The visit to the Italian Innovation and Culture Hub INNOVIT, opened at the end of 2021 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an outpost of Italian innovation to Silicon Valley, was the focal point of the first day of Ambassador Mariangela Zappia’s mission to San Francisco, assisted by Consul General Sergio Strozzi.
“Over 100 startups and innovative SMEs accelerated in 2023, more than a hundred events organized, over 4,000 guests—these numbers demonstrate the success of this Italian project,” highlighted the Ambassador, who is also the president of Innovit’s advisory board, at the opening of the roundtable on strengthening Italy-United States collaboration in technology and innovation. This commitment was one of the agreements made by the Italian Prime Minister and President Biden in their meeting in Washington at the end of July. “With Innovit, Italy brings its excellence in the sectors of energy, biotech, fintech, digital, aerospace, robotics, cybersecurity, and the internet of things to Silicon Valley,” emphasized the Ambassador, expressing appreciation for the contributions of associations such as the Italian Scientists & Scholars in North America Foundation (ISSNAF), the Silicon Valley Italian Executives Council (SVIEC), and the Business Association Italy America (BAIA) to the growth of Innovit and the entire Sistema Italia [Italian institutional network] in San Francisco.
In a ceremony at Innovit, in the presence of representatives from the entrepreneurial and scientific community, the Ambassador awarded Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO, the honor of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. The Ambassador recalled how Maestri, a member of the Innovit Advisory Board, has always maintained a close connection with Italy, supporting young Italian entrepreneurs and promoting the creation of the Apple Academy at the University of Federico II in Naples.
In San Francisco, Ambassador Zappia also met with Federico Faggin, a physicist, inventor, and Italian entrepreneur who conceived the first microchips for Intel and founded successful high-tech companies such as ZiLOG and Synaptics. She also met Marco Trombetti, the founder of Translated, an Italian company that is a leader in online translations and collaborates with major American tech companies, such as Google.