Research must be the central focus of economic recovery efforts, because it is “an indispensable component in business dynamism”, declared Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino as she opened the meeting at the foreign ministry in Rome of scientific attachés assigned to Italian diplomatic missions abroad.
“Diplomacy and science are natural allies”, since there is no global challenge – food and energy security, climate change or pandemic disease – that should not be confronted together”, she added. And yet, in Italy scientists have been left “in the margins of foreign policy decision-making”, and therefore “a change of pace is needed”. The foreign ministry is working on “cultivating the terrain for encounter” between science and business, since a country without raw materials “needs to make the most of its talent”. It is therefore necessary “to overcome our fear of brain-drain and help our talents to gain experience abroad and then return to Italy”.
Protocol of understanding and MFA-CNR operational convention signed
With a view to strengthening science’s contribution to the increased internationalisation of the country, MFA Secretary General Michele Valensise and President of the National Research Council (CNR) Luigi Nicolais today signed a protocol of understanding and an operational convention.
Another of the meeting’s speakers, Minister for Education, Universities and Research and Maria Chiara Carrozza, assured that it was one of the government’s goals to “make the most of the next cycle of European research funding”. In the latest, recently concluded, cycle Italy received a quota that did not exceed 9%, compared with its 14% contribution – a loss of 2.5 billion, the minister pointed out, warning that “the system cannot afford” additional losses.
National technological clusters founded on public/private cooperation
Among other things in the works to best confront this challenge are national technological clusters founded on public/private cooperation, the minister explained, adding that the creation of “solid international partnerships is a fundamental point of departure in the competition for European resources”.