Milan, 5 November 2019 – Today the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited Palazzo Italia, the iconic building of Expo Milano 2015 which now represents the heart of the Human Technopole Foundation, the new Italian institute for research on life sciences.
Accompanied by the President of the Human Technopole Foundation Marco Simoni and by the director of the Human Technopole Foundation Iain Mattaj, the Prime Minister visited the building, where the Foundation has been active since December 2017.
Palazzo Italia is now completely renovated and adapted to the needs of the research institute, which will occupy 14,400 square meters of space, distributed six levels, with workstations for computational research and administrative offices.
Upon his arrival at Palazzo Italia, Giuseppe Conte met the employees of Human Technopole and the management of MIND, the new city district dedicated to science and innovation that is being built in the former EXPO area: Giovanni Azzone, president of Arexpo, Andrea Ruckstuhl, head of Italy and continental Europe by loan agreement, Maria Pia Abbracchio, vicar prorector of the State University of Milan and Elena Bottinelli, managing director of the San Donato Group.
In the audience for the Prime Minister's speech, local authorities and distinguished guests, such as Diana Bracco, president of the National Cluster for Life Sciences Alisei, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Paola De Micheli, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Stefano Buffagni and Senator Elena Cattaneo.
Afterwards, a ribbon cutting moment, to symbolically inaugurate Palazzo Italia and celebrate the completion of the renovation works.
The visit of President Conte continued privately on the second floor to see the new spaces of Palazzo Italia and meet the first scientists that will guide the research activities of human Technopole: Giuseppe Testa, director of the Neuro-genomic Center, Alessandro Vannini, director of the Center for Structural Biology, Francesco Iorio, head of one of the research groups of the Center for Computational Biology and Nereo Kalebic, head of one of the research groups of the Neuro-genomic Center.
The leaders and director Iain Mattaj explained to the Prime Minister the innovative features of Human Technopole and the main research lines on which their work will be focused. The research activity of Human Technopole will aim to improve quality of life through an interdisciplinary approach to health and aging, through personalized medicine and nutrition to fight cancer and neuro-degenerative diseases, integrating large-scale genomics and data systems the development of new diagnostic techniques.
Marco Simoni, president of the Human Technopole Foundation, emphasized: "We are delighted that the President Conte has chosen to be with us today. The re-opening of Palazzo Italia, a little over a year from the foundation's birth, would not have been possible without exceptional teamwork that has involved our public institutions and research centres starting from IIT and MIND partners starting from Arexpo, which we thank deeply, knowing that we will continue to work together for years to come with the same spirit of cooperation and driven by a long-term collective goal. Today we take another step forward for the development of Human Technopole, the new research infrastructure servicing the entire country. We do not consider this an arrival point, but a reminder to continue to work with commitment, determination and gratitude, because there is nothing more exciting than working for the future, knowing that something is being built which will be inherited by future generations ".
Was built as the Italian pavilion for EXPO Milan 2015 and is conceived as a nearly zero energy building, according to the principles of maximum environmental sustainability. During the universal exposition it hosted exhibits, events and installations.
With the birth of the Human Technopole Foundation, the entire building has undergone renovation work to transform it from an exhibition area into space for 400 workstations. The furnishings and the scenographic and multimedia installations, the raised floors and the false ceilings have been removed and all the building adjustments necessary to improve acoustic and environmental comfort have been realized.
The spaces have been organized to combine open space solutions, closed offices, rooms for meetings and conferences. All the floors have been equipped with wi-fi connection, lighting, ventilation and air conditioning systems and provision of video-projection systems and video conferencing in the meeting rooms. The restaurant space, the auditorium, the panoramic terrace, the internal courtyard that will house a café bar and a play area for a company kindergarten have been maintained.
Human Technopole is the new Italian research institute for life sciences, located in the heart of MIND (Milan Innovation District), the area of Milan where Expo 2015 took place. It will develop customized approaches to medicine and nutrition to fight cancer and diseases neuro-degenerative, integrating genomics, Big data analysis and the development of new diagnostic techniques. It will occupy about 55,000 square meters, of which 35,000 are interdisciplinary laboratories, including three existing buildings, including Palazzo Italia, and one of new construction which, according to the project, will host 7 research centres and 4 scientific facilities. The structure will be completed by 2024 and up to 1,500 people will work there.