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The Foreign Ministry at the Genoa Science Festival

Living cities, the batteries of the future and the marvel of microsensors: these are the themes chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) to participate in the Science Festival 2019, the scientific promotion event held in Genoa from 24 October to 4 November. This participation is part of the scientific diplomacy action promoted by the Italian Scientific Attachés abroad and is renewed every year with the presence of international experts and eminent Italian scientists.  

The event will kick off on Saturday, 26 October, with the conference: “The city becomes biomimetic. The evolution and future of smart cities”. Roberto Pagani, the Scientific Attaché in Shanghai and the moderator of the conference, said: “there are enormous and extremely interesting margins within which to change the way of designing cities by studying Nature.” He went on: “Biomimetics is a vision of the city as a living organism; it makes up one of the most innovative frontiers in the study of smart cities.” The conference agenda will include contributions by Zhang Yu, from the Harbin Institute of Technology, architect Luciano Pia, Jean-Marc Tulliani and Lorenzo Matteoli from the Turin Polytechnic.    

On Friday, 1 November, the theme of the conference will instead be Lithium-ion batteries, present and future”, a very topical technological issue also in the light of the fact that the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was assigned to three important researchers in this sector. The event will be moderated by Giuditta Perozzi, scientific expert of the MAECI. The scheduled speakers will be Silvia Bodoardo from the Turin Polytechnic and Elie Paillard from the Helmholtz Institute in Muenster, Germany, both of whom are partners in the European Commission’s Battery 2030+ flagship project. The speakers will illustrate how a lithium-ion battery works and the differences with solid-state batteries and the batteries of the future.

A laboratory will be held throughout the Festival called “Movements on a Microscale – In the World of Microelectromechanical Devices” organised by Luca Pellegrino from the CNR-SPIN and project leader of “Solid-State Actuators for Micro/Nanorobotics”, financed by the MAECI in compliance with the Italy-Japan Executive Protocol 2017-19. The Laboratory will offer the opportunity to become familiar with miniaturised mechanical sensors and devices capable of applying force and producing movement on a micro and nanoscopic scale in objects of everyday use, such as cell phones. It will enable people to study how these disposable devices are produced and learn about the technologies used in producing them.

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