1 October 2019

The Free Mind Foundry Opening Ceremony like in “Back to the Future”

In the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, a brand-new International Cooperation Hub is born

Two years after its foundation, Free Mind Foundry doubles space, projects, human resources, technologies and market sectors in which it operates. The successful opening ceremony, that took place on the 27th of September in Acireale, gathered together representatives of the industry and the political, institutional and ecclesiastical world,  and aroused the interest of the national press, representing a significant event in a historical moment in which technological research and education are key drivers of the digital economic development of our country.

Free Mind Foundry is devised to be the home of a global digital community ready to break new ground and erase time-space limits. The International Cooperation Hub, not coincidentally born in the heart of the Mediterranean area, is the concrete example that, anywhere in the world, it is possible to build a sustainable economic model that creates value,  generate employment and improves the technological positioning of Italy.

“Here at Free Mind Foundry, we want to predict the future, creating it” said Simone Massaro, Founder of FMF, during the opening conference, adding “The Innovation Hub is born to help creating value for the most critical infrastructures of the country: energy, telecom, transport, but also military, healthcare, social security. Our challenge will be pursuing broader knowledge of digital technologies and the impact they may have on the economy of our country and all the countries willing to collaborate with us. Our innovation Hub will host a total number of 450 employees by 2020.”

A promise also came from words of Thomas Miao, CEO of Huawei, “Forty years ago, Shenzhen was the headquarters of my company, and it was just a small village. Today there are more than forty million people working there, and it has become the beating heart of technology in China. I would like to make this same dream come true in Sicily, and in particular in Catania. For it to become a reality, we need investments, partnerships, hard work and deep knowledge.”

One of the key points of the debate was the drama of the brain-drain, and on this matter Stanislao Di Piazza, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, said “What strikes me the most about FMF is that this innovation hub offers solutions and services that can really improve the quality of life, putting the individual at the center. Today we have a real hope: finally, in the South, we can face the drama of intellectual migration.” A great echo to his message the statements of His Excellency Mons. Antonino Rapanti, Bishop of Acireale, who said “The culture of emigration is typical of the Islands. We need to build bridges not only to go, but also to come back, and welcome new excellences. A company shouldn’t care only about the return on the investment but must engage people,  taking on the social responsibility of its territory.”

Listed speakers were also the Vice President of the Sicilian Region Gaetano Armao, the Mayor of Catania Salvo Pogliese, the Mayor of Acireale Stefano Alì, the Rector Magnificent of the University of Catania Francesco Priolo, the President of the CNR (National Research Council) Massimo Inguscio, the President of the Municipality of the Kingdom of Morocco Mohamed Boudra, the Dean of the Department of Engineering and Technology in Amman Abu Ghanimeh, the Director of IBM Business Development, EMEA, Alain Fremaux.

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After the conference, the guests have been led through different areas of the campus spread on two floors. An engaging tour into a futuristic space inspired to the adventurous vojage into knowledge made by Ulysses in the Odyssey. During the guided tours, every single room and technology was illustrated in detail; each company part of the Hub was presented by Simone Massaro, Dino Esposito, BaxEnergy Digital Strategist, and other team leaders guiding the groups of guests through the hub. Following the tour, varied tastes of the Sicilian cooking made it easier for attendees to relax and network.

“The ability to predict the future from mathematical models is one of the most powerful strengths of artificial intelligence” pointed out Simone Massaro, showing the three Monitoring & Control rooms for 24/7 operations of critical infrastructures, and added “Yet, the energy that fuels artificial intelligence is made of mathematics and software as people create them. Artificial intelligence is made by people that, out of the numbers of biology, have a computing power 9 orders of magnitude larger than the most powerful computer of today. And it’s capable and motivated people that think and realize things”.

Free Mind Foundry is  thereby  going to become the fulcrum of the Mediterranean area, the innovation hub where ideas make the big difference, where everyone can access to digital resources and evolve them, while the surrounding environment unleashes people potential. In this context, high-quality education, integrated with the latest digital technologies, becomes vital to increase competitiveness in an international landscape, and we want to be early adopters of this mindset.