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08 March 2013

Science and Technology

Rita Levi Montalcini
Rita Levi Montalcini

Rita Levi Montalcini: the woman, the scientist


March 8, 2013


American Academy of Arts and Science


This seminar, scheduled purposely for International Women’s Day, is dedicated to the Nobel Prize in medicine Rita Levi Montalcini and to her great successes as a woman and a scientist.


PIB (Professionisti Italiani Boston, an association with over 1000 members) and CIB (Circolo Italiano Boston, founded by Franco Modigliani) organized this seminar scheduled for the International Women’s Day, which will look back at Rita Levi Montalcini’s extraordinary career, she passed in December 2012, retracing her scientific successes (among these her studies on the NGF – Nerve Growth Factor – for which she received the Noble Prize in 1986) and her public role as a woman, often active in political and social initiatives. 


With her sister Paola she instituted in her father’s memory, the Rita Levi Montalcini Foundation whose purpose is to foster the education of young people and offering scholarships to young female students from Africa. In 1998 she also co-founded the Italian branch of “Green Cross International”, recognized by the United Nations.


In 2001 Rita Levi Montalcini was nominated Senator for life by the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and was the first woman admitted to the Pontifical Academy of Science. 


The seminar speakers will include MIT Institute Professor Emilio Bizzi (brought in the United States by Rita Levi Montalcini herself), Professor Elio Raviola from the Department of neurobiology at the Harvard Medical School and writer Dacia Maraini.


12 March 2013

Science and Technology




Symposium on the role of Italians in the birth of Information Technology in the U.S. and a retrospective of Olivetti prototypes by the Olivetti research center in Cupertino. The event is connected to San Francisco's Italian Innovation Day with the collaboration of Mind the Bridge Foundation


March 11-15, 2013

San Francisco


A series of initiatives to explore the diverse components of Italian innovation in the particularly significant context of Silicon Valley.


The Week is planned on at least three distinct events:

An exploration of the Italian contribution to the development of Information technology and in particular of Silicon Valley. At the Computer History Museum of Mountain View. To accompany the exhibition, panel discussions will bring together “historic” protagonists of the Silicon Valley story, such as Federico Faggin and Mario Mazzola.

Italian Innovation Day.
Organized by the Mind the Bridge Foundation, the Consulate General of SF, and the Business Association Italy America (BAIA). An action oriented investor day bringing together the best of Italian technology and innovation. Featuring a showcase of the best Italian technology startups, the convention is designed to stimulate partnership opportunities and attract entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and mentors from Italy and the US

Cities of the Future
Two panel discussions at the Italian Cultural Institute of SF focusing on how the role of technology will shape the future of our cities. One panel on biotechnology and renewable energies. The other on the concept of “Smart Cities,” in collaboration with SmartCity Exhibition and Forum PA.


Find out the full calendar


14 March 2013

Science and Technology


ISSNAF – Mentorship Lectures


Lectures by distinguished personalities addressed to young researchers


March 14, 2013
April, 2013
May, 2013
October 28-29, 2013
November 11, 2013

Academic Institutions in the Unites States


Conducted by renowned Italian researchers and scholars working in North America, ISSNAF Mentorship Lectures are primarily targeted to younger researchers to share the personal and professional experience of great Italian talents.
Lectures for 2013:
Pietro de Camilli: Yale University School of Medicine, March 14
Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli: Caltech, April
Mario Strazzabosco: Seattle, May
Riccardo Giacconi: Washington DC, October 28
Camillo Ricordi: Washington DC, October 29
Napoleone Ferrara: Cernobbio, November 11


Young ISSNAF - the largest network of academics and researchers Italian under 40 in North America - organizes lectures whose purpose is to allow more junior researchers in Italy and North America to share the personal and professional experience of great Italian talents. Mentorship Lectures are a keystone of the wider Young ISSNAF Mentorship Program.

Following the notable lectures held in 2012 by Prof. Mauro Ferrari (Methodist, Houston) and Professor Guido Calabresi (Yale), in 2013 ten lectures will be held by the most famous protagonists of the Italian academic and scientific research in North America.

The events will be hosted by the most prestigious academic institutions in the United States or Italian cultural and diplomatic venues.
The recordings of the events will be posted on

ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation) is a 501c(3) not-for- profit organisation whose mission is to promote scientific, academic and technological cooperation amongst Italian researchers and scholars active in North America and the world of research in Italy.
The Foundation serves as a bridge across the Atlantic, promoteing and encouraging the bi-lateral flow of knowledge and skills.

More information about the Foundation can be found visiting








19 March 2013

Science and Technology


50 years of cooperation between Italy and NASA


Conference/Event to celebrate the first 50 years of cooperation between Italy and NASA


March 19, 2013

Washington DC

Embassy of Italy


Fifty years of history in the space sector: relations between Italy and the U.S..


Fifty years of bilateral agreements with NASA: it was 1962 when Italy signed the first agreement with NASA to launch the first Italian satellite from the base of Wallops Island (Virginia), followed by the first launch of an Italian satellite from the Italian launch base of Malindi (Kenya). The first joint mission of NASA-ASI, LAGEOS, dates back to 1992, it was dedicated to the study of the Earth’s geodesy and geodynamics. In that same year mission Tethered was launched to study the ionosphere. The Cassini-Huygens interplanetary mission, still in orbit, was launched in 1997 with the aim of observing Saturn and its satellite Titan. In 2011 the Italian Team was awarded the prestigious "Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Trophy" in recognition of that mission’s efforts and achievements. 
Many Italian scientific experiments were carried aboard NASA missions: Swift (2004) for the study of X-rays; SHARAD (2005), the radar onboard the mission Mars Exploration that found water on the red planet, DAWN (2007) for the observation of the asteroids Vesta and Ceres; FERMI / GLAST (2008) for the study of gamma rays; JUNO (2011) directed toward Jupiter to orbit the poles; NuStar (2012), dedicated to the study of X-rays.
Under the International Space Station (ISS), ASI and NASA have established a strong and privileged partnership through a Memorandum signed in 1997. Italy has produced almost 50% of the pressurized volume of the space station, the three Multipurpose Logistics Modules (MPLM) in cooperation with NASA and the Cupola and Nodes 2 and 3 in cooperation with ESA. Since 2011 one of the three modules has been permanently attached to the ISS. 
The Italian cooperation in the space station provides a return in terms of flight opportunities for Italian astronauts: Franco Malerba (1992), Umberto Guidoni and Maurizio Cheli (1996), Umberto Guidoni (2001), Paolo Nespoli (2007) and Roberto Vittori (2011). Two new Italian astronauts of the European Astronaut Corps, Luca Parmitano and Samantha Cristoforetti, will follow, respectively, in 2013 and 2014.


20 March 2013

Science and Technology




Italy and the United States: Fifty Years of Technological Partnership


March 20, 2013


Drexel University - College of Engineering


The long-lasting partnership between Italy and the United States in the space and aerospace industries will be celebrated within the prestigious frame of the College of Engineering of Drexel University.
Agusta Westland CEO and astronauts from the Italian Space Agency and NASA will take part in the panel discussion.


All of us remember the flying machines as one of the most famous inventions by the Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci.
It is widely known that the first country to have launched a satellite into space was the USSR in 1957 with the Sputnik, followed by the United States Explorer the year after. Still, few are aware that Italy came in the third place in the 1960s conquest of space, and the first in Western Europe.
In December 1964, two years after the signing of the agreement on spatial cooperation between Italy and the United States, from the American base in Wallops Island a team of Italian engineers headed by Prof. Luigi Broglio launched the satellite “San Marco 1”, using NASA “Scout” rocket. The Italian spatial program thus began.


On the occasion of the Year of the Italian Culture in the United States, the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia is organizing a conference to celebrate fifty years of close technological and scientific collaboration in the space and aerospace industries between Italy and the United States.
Within the prestigious frame of the College of Engineering at Drexel University, Alicia Vitarelli, an Anchor for 6abc (WPVI) Action News, will moderate the debate. Astronauts Roberto Vittori from the Italian Space Agency and Christopher Ferguson from NASA – who have worked together in several space missions – will share their professional journeys with professor, researches and students, discussing possible career opportunities in this field.
William Hunt, CEO of Augusta Westland – a leader in the world’s most important helicopter markets and the only sponsor of the event – will start the conference with a keynote speech.
As a matter of fact, Philadelphia hosts one of the most important manufacturing plants of the company owned by Finmeccanica, the second largest industrial group and the largest of the hi-tech industrial groups based in Italy.

Italian and American excellence in the space and aerospace industries will be the focus of the round table, which undoubtedly represents one of the key events of the Year of the Italian Culture in Philadelphia.