SIGN is a new network of Italian scientists in Germany.

[What does SIGN do?]

You can apply for individual membership, irrespective of citizenship, if you work or have recently worked in Germany in science or technology, in academia or industry, and have received scientific education or training, or held research positions in Italy. Scientists from all disciplines (physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, social sciences and humanities) are eligible. Membership is subject to the approval of the Executive Board.

Membership application: download this and follow instructions.
Twitter: @SIGNnw
YouTube channel

———— NEWS ————

Interview to Giovanni Cuniberti on Cosmo Italiano

A great interview to our Director prof.Giovanni Cuniberti on the WRD podcast Cosmo italiano, from approximately 08:40 to 17:10 (but the other interviews are also interesting, on intellectual emigration).

Italian Space Day event in Berlin: young satellite launchers and defense applications

Only a few days ago we co-organized with the Italian Embassy an event for the Italian National Space day. Four groups of young students presented their projects for the CANsat (satellites the size of a can shot in the atmosphere with a small rocket, and performing simple task on their descent) and CUBEsat (modular satellites of 1 to 6 liters in volume to be launched in orbit) projects. CANsat groups were from Kaiserin Friedrich Gymnasium in Bad Homburg, and from the Accademia Aeronautica Italiana in Naples, while CUBEsat groups came from the University of Padova and Politecnico Milan. After the presentations, journalist Isabella Bufacchi coordinated a panel discussion on space economy and defense and military uses of space. You can find an audio-only “video” of the event on SIGN’s YouTube channel playlists.

Group photo
One of the presentations of the CANsat student groups at the event.

Einstein Telescope event in Berlin ! (Video available)

A great event on gravitational waves and the future Einstein telescope, and in particular on the Italian proposal to build it in Sardinia, was held at the Italian Embassy with the collaboration of SIGN, and moderated by SIGN board member Vincenzo Fiorentini. A challenging but superinteresting 90 minutes! You can find the full video of the seminars the three in SIGN’s YouTube channel playlists.

Group photo
From right, the speakers Michele Punturo (spokesman ET collaboration), Filippo Zerbi (director of science, INAF), Michela Mapelli (professor of astrophysics, Heidelberg Uni), Alessandro Cardini (Head of project ETIC and Director of INFN Cagliari), Marco Pallavicini (Vicepresident of INFN), Alessandro Nagar (gravitation theorist at INFN), and Mauro Morandin (Industry Liaison Office for Italy at CERN), with Vincenzo Fiorentini (Embassy science attachè and SIGN board member).

SIGN-Vigoni AI conference videos now available

The SIGN-VigoniRicerca conference on AI applications was held at the Center for European Dialog in villa Vigoni on July 21 and 22, 2023. Besides the timeline of the meeting generated on SIGN’s Twitter with hashtag #SIGNsymposiumvillaVigoni, the full videos of the three sessions are now available as SIGN’s YouTube channel playlist.

Joint Jubilee of CNR and MPG

A major event co-organized by SIGN has taken place on Oct. 23 at the Italian Embassy in Berlin, celebrating the 100 years of CNR (Italian National Research Council) and MPG (Max-Planck Gesellschaft). Both the President of CNR, Maria Chiara Carrozza, and the President of MPG, Patrick Cramer joined the event and delivered speeches. SIGN founding member Andrea Musacchio then coordinated a conversation of the Presidents, taking questions from the public. The full video of the event can be viewed here among the SIGN channel playlists.

From right, proff. Musacchio, Carrozza and Cramer.

Report on “year zero” of SIGN

In the lead-up to our Assembly in October 2023, a report on the zero-th year of SIGN’s has been produced, and can be downloaded here.

Please address comments and corrections to or

Assembly of SIGN in Berlin

The Assembly of SIGN e.V. will take place at the Italian Embassy in Berlin on October 11, 2023 from 5 pm to 7 pm. A reception in the Embassy will follow.

The Minister of Research of Italy, Sen. Prof. Anna Maria Bernini, and the Ambassador of Italy H.E. Armando Varricchio will be in attendance. Also, Prof. Marino Zerial, founding member of SIGN, will give a short talk about his new role as Director of the Human Technopole Milan.

The official agenda is here.

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Success of SIGN-Vigoni AI conference, and plans for 2024 !

The SIGN-VigoniRicerca conference on AI applications was held at the Center for European Dialog in villa Vigoni on July 21 and 22, 2023. It was a successful and very participated meeting, with contributions from many diverse fields (medicine, computer science, humanities, banking, …), as evident from the abstracts booklet, downloadable here. The event was organized by SIGN’s Vincenzo Fiorentini, Matteo Pardo, and Giovanni Cuniberti, with the support of Francesca Zilio from villa Vigoni.

Group photo at villa Vigoni.

A rather complete real-time timeline of the meeting was generated on SIGN’s Twitter with hashtag #SIGNsymposiumvillaVigoni.

All proceedings have been filmed and are available on SIGN’s YouTube channel.

During the event, a cooperation agreement was signed between DFKI and CNR, as described in these CNR and DFKI press releases.

DFKI CEO Antonio Krüger countersigns the agreements in villa Vigoni, together with Matteo Pardo (seated), and Vigoni secretary general Christiane Liermann, CNR’s Giovanni Felici and SIGN’s Vincenzo Fiorentini (standing).

There are also interesting news for the 2024 edition of the SIGN-Vigoni conference. Two dates (June and November 2024) are being discussed, and the working title is “Matter matters”. Stay tuned!

SIGN organizes Artificial Intelligence conference at villa Vigoni

On July 21 and 22, SIGN co-organizes a conference on AI applications at the villa Vigoni Center for European Dialog as a Vigoni Ricerca event.

A dozen Italian and German speakers will discuss the diverse uses and applications of AI, and related opportunities and challenges. The event is organized by SIGN’s Vincenzo Fiorentini, Matteo Pardo, and Giovanni Cuniberti.

The current program is here. Not confirmed yet, but likely: contributions may be filmed for SIGN’s YouTube channel.

Italian Research Day in Berlin – part 2

Successful and stimulating event on May 9 at the Italian Embassy Berlin! The videos of the full event as well as the individual contributions is here on SIGN’s YouTube channel.

Italian Research Day in Berlin

On May 9 at 6.30 pm at the Italian Embassy Berlin, SIGN co-organizes an event, by invitation, on “Research: an engine of growth”, with Elisa Araldi, Jürgen Mlynek, and SIGN founding members Chiara Franceschini (LMU), Sakura Pascarelli (XFEL), Roberto Tamai (ESO), and Emilio Zagheni (MPI-Demographie).

Contact Vincenzo Fiorentini (SIGN board member and science attachè in Berlin) at for info and invitations.


Giovanni Cuniberti named Ambassador of Genoa to the World

Giovanni Cuniberti, executive director of SIGN, and professor of nanoscience at TU Dresden, has been named Ambassador of the City of Genoa to the World in a ceremony on Sunday at Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Italy, in recognition of his achievements as a scientist and enterpreneur in Germany and Italy. Our warmest congratulations!

Palazzo Ducale ceremony
The new Genoa Ambassadors in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio at Palazzo
Ducale in Genoa. Cuniberti is fourth from left.

Chiara Franceschini wins ERC Advanced grant

We are delighted to congratulate SIGN founding member and board member Chiara Franceschini (professor of art history at Ludwig-Maximilian-Uni in Munich) who just received an ERC Advanced Grant on the art and history of early modern hospitals in Europe. Chiara has been with LMU since 2016 and already won an ERC Grant.

Marino Zerial called at the helm of Human Technopole Milan

We are delighted to congratulate SIGN founding member Marino Zerial (founding director of the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Biology in Dresden) who has been named director of the Human Technopole in Milan, Italy. A great way to bring back to Italy his decades of experience in cutting edge research in biology and medicine. Compliments to Marino and ad majora!

Reliable perovskite solar cells

SIGN founding member Antonio Abate (Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin and University of Naples) and his group have published a paper in Science reporting a breakthrough improvement of the mechanical robustness of active perovskite layers in high-efficiency solar cell stacks. As Abate comments, Temperature variations tend to undermine the mechanical stability of the film and decrease the efficiency: the polymer we added during the crystallization process made the crystalline film more plastic. Compliments to Antonio and his group!

The Human Computer:Katherine Johnson at NASA

Friday 16 December at 7 pm Elena Sacchi, Valeria Korol, and Yuri Cavecchi presented the new book by Quaternion Books, collecting commented scientific works by Katherine Johnson, at Istituto di Cultura Berlin. Moderator: SIGN’s Vincenzo Fiorentini.

ESO at 60

ESO at 60

Full INAF event in Rome (Dec 12) on youtube for the 60th anniversary of ESO:

Shout-out to SIGN founding member Roberto Tamai, head of ESO-ELT.

Italian Space Day

Webinar with Italian Embassy Berlin on 5 Dec 2022, including as speaker SIGN founding member Luciano Rezzolla:

* Press releases and tweets etc. will be hosted here.
* XFEL Hamburg press release: here
* Article by Isabella Bufacchi @ Sole24ore: here
* Interview on BerlinoMagazine: here
* Presentation slides at 12.10 event — n.1 – CNR reform: here
* Presentation slides at 12.10 event — n.2 – ITA-GER exchange: here
* Presentation slides at 12.10 event — n.3 – Goals of SIGN: here

SIGN Calendar (iCal): here

Statute: german (official); english, italian (unofficial)

Founding and registration documents

Twitter: @SIGNnw