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Minister Bernini inaugurates Italy-USA Council annual meeting at the Italian Embassy in Washington

Il Ministro dell’Università e della Ricerca, Sen. Anna Maria Bernini

The Embassy of Italy in Washington hosted the annual meeting of the Council for the United States and Italy (Consiglio per le Relazioni tra Italia e Stati Uniti — ConsIUSA) on April 9th-10th.

Italian Ambassador to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, welcomed participants on the evening of April 9th at Villa Firenze. The Italian Minister of Universities and Research, Senator Anna Maria Bernini, was the guest of honor. Following remarks by the Minister, the Ambassador, and ConsIUSA Chairman Domenico Siniscalco, the evening continued with a conversation between Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, moderated by the Ambassador.

On April 10th, the Italian Embassy hosted the Council’s workshop titled “Next! Forging The Future. Our World, Our Challenges.” Opening the proceedings, after greetings from Ambassador Zappia and U.S. Ambassador to Italy Jack Markell (via video link), were Minister Bernini and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State, Ambassador James O’Brien.

The closed-door sessions focused on the role of research and innovation in shaping future geopolitical and economic scenarios, global economic and financial outlooks, ongoing crises and conflicts, the potential and challenges of artificial intelligence, and culture and sports in the transatlantic relationship. Attendees included the Vice President of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Anna Ascani, Italian and American representatives from business and finance, research and innovation, as well as media. Hon. Christian Diego Di Sanzo also attended. A special focus was dedicated to the relationship between Italy, Europe, and the United States, and NATO, with contributions from former U.S. Ambassadors to Italy.

ConsIUSA Chairman Domenico Siniscalco and U.S. section Chairman Luca Montebugnoli concluded the proceedings.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Zappia highlighted ConsIUSA as a forum to reflect on the central role our two countries play together in the present international scenario, particularly in light of the G7 summit in Italy and the NATO summit in the United States, in advancing the international agenda for the establishment of an order based on shared values.

Minister Bernini emphasized the centrality of research and innovation in defining the geopolitical and economic landscape for future generations, stressing how “science plays a dual role, contributing to strengthening the democratic foundations of our societies on the one hand, and providing tools to address the challenges of our time” on the other. She also noted the opportunity to intensify international scientific collaboration, starting with Italy’s closest partners. The Minister highlighted the intensity of Italy-United States cooperation, evidenced by thousands of agreements between universities in Italy and the United States, the presence of 15,000 Italian researchers and scientists in the United States, and strengthened by the mission to the United States during which collaboration agreements were signed with leading U.S. scientific institutions, from the National Science Foundation to the DoE. The Minister also highlighted significant investments underway in Italy to strengthen the research ecosystem through the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan) and the commitment of the Italian presidency of the G7 on issues related to research infrastructure and emerging technologies, also highlighting Italy’s candidacy to host the Einstein Telescope in Sardinia.

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The Council for the United States and Italy (Consiglio per le Relazioni tra Italia e Stati Uniti — ConsIUSA) is an association established in 1983 at the initiative of Gianni Agnelli and David Rockefeller to promote bilateral relations through dialogue and exchange between industry, economic and financial leaders, managers, professionals, scientists, communication and media representatives, scholars, Italians, and Americans. The current honorary chairman is Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO and Vice Chairman of Pirelli & C. Domenico Siniscalco, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, is the current Chairman. Gianni Riotta, visiting professor at Princeton University, is the Executive Vice Chairman.