Education

Google creates an online portal for Italian excellence

A virtual platform fostering Italian productivity

Google creates an online portal for Italian excellence

Claudia Astarita

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Together with Symbola Foundation, an Italian institute that aims at promoting Italian quality, Google launched a new online panel, specifically designed for the Made in Italy. Powered by a hundred digital galleries - containing videos, images and historical documents -, the portal is thought for international visitors to discover the best of Italian culture and culinary excellence.

Italy's production is now capable of providing niche products on larger-scale markets, which translates in a great potential for increased exports. In 2013, the search for Made in Italy on the Internet has increased with a 12%. However, Italian small-to-medium enterprises are still far from efficiently exploiting the web as a tool for e-commerce.

The portal (google.it/madeinitaly) was born from the cooperation of several national institutions, such as the Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestal Policies and Uniocamere. The Made in Italy project is designed for giving exposure to both well known products, such as Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan Cheese, as well as less known products, like Vercelli's accordion.

Another branch of this project focuses on educating and training small-to-medium Italian enterprises to an efficient use of the Internet as a valuable marketing resource. Under the scientific coordination of Professor Stefano Micelli, professor at Ca' Foscari University in Venice, the applicant firms are entitled to participate in an online course providing practical tips on how to digitally empower their business. The single companies will also be assigned young web masters, sponsored by both Google and Unioncamere (a public entity representing the Italian chamber system), to follow up in their digital landing place.

Google and Uniocamere have also decided to offer 20 scholarship to students interested in helping small and meduim enterprises to embrace new technologies. The selected students will first attend a dedicated workshop on how to promote exports online and then spend an average of six months in these companies and their aim will be the one of helping them to advertise their Made in Italy products online.

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