Work Team


The Export Observatory, now in its fifth year, is concerned with identifying the export models enabled by digital technology (that is, the set of commercial channels, logistics channels, marketing and promotional strategies, payment systems, sources of funding, organizational aspects and actions to ensure compliance with legislation, regulations and customs matters), alongside encouraging the diffusion of these models within Italian companies. The Observatory will, therefore, become a national point of reference for large companies, SMEs and public authorities.


As part of its research for 2019-2020, the Observatory’s work consists of:

  • Conducting field research through personal interviews and surveys involving the main players in the field of export.
  • Implementing numerous study cases on companies that have tested innovative export models, with the aim of sharing and spreading best practice.
  • Organising two workshops behind closed-doors to share the preliminary findings of our research and initiatives of success.
  • Organising a thematic work table discussion group behind closed doors, focused on presenting and actively discussing successful cases.
  • Organising a public convention to present the main findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by major players from the export world.
  • Writing a report containing the main findings of the Observatory’s research.
  • Intensive media communication about the outcome of our research.


Research for 2019-2020 covers the following areas:

    • Frame Italian export within its macro-economic context;
    • Estimate the share of consumer goods within digital export enabled by B2c, B2b or B2b2c eCommerce channels through surveys and interviews with export companies and international eCommerce operators;
    • In depth analysis of some occurrences having international impact (e.g. the Belt and Road initiative and Cross Border eCommerce at international level);
    • In depth analysis of marketing strategies, logistics solutions and technologies for the development of new products in foreign markets;
    • Identify potential export models (for selected sectors and markets) where new technologies play a significant role through an analysis of seven building blocks: (1) commercial channels; (2) logistics channels; (3) communications channels; (4) payment systems; (5) aspects concerning legislation, regulations and customs matters; (6) financing sources; (7) organisational aspects.

The boundaries of the research are:

  • Product sectors analysed:
    • All B2c sectors (food, fashion, furniture/interior decoration, design, baby care, beauty, consumer electronics);
    • All B2b sectors (automotive, mechanics, mass consumer market, electric material, pharmaceutical, textile …);
  • Markets considered: mostly China, USA, Europe, ASEAN and Russia.
  • Types of companies: Multinational, Large Italian companies and SMBs


The Observatory’s research is based upon an empirical analysis involving surveys, study cases and informal interviews with sector experts.


Furthermore, the Observatory aims to stimulate the debate and dialogue on Export related topics through an Advisory Board consisting of Italian exporting companies, export supporting service providers, associations, organizations and institutions.



Sponsorship opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

More Details


For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Export Observatory, please contact Riccardo Mangiaracina (email: riccardo.mangiaracina@polimi.it) and Maria Giuffrida (email: maria.giuffrida@polimi.it)