On the occasion of the visit to Rome by President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani in January 2016, a roadmap for the bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and scientific has been agreed between the two countries. A relevant area for cooperation is the one of science, technology and innovation which has great potential for development.

During this last year, several institutional and diplomatic meetings have been organized and the first steps to strengthen the cooperation between Italians and Iranians universities and research centers were taken in order to develop industrial relations, particularly between small and medium-sized innovative companies.

Among the first bilateral initiatives, it should be noted the “Pietro della Valle” program that aims to finance the mobility of researchers. The call for participation provides for the funding of 30 projects each year about initiatives of common interest in the humanities, scientific and technical field involving young Italian and Iranians researchers.

Key factor in the intensification of relations between the two countries was the proposal by the Italian Government to carry out an Iran-Italy Innovation Forum – on the model of the China-Italy Science Technology and Innovation Forum organized by Città della Scienza on behalf of the Ministry of Education with a growing success – with the aim to connect the policies in the field of research and innovation and to create a permanent platform enabling universities, research centers and companies with a strong innovative impact to realize a constant and permanent exchange.

The proposal to arrange in the spring of 2017 the first edition of the Forum in Iran was agreed in a meeting hold in Rome on November 28 between the Italian Minister of Education, University and Research Stefania Giannini and the Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology (MSRT) Mohammad Farhadi.

Later, in December it was held in Tehran the VI edition of IRAMOT conference on technology transfer where Italy was the guest of honor. During the event, on December 12 in the presence of the Italian Ambassador in Iran S.H. Mauro Conciatori and the Vice-Minister of Science Vahid Ahmadi, it was signed the framework agreement for the establishment of the Iran-Italy Innovation Forum. The agreement, approved by the Ministry of Education and by the MSRT, was signed by the Department for Technology Affairs of the the Iranian Ministry of Science and Technology and by Città della Scienza by the Italian side.