US embassy cable - 02ROME560

AMBASSADOR'S CALL ON MINISTER FOR INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Identifier: 02ROME560
Wikileaks: View 02ROME560 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-02-05 15:57:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: ECON PINR PREL AL IT JO MZ TS EUN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 000560 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, PINR, PREL, AL, IT, JO, MZ, TS, EUN 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S CALL ON MINISTER FOR INNOVATION AND 
TECHNOLOGY 
 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (SBU) IN HIS COURTESY CALL ON MINISTER FOR INNOVATION AND 
TECHNOLOGY STANCA, THE AMBASSADOR EXPLORED ITALIAN HIGH-TECH, 
PROMOTED THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER AS HONING THE ITALIAN EDGE 
IN DESIGN AND ENGINEERING, AND SOUGHT AN ALLY IN THE BIOTECH 
DEBATES.   MINISTER STANCA, CAUTIOUS IN HIS NEWLY ESTABLISHED 
MINISTRY, EMPHASIZED E-GOVERNMENT, ASSISTANCE TO 
UNDER-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, AND ONLINE EDUCATION AND MEDICAL 
SUPPORT.  STANCA IS HOSTING A G8-INSPIRED CONFERENCE ON THE 
DIGITAL DIVIDE IN PALERMO IN APRIL WHERE HE WOULD LIKE TO 
PRESENT THE RESULTS OF HIS VISITS TO ALBANIA, TUNISIA AND 
JORDAN.  BASED ON NEEDS IDENTIFIED BY THE THREE GOVERNMENTS, 
ITALY WILL HELP ALBANIA DIGITIZE ITS NATIONAL ACCOUNTS, 
ASSIST TUNISIA WITH LAND REGISTRY AND SHOW JORDAN HOW TO 
IMPLEMENT AN ONLINE TAX PROGRAM SO THAT CITIZENS CAN PAY 
THEIR TAXES ONLINE.  A PROGRAM HAS NOT YET BEEN IDENTIFIED 
FOR MOZAMBIQUE.  STANCA WOULD LIKE TO COME TO WASHINGTON TO 
DISCUSS BEST PRACTICES IN E-GOVERNMENT.  END SUMMARY. 
 
NEW MINISTRY 
------------ 
 
2.  (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR CALLED ON LUCIO STANCA, MINISTER 
WITHOUT PORTFOLIO FOR INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY, WEDNESDAY, 
JANUARY 30.  ALSO PRESENT WERE DCM POPE, ECMIN DEAN AND 
STANCA'S DIPLOMATIC ADVISOR, STEFANO GATTI.  THE MINISTRY IS 
NEW WITH THE BERLUSCONI ADMINISTRATION, EXPANDING AND 
EMPHASIZING A PORTFOLIO HELD IN PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS BY AN 
UNDER-SECRETARY OR ADVISOR IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE. 
SPECIFICALLY THE MINISTRY HAS BEEN GIVEN THE MANDATE TO 
IMPROVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE 
PRIVATE SECTOR.  GIVEN THAT HIS OBJECTIVE IS TO COMPUTERIZE 
ALL GOVERNMENT SERVICES, STANCA WANTS TO CREATE ONLINE 
PORTALS FOR ALL GOVERNMENT SERVICES OFFERED BY NATIONAL, 
REGIONAL, AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.  IN THIS CAPACITY, STANCA 
RAISED THE POSSIBILITY OF VISITING THE U.S. IN THE LATE 
SPRING OR EARLY FALL TO LOOK AT OUR E-GOVERNMENT PROCESS AND 
ORGANIZATION.  HE FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT "IN THE NEXT 12 
MONTHS, HE WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE BEST (E-GOVERNMENT) 
PRACTICES", PARTICULARLY IN THE FIELDS OF EDUCATION AND 
HEALTH.  (COMMENT:  WE LOOK AT THIS MINISTRY AS HAVING A 
POSITIVE POTENTIAL TO ADVANCE TECH ISSUES WITHIN THE 
GOVERNMENT AND WITHIN ITALY.  WHAT HAPPENS TO THIS 
UNDER-FUNDED AND UNDERSTAFFED MINISTRY REMAINS TO BE SEEN.) 
 
3.  (SBU) IN THIS POSITIVE SPIRIT OF POSSIBLY FINDING A NEW 
ALLY IN THE TECHNOLOGY FIELD, THE AMBASSADOR RAISED A BROAD 
RANGE OF TECHNOLOGY ISSUES:  FROM BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE NEED 
FOR SCIENTISTS TO DO BASIC RESEARCH, SUCH AS CONDUCT FIELD 
TRIALS (WHICH ARE NOW PROHIBITED) TO THE IMPLICATIONS OF 
MAINTAINING THE HIGH-TECH SKILLS OF ITALIAN SCIENTISTS AND 
ENGINEERS IN DESIGNING AND PRODUCING COMPONENTS OF THE JOINT 
STRIKE FIGHTER TO PARTICIPATION IN THE CRITICAL 
INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE THE POST IS HOSTING IN APRIL. 
WHILE STANCA, A 36-YEAR EMPLOYEE OF IBM, WAS CAUTIOUS ABOUT 
TREADING ON THE TURF OF HIS FELLOW MINISTERS, HE CLEARLY 
UNDERSTOOD THE DISADVANTAGES OF ITALY'S BEING LEFT BEHIND IN 
THE TECHNOLOGY RACE.  HE THOUGHT THAT MINISTER MORATTI, 
MINISTER OF CULTURE AND RESEARCH, WOULD BE A NATURAL ALLY ON 
RESTARTING BIOTECH RESEARCH.  HE WAS ALSO ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT 
DISTANCE BIO-MEDICAL SUPPORT, WHICH WOULD BE ANOTHER WAY FOR 
ITALY TO HELP UNDER-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.  STANCA IS EVIDENTLY 
NEW TO THE GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY, BUT PREPARED TO MOVE 
CAUTIOUSLY IN HIS AREA.  AS VICE-CHAIR OF THE ASPEN 
INSTITUTE, HE THOUGHT THAT THE INSTITUTE COULD BE A FORUM TO 
EXPLORE BIOTECH DISCUSSIONS. 
 
DIGITAL DIVIDE 
-------------- 
 
4.  (SBU) STANCA ALSO RAISED THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AS AN AREA 
WHERE ITALY COULD DO MORE TO HELP UNDERDEVELOPED COUNTRIES. 
(COMMENT: THE GOI HEADS THE G8 DOT FORCE ON THE DIGITAL 
DIVIDE.  AT BOTH THE 1999 OKINAWA AND 2001 GENOA SUMMIT, THE 
G8 LEADERS CONFIRMED THEIR COMMITMENT TO BRIDGING THIS 
DIGITAL DIVIDE.  THE GOI IS WORKING TO PUT INTO OPERATION A 
PLAN OF ACTION.  END COMMENT.)  HE STRESSED THAT ITALY GIVES 
ONLY 0.13 PERCENT OF ITS GDP IN FINANCIAL AID AND THAT THIS 
WAS WELL BELOW THE EU TARGET.  STANCA SAID THAT HE AND ITALY 
WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT ITALIAN RESOURCES ARE WELL SPENT; IT 
WOULD INCREASE THEIR CREDIBILITY IF THE GOI CAN IMPROVE 
FOREIGN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONS. 
 
5.  (SBU) THE GOI WILL HOST A CONFERENCE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH 
THE UN, NGOS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, ON THE 
DIGITAL DIVIDE IN EARLY APRIL.  STANCA PLANS TO HIGHLIGHT A 
PILOT PROGRAM AMONG THE GOI AND FOUR COUNTRIES, ALBANIA, 
TUNISIA, JORDAN, AND MOZAMBIQUE.  STANCA HAD JUST RETURNED 
FROM VISITING THE FIRST THREE.  AFTER DISCUSSIONS WITH EACH 
GOVERNMENT, WHICH INCLUDED PRESENTING A MENU OF THE SPECIFIC 
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE ITALY COULD PROVIDE, STANCA HAD THEM 
IDENTIFY THEIR TOP PRIORITY FOR E-GOVERNMENT.  SPECIFICALLY 
ITALY WILL HELP ALBANIA DIGITIZE ITS NATIONAL ACCOUNTS, WHICH 
ARE STILL BEING KEPT BY HAND.  THE GOI WILL ASSIST TUNISIA 
WITH ITS LAND REGISTRY PROGRAM.  (COMMENT:  WE BELIEVE THIS 
WILL PROVIDE STABILITY AND CONFIDENCE, ALLOW LEGAL SALES AND 
TRANSFERS, AND PERMIT OWNERS TO DRAW ON THE CAPITAL IN THEIR 
LAND THROUGH MORTGAGE BORROWING TO HELP CAPITALIZE OTHER 
INVESTMENT.  END COMMENT.)  AND ITALY WILL HELP JORDAN WITH 
AN ONLINE TAX PROGRAM SO THAT PRIVATE AND CORPORATE CITIZENS 
CAN PAY ALL THEIR TAXES ONLINE.  STANCA REPORTED THAT THE EU 
HAD RECOGNIZED ITALY'S PAPERLESS TAXPAYER SYSTEM WITH AN 
AWARD FOR BEST PROGRAM.  WITH MOZAMBIQUE, ITALY IS WORKING ON 
IDENTIFYING PRACTICAL NEEDS THAT THE NEW INNOVATION MINISTRY 
CAN TAKE ON. 
 
BIO 
--- 
 
6.  (U) BORN IN LUCERA ON OCTOBER 20, 1941, STANCA HAS A 
DEGREE IN ECONOMICS FROM MILAN'S BOCCONI UNIVERSITY.  HE 
BEGAN HIS CAREER IN COMPUTER INFORMATION, JOINING IBM AS A 
SALES TECHNICIAN IN 1968.  HE RETIRED FROM HIS POSITION AS 
CEO, IBM (EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA) IN 2001.  STANCA IS 
ALSO VICE CHAIR OF THE ASPEN INSTITUTE, ITALY, AND ON THE 
COUNCIL FOR THE U.S. AND ITALY.  HE SPEAKS EXCELLENT ENGLISH 
AND IS MARRIED TO FRANCESCA CANEPA. 
SEMBLER 
 

 
> 
 2002ROME00560 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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