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We are pleased to introduce you Prof. Francesco Beltrame, Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, Full Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Genoa, President of ENR (National Agency for Research and Promotion of Standardization) formerly President of DigitPA (National Agency for the Digitization of Public Administration) and Director of the ICT Department of the Italian National Research Council.

LIFE4MEDECA:  Francesco, in the early 70s as a young visiting researcher in US you helped a team of Nobel winners to map the structure of chromatin-DNA of carcinogenic cells, at the end of the 80s you were the first University Professor to teach a course of what now, 40 years later, we call ICT. Then, at the beginning of the new millennium, you focused the maritime sector and you have been among the first ones to speak of hydrogen for ships....

F. BELTRAME: I believe hydrogen has what is needed to become the main actor in a zero emission maritime transport. To get there, we need the combined work of our 'brains' and our 'arms': the road is still long before we can substitute carbon with green hydrogen. However, the first concrete steps can be done already.

LIFE4MEDECA: The results of research triggered by your late 70s’ carcinogenic cell studies are in the textbooks of medical schools all over the world; South Korea, the world leader in digitization, in 2016 invited you to lecture ICT at the prestigious KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology): you seem to be able to predict the future. What about the Mediterranean?  

F. BELTRAME: The Med is suffering and we cannot afford to lose it: we would lose 7.5% of the world’s marine biodiversity. It is easy to forecast that this will not happen because we, the people, will not let it happen. This is why LIFE4MEDECA project is so important: to make the Mediterranean population aware of the challenge and to empower them (us, I must say) to act.

LIFE4MEDECA: ... and how can we, individuals, help?

F. BELTRAME:  Like in ICT: a single person is like an isolated computer; it can do a lot but… if it is included in a collaborative network together with millions of other computers it can do almost everything. LIFE4MEDECA should be the network, we (including myself) will power it.

LIFE4MEDECA: Few know that your great uncle, Father Paolino Beltrame Quattrocchi (passed away in 2008 at the age of 99), inspired Giovanni Guareschi’s Don Camillo. What would Don Camillo tell us about MEDECA?

F. BELTRAME: After pulling up his sleeves, he would say "heart matters more than grammar!" and would start working.