This summer Italy will open its first overseas National Centre for Innovation and Culture in the United States, as an experimental model that can be replicated in other countries.
Promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation following a proposal by the Embassy of Italy in Washington, in collaboration with the Consulate General in San Francisco, this is Italy’s first Innovation and Culture Hub (IICH) and will be implemented with the involvement of the ICE Agency.
The new Centre will be an original solution that brings together, in a single space, two existing Italian government agencies (the Institute of Culture and the ICE Agency, with the desk for attracting investments) and the new Innovation Centre. In this way it will be able to offer an integrated promotion of the Italian system in a new and more effective way, by combining the cultural, economic, technological and scientific aspects in the region of California that is the symbol of global innovation.
As an authentic Italian technology outpost in Silicon Valley, the IICH will have the ability to provide multiple services both on site and remotely, and aims to become a reference point for the San Francisco area that will encourage Italy’s agencies to interact locally with the most advanced partners in the world.
A location has already been identified in the historic Italian-American district of North Beach, where since 1850 many of our fellow-Italians have been making a determinant contribution to the development of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Minister Luigi Di Maio says "this is a strongly innovative and ambitious project that my Ministry has decided to implement as a support for our businesses, start-ups, research and university centres, and local authorities: a unique, modern, flexible space in which to bring together the best of our own country with an advanced ecosystem that is incomparable in terms of its level of innovation, skills, and the availability of risk capital ".
The Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, stressed that "the IICH represents a response to the concrete needs of our national economic and technological system and brings to reality what was hoped for in autumn 2019, when our President Mattarella visited San Francisco and Silicon Valley and took part in the First Italy-USA Innovation Forum".
Finally, the Italian Consul General in San Francisco, Lorenzo Ortona, recalled that "the decision to locate the IICH in an area of the city that is highly symbolic for the history of our fellow countrymen in California represents an ideal link between past and future, creating a bridge between the outstanding Italian scientific and technological community of this part of the world and our own national economic fabric".