The Summer School

Italian Academic Center

Cornell Tech, New York 

June 24-28, 2024

Research, business, technologies, and policies are increasingly interdependent. 

Threats and opportunities come from several directions such as price changes due to geopolitical factors, customers’ orientation towards green products, legislations supporting environmental sustainability, digital technologies, and Artificial Intelligence breaking into every sector.   

Innovative solutions require collaboration across different disciplines and the involvement of different stakeholders. Sometimes the success of an innovation is dependent on systemic changes, like in the case of electric vehicles.

The summer school - Pathways to Innovation and Entrepreneurship - will build new competencies to deal with and take the most advantage of this interdependent and changing world. 

This week-long training comprises five interconnected modules that aim to cultivate a trans-disciplinary approach to produce societally relevant, innovative, and scientifically robust knowledge on sustainability transformations that transcend established boundaries between science and society. 

Bridging engineering, natural, and social sciences, this training aims to facilitate knowledge sharing, empowering participants to devise innovative solutions to industry and societal challenges. With an emphasis on developing an entrepreneurial mindset, and fostering critical and evaluative thinking, this course delves into deep tech and social research initiatives within society's digitization.

Our Vision

In 2023, the "Pathways to Innovation and Entrepreneurship" project was selected and funded with $50,000 by the US Embassy in Italy. The initiative aims to foster collaboration between universities and businesses in Southern Italy, addressing the region's unique challenges and opportunities.

The project is designed and coordinated by Mita Marra, a professor of Economic Policy at the University of Naples Federico II, with the support of a committee of international experts. This dynamic team has developed a non-traditional training initiative focusing on several critical areas:

Exploring global ideas and experiences ...

This initiative began with an international expert meeting held in New York in July 2023 at the Italian Academic Center, in collaboration with Cornell Tech and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), focusing on the role of university institutions in promoting entrepreneurial ecosystems. Then, in November 2023, another session was held within the online event of the European Evaluation Society, involving the University of Naples, the OECD, the SBCD program within Massachusetts University, the Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation, and Fondazione G. Brodolini. 

Expert Meeting - Program Agenda

July 20-21, 2023

Italian Academic Center

Cornell Tech, New York

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystems

La voce di New York

Online Meeting - Program Agenda

November 15, 2023

European Evaluation Society

Evaluating the impact of innovation and SME support programs: unleashing entrepreneurial potential

Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation (FTVAL)

Our Roadmap

Paving local path to innovation and entrepreneurship

A standout feature of the project is its itinerant training program, which has spanned four distinct locations in the Campania region, each chosen for its unique contribution to local production systems within urban peripheral zones or rural areas, currently experiencing a severe phenomenon of depopulation. The four meetings took place in:

Training session #1

Program agenda 

Jan 31, 2024

San Giovanni Campus, University of Naples Federico II Naples

Doing business in the ecosystem

Training session #2

Program agenda 

Feb 1, 2024

Complesso monumentale San Giovanni, Cava de' Tirreni SA

Entrepreneurial ecosystems in the g-Local context

Training session #3

Feb 21, 2024

Cornell Tech, New York

Production specialization and location: What investment opportunities in a moderately innovative region?

Prof. Mita Marra meets Post-docs in the Runway and Spin-outs Program at Cornell Tech

Training session #4

Program agenda 

Mar 20, 2024

Palazzo del Municipio, Altavilla Iripina AV

Entrepreneurial ecosystems within the ecoregions: What investments for sustainability?

Il Giornale dell'Irpinia 

Training session #5

Program agenda

May 24, 2024

Castello Normanno del Guiscardo, Caggiano SA

Cultural ecosystems in energy transition: Art and culture for developing rural areas


Nine young researchers with different backgrounds, from Social Innovation, Industrial Engineering, and Chemical Sciences, have participated in the project, presenting their research, ranging from drones and marine microalgae to anti-cancer agents and artificial intelligence for predictive maintenance, as well as studies on the socioeconomic impact of performing arts and policies to combat educational poverty. 

The young researchers have interacted with business managers and CEOs from aerospace, electronics, agri-food, and arts and culture. 

The aim was to facilitate cooperation to foster innovation in production and entrepreneurial skills among researchers.  

Going global again!

The program's culmination will be a study week at the Italian Academic Center in New York from June 24 to 28, 2024. This international component aims to bridge local entrepreneurial ecosystems with global networks of researchers and entrepreneurs.

Summer School 

Jun 24-28, 2024

Italian Innovation Center

Cornell Tech, New York

Bridging the Atlantic: Exploring Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Deep Tech and Social Realms

Il Mattino 

Empowering Young and Emerging Researchers

The Summer School "Bridging the Atlantic: Pathways to Innovation and Entrepreneurship" in New York, in collaboration with Cornell Tech, aims to enhance participants' skills in technological and social innovation, broadening collaborative networks between businesses and research at both local and international levels. Besides the young researchers, other participants—including entrepreneurs, experts, and managers—will engage in five modules exploring macroeconomic trends, entrepreneurship in deep-tech and social enterprises, high-impact investments, and the evaluation of sustainability transitions. One module is dedicated to networking with companies and researchers in the New York metropolitan area.

During the training program, participants will develop a project focusing on the valorization of DOCG villages in Irpinia, inspired by the workshop conducted in Altavilla Irpina with local wine and agri-food companies.

Upon completion, a Certificate of Learning Achievement will be awarded by the University of Naples Federico II and Cornell Tech.