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Fifth Round Table on Italian Technology & Italian FDI​​

CCI-NC's 5th Round Table on Italian Technology and Foreign Direct Investment, focusing on Food Science & Technology, took place on October 21, 2021 at the Food Innovation Lab of Kannapolis, NC.
Presented by the Honorary Consul of Italy to NC and CCI-NC, with support from the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia, this Round Table event showcased Italian companies that are both invested in North Carolina, and are

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also leaders in their market segments.


The evening began with a Welcome Reception featuring live music, delicious food and wine (which was sponsored by Love to Italy.)

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The Round Table followed, with opening remarks by Dr. Claudio Carpano, Honorary Consul of Italy to NC. Dr. Carpano spoke about Italian technology and investment more broadly, giving context to the rest of the panel discussion.


He was followed by Dr. Bill Aimutis, the Executive Director of the NC Food Innovation Lab. Dr. Aimutis spoke about the incredible facility and how it contributes to research efforts from around the country. Everyone was excited to learn more on the tour, which was planned after the discussion.

Dr. Massimo Iorizzo and Dr. Giuseppe Valacchi, both researchers at NC State, spoke about their research efforts at the Plants for Human Health Institute.

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The professors were followed by Fabrizio Senatore, the CEO of PreGel - the maker of Italian gelato and fine pastry ingredients. Mr. Senatore discussed how the company began in 1964 in the province of Reggio Emilia in Italy and how far it's come since, while remaining loyal to its roots. Excitement grew knowing we could sample the product soon!

Ms. Penny Klinger, the President of Carpigiani - the manufacturer of Italian gelato technology - then spoke about how her company is continuing to grow here in the US. Carpigiani, which began in 1944 near Bologna,

Italy, just opened a new location in NC. It was interesting to learn how important the machinery is in making the gelato that we all know and love.

Stefano Cazzaniga, the CEO of LC America, spoke briefly, but passed the mic over to Carly Rain Adams (R&D Manager) who spoke in-depth about the work that goes into developing the company's products. Everyone was fascinated to learn about snack pellets and how they are developed and designed into some of our favorite (and healthy) snacks!

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Dr. Valentina Cecchi, the President of CCI-NC, closed out the Round Table by thanking the participants, sponsors, and informing the crowd of the important work that CCI-NC does in our state.

Following the Round Table, Dr. Bill Aimutis graciously gave the group a tour of the NC Food Innovation Lab.

Participants were even treated to a gelato demonstration by a PreGel employee, using a Carpigiani machine. (Everyone got a taste as well!)

The evening closed out with a private dinner for the speakers and participating companies. What a great night!

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The 5th Round Table could not have been possible without our event sponsors: 

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Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021

  • Venue:  NC Food Innovation Lab, 150 N. Research Campus Drive, Kannapolis, NC 28081

  • Schedule:

    • Welcome Reception: 4:30-5:30 pm

    • Round Table: 5:30-7:30 pm

    • Facility Tour & Gelato Presentation: 7:30-8:00 pm

  • Event Flyer

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