China-Italy University Presidents’ Forum

Politecnico di Milano and Tsinghua University host a meeting to promote innovation for shared future


On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Italy, the Politecnico di Milano and Tsinghua University hosted the China - Italy University Presidents’ Forum. It was organized by the China-Italy Design Innovation Hub together with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Education Alliance of China.

With the theme “Innovation for Shared Future”, the forum gathered online over twenty heads from leading higher education institutions in China and Italy to celebrate the fruitful partnership between the two countries in the field of science, education, and culture in the past fifty years, as well as to explore cooperation in the next half-century that paves the way for a shared future.

Chen Xu, Chairperson of the Tsinghua University Council, and Ferruccio Resta, Rector of the Politecnico di Milano, delivered opening remarks at the forum.

The friendship between China and Italy has flourished for thousands of years. The ancient Silk Road witnessed the enduring cultural exchange between the two countries. The mutual support Chinese and Italians offered each other since the outbreak of COVID-19 is a demonstration of the comprehensive partnership we formed

Chen said in her remarks.

During the past years, Tsinghua has forged extensive and in-depth cooperation with Italian universities in various forms. The China-Italy Design Innovation Hub Tsinghua established in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano has become a flagship program between the two universities and the two countries

Chen pointed out:

Nowadays, the profound changes, instabilities, and uncertainties we are facing in the world remind us constantly of the importance of unity. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Italy. The cooperation in technological innovation between the two countries is set to usher in greater altitude. Tsinghua is willing to keep working together with our partners from both China and Italy to promote innovative technology and governance solutions as well as to stimulate global sustainable development

Ferruccio Resta reflected on the partnership Politecnico di Milano had with Tsinghua in his remarks:

COVID-19 does not only pose the threat to the world but also offers an opportunity to transform. The successful partnership between Tsinghua and the Politecnico di Milano has laid a solid foundation for us to shoulder together the responsibility of higher education institutions in navigating the changes, leading the transformation, and in shaping universities that face the future

Following the opening remarks, the forum witnessed the launching of the China-Italy Year of Youth Innovation & Entrepreneurship, a year-long program that aims to gather collaborative strength across the world to make a strategic contribution for innovation-driven development by creating a favourable ecosystem, promoting exchanges between Chinese and Italian youth, and cultivating leading talents.

Two keynote speech sessions were organized afterwards: “Innovation from a Global Perspective” and “Trans-Discipline Innovative Practice”.

The forum closed with the remarks by Giuliano Noci, Vice Rector for China of the Politecnico di Milano. He shared his expectation towards the China-Italy Design Innovation Hub as well as the future cooperation between China and Italy:

Lying on the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, China and Italy share a long-lasting friendship and should be regarded as one big family. Taking today’s forum as the start point, let us work hand in hand in contributing towards the post-pandemic world