A visit to Berkeley Lab, a research platform founded in 1931, supported by the Department at Energy and endowed with more than $1 billion in annual budget, kicked off Ambassador Zappia’s second day of her mission to the Bay Area. Welcomed by Carol Burns, Deputy Director and Chief Research Officer, the Ambassador met with Professors Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli and Alessandro Ratti and visited the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center), the Molecular Foundry nanoscience laboratory and the ALS (Advanced Light Source) particle accelerator. The Ambassador valued the contribution of Lab-based Italian faculty and researchers to bilateral collaboration in science and technology, highlighting how the Innovit Innovation & Culture Hub can further help strengthen it.
At Berkeley SkyDeck, the UC Berkeley startup accelerator and incubator, the Ambassador thanked the university, SkyDeck Director Caroline Winnett, and Professor Sangiovanni Vincentelli for the opening in Italy, at the Milano Innovation District, of the Center’s European headquarters, represented by Director George Panagiotakopoulos, congratulating them on the success of the first three accelerator programs they have completed since May 2022.
In the subsequent meeting with Comites and the main Italian and Italian-American associations in San Francisco, Ambassador Zappia congratulated them on the dynamism and spirit of unity they have shown, most recently with the launch of the San Francisco Little Italy Honor Walk project, promoted by the Italian Consulate General and aimed at celebrating the contribution of Italians and Italian-Americans to the city’s growth. In confirming Italy’s growing attention to its diaspora, recalling among other things that 2024 will be celebrated as the “anno delle radici” (year of roots), the Ambassador encouraged associations of Italians and Italian-Americans to promote the study of the Italian language on the West Coast.
Upon the conclusion of the mission, the Ambassador kicked off the event hosted by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to preview the exhibition “Botticelli Drawings,” a major retrospective devoted to the Renaissance master’s drawings, produced with the collaboration of prestigious museums including the Uffizi, the National Gallery in London, the Louvre, and the Galleria Borghese.