ROME – Italy’s new Prime Minister has hired the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of Italian defense company Leonardo to help rebuild the country’s economy that has suffered from the coronavirus pandemic.
Roberto Cingolani, who headed the cyber and artificial intelligence programs at Leonardo, was appointed the new Italian minister for “green transition” on Friday, with the task of revitalizing Italian companies through environmental initiatives.
He will join a cabinet unveiled by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, a former governor of the European Central Bank, who has been appointed to lead a new government of national unity after Italy’s ruling coalition collapsed in dispute.
The pressure is to get a government up and running as Italy scrambles to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination program and rebuild its economy, which is in its worst downturn since World War II.
Some of the cure will come in the form of more than 200 billion euros (US $ 243 billion) in restoration funds, which will be released by the European Union. Italy has to spend about 37 percent of the funds on efforts that would make economic activity greener – hence the creation of the new Cingolani Ministry will be underway.
Cingolani received a PhD in physics and worked as an academic in Italy, Japan and the United States before founding the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa in 2005. He joined Leonardo in 2019 where he focused on digital programs, sustainability and high performance computing. AI and robotics.
Cingolani, a well-known critic of the Italian government’s bureaucracy, will now have the chance, as government minister, to overcome it.