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Celebrating innovators on the streets of MIND

A ceremony to re-name the first three streets of MIND – Milano Innovation District took place today marking an important milestone in the district’s project to celebrate and give visibility to lesser known or forgotten innovators. The famous Decumano of the universal Exposition will officially become “Viale Decumano” and the area surrounding the Tree of Life will be known as “Piazzale Expo 2015.

Meanwhile the Cardo, headquarters of Human Technopole, will be named after Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel prize for Medicine and stander-bearer for Italian research around the world.

President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and President of Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana attended the ceremony to unveil the new plaques.

The project is a joint effort between MIND partners: Arexpo, Human Technopole, Lendlease, Università degli Studi di Milano, Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi and Fondazione Triulza. The aim of the initiative is to underline the identity and values of MIND as an ecosystem for innovation. Over the past few months MIND partners have drafted and submitted to the Comune di Milano a proposal to rename the streets as well as the squares, the buildings and the parks of the district. The outcome was a joint and integrated project celebrating and remembering scientists, researchers and relevant personalities in science and technology which have contributed to the progress of humanity.

One of the objectives of the initiative is to give tribute to the extraordinary contribution of female scientists and innovators, too often underestimated or even forgotten. Today in Italy only 5% of places are named after women, compared to a much higher proportion of men. MIND partners hope to have at least 50% of streets named after women as toponymy represents a fundamental tool to value and promote among the general public the important contributions made by women to the development of our societies.

The initiative is in line with the #RememberMyName campaign launched in March 2020 by Human Technopole to share the stories and revolutionary discovers of lesser-known scientists.

Arexpo is aiming to transform an area as important as the one that hosted Expo into a unique innovation district for Italy and among the most important in the world. The project is now becoming a reality and the naming of the first MIND streets is proof of this. Research and innovation are the decisive challenges in a fast-changing world, but it is also important we celebrate the legacy of science and of the 2015 universal Exposition” explains Igor De Biasio CEO of Arexpo.

Human Technopole Foundation President Marco Simoni underlines: “Alongside Rita Levi-Montalcini who has been universally recognised, there are equally great figures such as the British biochemist Rosalind Franklin, whose work was fundamental for the discovery of the structure of DNA, who have been kept in the dark. This has often been the case for female scientists. Fostering trust in science is also achieved by knowing and celebrating those people whose discoveries have improved our daily lives. With the #RememberMyName campaign we celebrated “forgotten” scientists: women and men who have played a fundamental role in scientific progress but whose name is often unknown. An initiative we promote once again today with this ceremony and which will also be a prize for primary schools as part of the “A City in MIND” competition to name spaces of HT after these important figures”.

Andrea Ruckstuhl, Head of Italy and Continental Europe for Lendlease commented: “The personalities that we have chosen to celebrate teach us that innovation, science and technology are a shared heritage at the service of mankind to improve our quality of life. These extraordinary men and women are a source of inspiration, encouraging us to promote ideas and projects that will make MIND a unique excellence in the world: a resilient, inclusive and sustainable city of the future”.


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