers and design-led companies, including Alessi and M&Z Rubinetterie. We are delighted too that the delegation includes colleagues promoting Interiors & Lifestyle Futures at BCU and Design for Europe a collaboration with the Design Council.

“We are also pleased to be welcoming colleagues from the Italian Stock Exchange and to be working with Enterprise Europe Network and our programme includes a networking session between Birmingham, Midlands and Milanese businesses.”

The BMM15 Capsule Expo features a range of products designed by Birmingham City University students of fashion, jewellery, 3D design and interiors, alongside innovative products from companies including Macmaster Design, Sitting Firm, James Plant, Acme Whistles, Tibor fabric prints and Monique Lee Millinery.

Monique’s hats recently formed the central display for the Birmingham City Council exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit by Birmingham City Council having been spotted by Darren Share, Head of Parks and Nature Conservation , Birmingham City Council at last year’s Birmingham Made Me Expo.  Monique said: “Following the RHS Chelsea Flower Show press day, it was a great success. My hats and the award-winning garden were featured in the Evening Standard, The Times, Tatler UK and many online media …even though it was a chilly day.”