Italian ambassador visits GSI and FAIR


High-ranking visit on the GSI/FAIR campus in Darmstadt: The Italian Ambassador H.E. Armando Varricchio was recently a guest at GSI and FAIR. Together with the Italian Consul General Andrea Esteban Samà from Frankfurt and Culture Attaché Dr. Michele Santoriello, he informed himself about the successes and perspectives of research at GSI and FAIR and took the opportunity to meet Italian scientists on site.

Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, Professor Marco Durante, Head of GSI's Biophysics Department, Professor Silvia Masciocchi, Head of the ALICE Research Group at GSI, and Dr. Ingo Peter, Head of Press and Public Relations of GSI and FAIR, welcomed the Italian guests. The visit program focused on the current and planned research activities as well as the high-tech developments for FAIR, especially the Italian activities in this regard.

H.E. Ambassador Armando Varricchio is regarded as one of the most prominent and well-known diplomats of the Republic of Italy. He has broad international experience at various political levels and served as diplomatic advisor to several Italian Prime Ministers. He has been Italian Ambassador to Germany since June 2021, and previously served as Ambassador to the United States. During his visit, Armando Varricchio was impressed by the highly promising prospects opened up by the FAIR international accelerator center currently being built at GSI: "FAIR is a fascinating international project that offers unique opportunities and promotes new developments. The research and experiments at GSI and FAIR are important for scientific progress that benefits the entire society. I am pleased that Italy plays an important role here with the cooperation of many dedicated Italian scientists and the Italian high-tech industry."

"I am extremely pleased that we could warmly welcome Armando Varricchio to our institution. We are very honored that one of his first travels as ambassador to Germany is to our research facility. We would like to thank him for his great interest in our science," said Professor Paolo Giubellino. "The Italian science community and GSI/FAIR are closely linked. Researchers from Italy are making excellent contributions in a variety of scientific and technical fields at GSI and FAIR and Italy has a huge industrial return from the realization of high-tech components for FAIR. We hope to further strengthen this successful collaboration with Italy in the future."

Italy is strongly involved on the scientific and technological side with GSI/FAIR: Building on a long-standing collaboration between Italian research institutions such as the Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, INFN) and GSI/FAIR, Italian researchers are represented in many fields and collaborations at GSI and FAIR. This for example refers to the field of biophysics with its wide thematic range from space research to tumor therapy, or to the large-scale experiment R3B, which allows reaction experiments with high-energy exotic nuclei. Moreover, over 40 GSI/FAIR employees are Italian, including the Scientific Managing Director and two heads of departments.

In addition, a number of important assignments for FAIR high-tech components are realized by Italian companies. For example, the superconducting magnets for the fragment separator (Super-FRS), the central apparatus of the NUSTAR experiment, are manufactured by ASG Superconductors and power converters by OCEM, both Italian companies. Further examples of important technological collaboration also exist at the large FAIR ring accelerator: Parts of the test program for the quadrupole module series are carried out at a test facility in Salerno, Italy.

During a guided tour, the guests were able to inform themselves in detail about FAIR. Some of the stations where young Italian researchers as well as responsible scientists gave insights into their work were the HADES experiment, the medical radiation unit of biophysics and the test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets. The guests were also able to see the progress of the construction work for the future accelerator center from the viewing platform located directly at the FAIR construction site. Afterwards, there was an opportunity for a meeting of the diplomatic visitors with Italian scientists and a short address of the ambassador to his compatriots working at GSI/FAIR. (BP)

About H.E. Ambassador Armando Varricchio

Armando Varricchio has been Italian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany since June 21, 2021, after serving as Italian Ambassador to the United States since March 2, 2016.At the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union, as Head of Cabinet of the Minister for European Affairs and as Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the European Commission, Ambassador Varricchio dealt mainly with European and transatlantic issues. As Diplomatic Advisor to Prime Ministers Enrico Letta and Matteo Renzi, and previously as Assistant Diplomatic Advisor to President Giorgio Napolitano, he handled the most complicated international issues, particularly security issues.

As a personal representative ("Sherpa") at the G7/G8 and G20 summits, he dealt with the most important global issues, especially economic and financial issues, at both the national and European levels.

He was Ambassador in Belgrade and before that Head of the Economic Section of the Embassy in Washington, while as a young diplomat in Budapest he witnessed the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union. He graduated with honors (Laurea con lode) in international relations from the University of Padua and embarked on a diplomatic career in 1986, reaching the rank of ambassador in 2014. Previously, he worked in the private sector as assistant to the financial director of the Italian textile company Marzotto Group.

He is a recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and has received numerous honors from abroad.