There is a part of Italy that produces high quality innovation and is celebrated around the world, and could be promoted further. Based on this premise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host a new edition of the Conference of Scientific Attachés on 9 and 10 January, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, and the Minister of Education, University, and Research, Valeria Fedele.
The network of scientific attachés is an important tool for promoting the Italian cultural, economic and innovation system, because it fosters bilateral cooperation in the research sector, supports Italian excellence and international accreditation organisations, and is a point of reference for Italian scientific communities abroad. It has been the subject of as many as 291 promotional initiatives over the past 3 years.
This year, the Conference at the Farnesina aims to take further steps forward in strengthening this network by connecting the various components of the Italian innovation platform in the fields of training, research and industry. Italian success stories which have made a contribution to Italian competitiveness in these sectors will be discussed, and an award presented to a researcher or founder of a successful start-up company abroad.
The figures for the contribution of Italian innovation to the country's economic growth are already significant. For example, the percentage of SMEs which have introduced product and process innovations, or strategic and organisational innovations, is greater than the average value for the European Union, and so is the contribution to the balance of trade of medium and high technology product exports. The aim now is to consolidate and strengthen this momentum.