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​San Francisco: first Italian Culture and Innovation Hub opens

Foto Gruppo Innovit

On 20 October 2022 the first Italian Culture and Innovation Hub – INNOV.IT – opens in San Francisco. The Hub brings together the Italian Cultural Institute, the Italian Trade Agency’s (ICE-Agenzia) inward investment and innovation desks and the new Innovation Centre, all in the one place. The initiative was proposed by our Embassy in Washington and by the Consulate General in San Francisco, with the support of the Presidency of the Republic. It was realised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with ICE-Agenzia.

The aim of the initiative is to build an interface between Italy’s world of innovation and the innovative ecosystem of Silicon Valley in California, and other tech hubs in the United States.

The project, which responds to concrete needs in Italy’s economic and technological system, is part of our integrated country promotion initiatives and focuses on business matching and inward investment. The goal is for INNOVIT to become a catalyst for the development of both public and private Italian initiatives: investment funds, start-ups and corporates, universities and research centres and local bodies (regions, metropolitan cities, agencies) from the perspective of supporting internationalisation, enhancing the excellence and competitiveness of Italian scientific research and boosting our technology transfer and innovation capacity.

Since late 2021 INNOV.IT has hosted the two ICE-Agenzia desks which, along with the Consulate General, have organised activities and events since the Hub first opened. The national project will be completed from November 2022, with the provision of private services starting up.

Once the agreements put in place following the award of the European tender called by ICE-Agenzia on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had been completed, the temporary grouping led by the Giacomo Brodolini Foundation and Entopan Innovation formally received the commission to launch the Innovation Hub and manage its activities and services for the next four years. The Hub itself is located in 710 Sansome Street in San Francisco, in a neighbourhood selected for its symbolic links with the history of Italians in California and which is a conceptual link between past and future.

“Today in San Francisco a project of strategic importance to our country is being completed, a project promoted and strongly supported by our Embassy and our Consulate General”, underscored the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia. “The INNOV.IT innovation centre will provide high quality services to businesses, start-ups, research centres, venture capital and national and local bodies. It will be the hub of a system of relationships, training and promotion focusing on innovation and located in the world’s most important area for innovative sectors and capital concentration. INNOV.IT will enable Italy to grasp all of the opportunities of this era of change in all fields. It is a modern and flexible instrument, the first and only one of its kind in our foreign network. It will bring together our traditional cultural soft power with smart and cutting-edge services and activities to draw and build on the most original ideas and solutions offered by our country. It will inspire our entrepreneurs and researchers to come here to obtain both capital and knowledge that they can use to generate new Italian ‘unicorns’”.


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