On April 9, 2018 the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC celebrated the first-ever Italian Reasearch Day in the World with an event titled “Bridging Italy and the US through science.” Italian Ambassador to the US Armando Varricchio opened the conference followed by Jonathan Margolis, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space, and Health in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. The event, focused on the collaboration between Italy and the US in the fields of science, research, and technology and on future opportunities, was moderated by Professor Giorgio Einaudi. Professors Giorgio Bellettini, Pier Paolo Pandolfi, Elisabetta Vitali, and Rita Colwell were among the panelists.
The initiative is part of first Italian Reasearch Day in the World, launched in February by the Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The goal is to promote and highlight the work of the many Italian researchers around the world. Italian Reasearch Day will be officially marked in Italy on April 15, anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s birth. Coincidentally, the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death will be honored in 2019.
In his opening statement, Ambassador Varricchio stressed how “the collaboration between Italy and the US in science and technology has shown great success in the past 30 years in part thanks to the passion and the commitment of Italian researchers, academics, and scientists in the United States, as well as the solid relationships between our two countries and their scientific communities.”
According to estimates by National Science Foundation (NSF), there are more than 15,000 Italian researchers in the US and the number of Italians professors in US colleges and universities grew by 6% in the past 10 years (source: OCSE). They represent a veritable resource and an opportunity to strenghten the bilateral cooperation. The network of researchers and scientists, including the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation (ISSNAF), with more than 4,000 members, allows a growing collaboration between Italian researchers in the US, their American counterparts, and their colleagues back in Italy.
The bilateral relations also benefit from the 1988 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, renewed every three years with a Joint Declaration, signed by the two countries to define and promote specific actions to carry out the Agreement via bilateral thematic working groups regarding a large program of activities.