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Scientific diplomacy

In 1978, Italy was one of the first western countries to sign an intergovernmental agreement with China for scientific and technological cooperation (S&T).
Over the years, S&T cooperation projects between the two countries have gradually increased, and today they do are an important part of the global strategic partnership between China and Italy.

In 1998 a bilateral cooperation agreement was signed in Beijing in the fields of culture, science and technology, replacing and updating the previous agreement signed in 1978.

In 2010, the premiers of each country signed a Triennial Joint Plan of Action to strengthen economic cooperations. In the same year, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Public Administration and Innovation signed a framework agreement to establish a stable cooperation model between the two countries in the field of diffusion of innovation.

The agreement provides for the establishment of three bilateral cooperation centres between Italy and China and a Forum:

• Center for Design and Innovation coordinated for Italy by the University “Politecnico di Milano”
• Center for E-Government coordinated for Italy by the University “Politecnico di Torino”
• Center for Technology Transfer coordinated for Italy by the University of Bergamo
• China-Italy Innovation Forum, a platform that integrates scientific, technological and innovative resources between the two countries.

The aim of the Forum: to improve communication and promote bilateral cooperation in science and technology fields, the technology transfer and the construction of an effective matchmaking platform through the organization of an annual exchange event held every second year in both countries .
At the same time, in 2007, the Sino Italian Exchange Event, an event organized by the Beijing Association for Science and Technology (BAST) and the Beijing Municipality, was born in Naples on the initiative of the City of Science and the Campania Region.

In 2013, on the basis of an Interministerial Agreement signed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ICE- Agency, the Italian Digital Agencies and from the City of Science, the Government decided to coordinate via the “back to back” formula – the two events: the China-Italy Innovation Forum and the Sino-Italian Exchange Event, relying on the City of Science in Naples for the management of the unified program.

This gives birth to the “China-Italy Science, Technology & Innovation Week”, the national S&T cooperation platform to China, is based on its ability to deliver results and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
In 2014, in order to coordinate the many actions taken by Italian institutions in China, the Italian Government established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Technical Table for S&T Cooperation with China with the following aims:

• ensuring great awareness of the Chinese scientific world;
• establish a place for information on co-operation projects;
• promote coordination among the scientific and technological institutions cooperate with China;
• encourage the return of investments in Italy to Italy, enhancing the “Italy System”.

In 2014, the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Italy) decided to integrate in the co-operation program, alongside the technological exchange, the cooperation between the humanities and the scientific world, by including in the program a new area of work: the dissemination of scientific culture, thus laying the ground – through cooperation among Universities, Confucius Institutes and City of Science – for the development of exchange programs for exhibitions, events and mobility of students and teachers.

In 2015, at the Ministry of Education, University and Research, a Coordinating Table of the China Program, composed of all subjects in the world of research and Universities, was set up and opened at innovative start-ups through the Ministry of Economic Development (Italy), and at the business world through Confindustria (General Confederation of Italian Industry).

On November 16, 2015, the first day of China-Italy Science, Technology and Innovation Week, Ministers Stefania GIANNINI and WAN Gang signed a Joint Statement which confirms the role of Science, Technology and Innovation as a key sector for bilateral cooperation and financing joint projects ad a part of the new Executive Program for Scientific and Technological Cooperation 2016-2018.

Scientists Network in China

Prof. Plinio Innocenzi

has been appointed from August 2010 Counsellor for Science and Technology at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing. Prof. Innocenzi is Full Professor of Materials Science at the University of Sassari in Italy and Director of the Laboratory of Materials Science and Nanotechnology (LMNT) of the University of Sassari. He is also visiting Professor at the Osaka Prefecture University in Japan, at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Honorary Professor at the Normal Luoyang University. He has received his Doctor Degree in Physics at the University of Padova in Italy. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Prof. Roberto Pagani

has been appointed from August 2016 Councillor for Science and Technology at the Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai. Prof. Pagani is Full Professor of Building Technology at Politecnico Torino in Italy and the EU Co-Director of the Europe China Clean Energy Centre (2011-2015) in Beijing, at Tsinghua University. He is also visiting Professor at the Curtin University in Perth (W.Australia), at the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and Honorary Professor at Luoyang Normal University. He is an independent expert and evaluator for the European Commission in Horizon2020 and previous framework programmes.

Dr. Lorenzo Gonzo

has been appointed from September 2016 Councillor for Science and Technology at the Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing. With a degree in Experimental Physics (University of Trento) and a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics (Technische Universität Muenchen, Germany), Dr. Gonzo started working as a researcher at FBK (then ITC) in 1993. Since May 2010 he dedicates his experience to the crucial task of fostering dialogue with companies, in order to make the results of research useful to society. Since August 2012, he has been a scientific expert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Scientific and Technological Cooperation Unit).

Read the Newsletter of Scientists Network in China:

The MAECI-NNSFC call for the collection of bilateral design proposals for scientific and technological collaboration has been published. To download the announcement text click on the following link: Testo Bando.