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The Gran Sasso Tech Foundation is born

The long-lasting collaboration between the Gran Sasso Science Institute and Thales Alenia Space materializes in a creation of an institution aiming to stimulate research and innovation

Rome, March 16, 2022 - The Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) and Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%), have signed the contract that establishes the creation of the "Gran Sasso Tech" foundation which aims to stimulate research and innovation.

The contract between the international PhD institution based in L’Aquila and the leading Company in the satellite systems was signed by Professor Eugenio Coccia, Rector of the GSSI, and Massimo Claudio Comparini, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia, in the presence of Maria Cristina Messa, Minister of University and Research.

This new Foundation was born at the right time,

said Minister Messa.

We are living in extraordinary times for the development of initiatives and projects related to technological innovation and synergies between public institutions for research and education and private companies. Working together in a structured way, allows better impact of innovation and economic growth in both the public and private sector, creating attractive projects for public and private investments.

Rector Coccia expressed great satisfaction:

The Gran Sasso Science Institute was created, as stated in its founding law, to strengthen the higher education system and the synergies between the research and the industry. The birth of the Gran Sasso Tech Foundation,

explains Coccia,

should be seen as a fulfillment of this will and an innovative example of a bridge between academia and enterprise. The existing collaboration with Thales Alenia Space on various projects with important public funding and private investments is now blossoming into a new and original partnership for innovation.

Today we celebrate the result of a years-long fruitful collaboration with the GSSI, intending to concretize the link between basic research, applied research, and development in the high-tech space domain”, commented the Thales Alenia Space Italia CEO Comparini.  The birth of the Gran Sasso Tech Foundation certainly represents a great opportunity, in line with European guidelines and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, to support research and innovation for the development of the knowledge society for the benefit of the local communities.

Among the objectives of Gran Sasso Tech is the strengthening of the exchange between research that takes place in the university context and applied and industrial research, with particular attention to the areas of space, silicon technologies, and software systems.

The Foundation will be equipped with laboratories, where Thales Alenia Space technicians and engineers and GSSI students and researchers will be working together. Some areas of common interest have already been identified:

•    Design of highly complex space missions and development of payloads for scientific missions
•    Characterization of technological components for the space
•    Development of quantum technologies for space applications
•    Development and applications of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Advanced Software
•    Development of Concurrent Engineering and Digital Twins platforms

In addition to research, the Gran Sasso Tech Foundation will also be dedicated to training and information. The Foundation's laboratories will train industry and research resources who will acquire design, innovation, management and leadership skills, in an international and flexible context, open to contamination between different backgrounds, cultures, technologies and skills. The GSSI will be able to establish Industrial and Executive PhD studies. Furthermore, the Foundation will also raise awareness toward the public institutions on the relevant issues.

The founding partners of Gran Sasso Tech are the Gran Sasso Science Institute and Thales Alenia Space, but other public and private entities may join, both as Founders and as Institutional or Aggregate Participants.

Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2021 and has around 8,900 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.

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