Italy is a top-three EU country for R&D in pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmaceutical research and clinical trials.

Milan is one of the largest centers for pharmaceutical and medical device clinical trials, with a particular focus on rare diseases and a strong pipeline of drug candidates.

The city has a rich network of academia, research organizations, national and international regulators, government and complementary industries, which provide a unique breeding ground for science, research, and innovation. 


Check out the categories of companies active in the lifescience sector in Milan! 


Italian life sciences companies have invested heavily in orphan drugs and advanced pathology treatments related to cancer and other diseases of clinical- epidemiological relevance, such as auto- immune and infectious diseases. They are also at the vanguard of vaccines research

Lombardy’s regional government is leading partner of a national research program for the development of advanced cancer therapies using CAR-T technology. Other partners include the Hospital S. Gerardo-Fondazione Tettamanti (Milan Monza), Molmed S.P.A., the San Raffaele Hospital and other research institutions based in Milan.


Consumers are increasingly concerned with their diets and the global functional food and beverage market is anticipated to grow by 8% annually to 2021. Italy’s functional foods market is the largest in Europe.


Milan is a hub for Italy’s agri-foods, and particularly functional foods, industry, which is renowned for its quality and innovation. The city is north of the Italian “food valley,” and close to the European Food Safety Authority and European Nutraceutical Association in Parma.

In 2018, Milan’s ALISEI National Technological Cluster for Life Sciences partnered with the National Technology Agrifood Cluster, C.L.A.N., to support research and technology transfer relating to nutraceutical, nutritional, and functional foods.


Milan has one of the world’s most efficient and modernized healthcare systems, and was early in introducing individual electronic health records. It also pioneered an integrated “one health” approach

Lombardy region has more than 200 private and public hospitals, and 19 start-of-the-art hospital scientific centers, known as “IRCCSs.” The IRCCSs conduct critical research in biomedicine and healthcare management

The city of Milan offers a state-of-the-art healthcare system, through a comprehensive network of 30 public and private hospitals. Milan also has multiple medical centers dedicated to its large international community, such as the American International Medical Center and the International Health Center. 12 hospitals have emergency rooms with dedicated assistance for foreign patients



Advanced analytics and big data are transforming the global pharmaceutical industry, and Italy is a top-three country in Europe for innovation productivity in computer science information systems

Milan was the first major city in the world to launch 5G. It has also been chosen as a leading destination for research and training centers for advanced analytics companies.

Milan is home to the Center for Nano Science and Technology. It is also home to the Center for Genomic Science, which applies modern genomic technologies towards a better understanding of complex biological processes and diseases, with particular emphasis on cancer. The Center is located within the IFOM-IEO Campus in Milan, one of the largest and most vibrant cancer research communities in Europe



Lombardy is the top manufacturing region in Italy and the third largest in Europe by number of employees. It has specific competitive advantages in agri- food, aerospace, life sciences, living environments, smart communities, mobility, green chemistry, energy, environment, construction and smart factories.

Lombardy has Strong knowledge-based manufacturing start-ups, with five new businesses per 100,000 residents. In addition, more than 18% of these start- ups boast high growth performance over the medium term.