By Domenico Letizia
On Saturday, October 29, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) celebrated its 47th anniversary in the nation’s capital with a gala event attended by Italian and Italian American excellencies from business, science, finance, music and medicine sectors. The Foundation is an important historic organization, located in Washington D.C., which represents some twenty million Italian American citizens living in the United States of America.
For several decades, the organization has facilitated collaboration among Italian Americans, with the goal of preserving and the heritage and traditions of the Italian community in America. Towards this end, the NIAF supports and communicates with the White House and the U.S. Congress on all major opportunities or issues affecting Italian Americans.
In the presence of outstanding guests, such as U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise, the Italian business excellences present at the event engaged with members of the diverse Italian American community, explored new synergies, expanded opportunities for economic and cultural cooperation, and strengthened the importance of political alliances between the Western powers, as reiterated by a video message sent to the proceedings by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
During the important initiative, the Think Tank “Italy Untold,” tasked with introducing Italy to an international public, promoted the top Made In Italy excellences and economic opportiunities yet to be discovered by international investors and organized an event on the opportunities of scientific and commercial cooperation between the aerospace and space sectors in both Italy and the United States of America.
The workshop was attended by Francesco Briganti, president of the Think Tank “Italy Untold”; Eric Dent, director of communications at Fincantieri Marine Group; Sabrina Zuccalà, president of the company 4ward360, which develops nanotechnology formulations for the Defense, Aeronautics and Aerospace industries; Chris Ingersoll, head of U.S. relations at Leonardo; and Fabrizio Tubertini, a robotics expert at the Italian Institute of Technology.
Sabrina Zuccalà’s, speech which emphasized the importance of political and geopolitical cooperation between Italy and the United States of America was especially well received by the audience in attendance. She reiterated, “The promotion of Italian excellence and made-in-Italy innovation in the U.S., starting with aerospace synergies, as a personal priority and a scientific collaboration with the U.S. world and major U.S. institutions, which are jointly cooperating to pursue of the United Nations 2030 Agenda goal of sustainability. Through collaboration with the U.S. partners, we can advance an innovative and sustainable economic project that is also becomes political and cultural: a union between democracies for the liberal growth of the Western world, achieved by strengthening Italian-American history and culture.”
In addition, President Sabrina Zuccalà had the opportunity to be able to engage in discussions with journalist Giada De Laurentiis, Michael Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State, Ornella Barra, an influential Italian American businesswoman, Paolo Scaroni, an entrepreneur who has been active in the U.S. for decades, congressmen Bill Pascrel and Steve Scalise, Cristiano Musillo, Consul General of Italy in Miami, and Italian Ambassador to the U.S., Mariangela Zappia, always emphasizing a “the structure and strength of political synergies between our countries to reinforce the Western geopolitical strategy in the field of Defense, intelligence and aerospace research.”
The partnership between Italy and the United States in the space sector began in 1962, the year of a cooperative agreement permitting the San Marco satellite, the first Italian object in orbit, to be launched from the U.S. two years later. In more recent times, the Italy-U.S. agreement on the supply of pressurized modules for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS) has given Italy privileged access to the orbiting outpost. Of similar importance, are Italy’s significant contributions to European Space Agency (ESA) programs. Following from this, are cooperation and developments in the field of nanotechnology which contribute to the realization of faster, safer, and more functional aircraft.
The Italian company 4ward360, chaired by Sabrina Zuccalà, sets an industry standard with its entrepreneurial model in research, analysis, processing and administration of nanotechnological formulations. The company develops nanotechnological formulations for the protection and preservation of material surfaces for both Defense and Aerospace applications and is a model for innovation and production processes for companies. The Italian innovation of nano-material formulations for aerospace, envisaged by Sabrina Zuccalà, has attracted the attention of the scientific, government and business communities in the United States of America, which are working on the development of new economic opportunities arising from space.
Many new projects await further in-depth study and have also attracted the attention of Italian institutions in the US. During the mission to Washington, President Sabrina Zuccalà also met with Air Force Colonel Aniello Violetti, Space Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, who is responsible for studying all innovative and development projects in the aerospace sector.