This summer, the first National Centre for Innovation and Culture abroad will be inaugurated in Silicon Valley. It is a real technological outpost that will offer an integrated promotion of the country system in a more effective and innovative way, combining cultural, economic, technological and scientific dimensions in the symbolic place of global innovation.
The Italian Innovation and Culture Hub (IICH) – as it is defined in the United States – is promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the proposal of the Embassy of Italy in Washington, in collaboration with the Consulate General in San Francisco, and will be built with the involvement of the ICE Agency. The project could be an excellent experimental model to be proposed tomorrow in other countries.
“This is a highly innovative and ambitious project, wanted by Farnesina to support our companies, start-ups, research and university centres and local authorities: a unique, modern and flexible space, where the best of our Country with an advanced and incomparable ecosystem in terms of innovation rate, skills and availability of risk capital” declared the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, via social media.
The IICH represents an original solution, never had before, as it 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. The headquarters in Silicon Valley – in the historic Italian-American district of North Beach – 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. Right here, moreover, since 1850 many of our Fellow-Italians have been making a determinant contribution to the development of the San Francisco Bay Area.
“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” recalled the Italian Consul General in San Francisco, Lorenzo Ortona.
On the other hand, for the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, “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”.