The article analyses the role played by different actors involved in the process of creating a technology district to the east of Milan. The process began during the management of a corporate crisis which turned out to be an opportunity to revitalise the area’s industrial vocation. As a result, through the promotion of a network between firms and local bodies, a "technology pole" was created on an area already recognized by the Lombardy regional government as a hi-tech district. The article investigates the context variables (functioning as resources and/or constraints) and the characteristics of the actors involved (distinguished on the basis of their relational, cognitive, organizational and material resources) that transformed a corporate crisis into a "window of opportunity" for the set up of a local development project. The corporate decision to relocate upset the previous balance and opened spaces for action by a pool of actors that, interpreting the characteristics of the situation and the context in their own ways, "saw" a solution different from that initially envisaged by the company (closure of the site).
Keywords: Local development, innovation, actors, policies, district, network