Urban Center of Trieste

The hub where companies, research and people speak the same language: innovation.

Urban Center before

The building was born as a salt warehouse located in the Old Port of Trieste, an area which was dedicated to mercantile activities since the end of the 19th Century.

Subsequently, when commercial needs changed, the whole area felt into disuse.

The Urban Center had to wait until the 1950s to acquire its current structure. In those years the center passed through a major renovation that demolished the original warehouse but preserved the ground floor, ultimately leading the building to the nowadays office-oriented shape.

Urban Center now

The 2,000 m2 that now host the Urban Center are part of a redevelopment program started lately by the Municipality of Trieste to recover the Old Port Area. This program stands as a key step in a wider project focused on transforming the city of Trieste into a national and international leading science hub, with a particular attention to the most innovative industrial sectors.

For this reason, the Urban Center has been conceived as a place for the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the DigitalHighTech and BioHighTech – in particular biotechnology, biomedical, and bioinformatics. This process is intended to impact the entire urban environment. Indeed, spaces are open to all citizens and are designed to promote knowledge, dialogue, and functional contamination.

With this in mind, a 1-million-euros tender (see the tender in detail) for the management of the Urban Center was launched during 2020 with a specific focus on the management of three areas, corresponding to the floors of the building:

  • Ground floor, FabLab: rapid prototyping technologies to bring innovation and business world closer to students, young innovators, and creative people;
  • First floor, functional contamination activities: a crossroads between the main BioHighTech innovation players to foster and promote self-entrepreneurship;
  • Second floor, management activities for startups: spaces and modules designed to host startup and university spin-offs.

The consortium (RTI) coordinated by Bio4Dreams (coordinator) in partnership with Biovalley Group, Polo Tecnologico Alto Adriatico, and RnBGate was awarded with the tender, receiving the enthusiastic endorsement of the Municipality of Trieste.

This cross-contamination and entrepreneurship-spurring project raised wide interest in the sector and received the endorsement of several local, national, and international subjects. To list some:  Confindustria Alto Adriatico, Federchimica Assobiotec, University of Ljubljana, Confcommercio Trieste, Sissa – Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati, TEDx – Pordenone, University of Pécs, ICGEB – International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, ITS ‘Alessandro Volta’, Slovenian Academy of Engineering, Incubatori FVG, Institut “Jozef Stefan”, Ljubljana, Value Italy, GPI, Sino-Italy Ningbo Ecological Park.

The figures of Urban Center


square meters


of activities


for Startup


square meters


working areas




relax and
interaction areas


conference area



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