Milan and its surroundings areas, as well as being the most populous region in Italy, are generally recognized as the economic heart of Lombardy. It is therefore, not by chance that the city is called — one of the four driving engines of Europe?. During the 20th century, Northern Milan was Italy's most important industrial center thanks to its heavy metal and mechanical industries. Since the crisis in heavy industries, the economy of the area has radically changed and now revolves almost entirely round innovation and technology based activities.
The University of Milano Bicocca is situated in an area called Bicocca, on the northern outskirts of Milan. The University stands on what was once the industrial site of the world known Pirelli tyre company.
The University is part of a new urban center, in which others are taking part, too: the CNR (National Research Council), Pneumatici Pirelli, multinational company offices, the new headquarters of Pirelli Group, the Arcimboldi Theatre, a sports center and shops.
The University of Milano Bicocca was officially created in 1998, but did not yet have its officially nominated teaching staff. Groups of professors and researchers from the same scientific fields chose to come and participate in the project. They were driven by their enthusiasm for the new, and by the chance to broaden academic horizons without having traditional education methods undermining their work. From the start, this very fertile climate became a unique training ground, offering something new, even to some more classic sectors.
The University of Milano Bicocca has a campus which is open to everyone, not only students. It has at its disposal large open spaces, large lecture rooms, study areas, equipped laboratories, specialized libraries, and a well equipped central library.