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MŒA One-to-One Interviews: Diana Battaggia, Director of UNIDO ITPO, Investment and Technology Promotion Office - Italy.

Diana Battaggia: UNIDO ITPO Italy boosting innovation and industrial transformation towards sustainable economic paradigms in Developing Countries.

Diana Battaggia has developed a distinguished career holding several political and leadership roles, both as a Member of the Italian Parliament and as a top Advisor for Economic and Institutional Affairs for a wide range of Italian and European companies and institutions.

Portrait of Diana Battaggia © UNIDO ITPO

Her high experience both within the United Nations system and at national political level, combined with leadership skills, professional qualifications, diplomatic talent and an extensive expertise of global economic environments in developed and developing countries, enabled her to set up and consolidate business networking synergies on a global scale.

Thanks to her knowledge and understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she actively holds conferences and seminars for companies and institutions about why and how to pursue the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs.

Since 2004, Diana Battaggia has been acting as Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy, assisting developing countries in their industrialization efforts.

Particularly, she has launched and implemented various initiatives to support SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, in creating public-private partnerships with international stakeholders, and formulating innovation management standards, to facilitate industrial transformation and leapfrogging processes.

MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to interview Diana Battaggia (D.B.) to collect a live feedback based on her long-lasting commitment in encouraging international public-private partnerships among Italy and Developing Countries.



MONACŒCOART®:  Diana Battaggia, what makes the Investment and Technology Promotion Office be effective? What are the areas you focus most on? What makes the Italian-based office so strategic?


Diana Battaggia: Operating since 1987, UNIDO ITPO Italy is the Italian Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO Italy) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In line with UNIDO for the acceleration of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, our mandate is devoted to increase the competitiveness of small-and medium-sized enterprises mainly in the developing countries by the mobilisation of investments and technology transfer in order to launch industrial collaborations and projects, thus fostering business and international cooperation between the public and private sectors of Italy and those countries.

This mainly happens within two industrial sectors of Italian excellence, namely agribusiness and energy and environment. More specifically, the ITPO Office I run deals with Agricultural Mechanization, Agri-tech and Food Processing, Livestock, Fishery and Food Supply Chain, Packaging, Leather and Fashion, as well as Renewable Energy, Green Technologies, Construction and Waste Management, Water Treatment, Energy Efficiency and Blue Economy.

Photo >> Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy, with Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO © UNIDO ITPO Italy

MONACŒCOART®: What does it mean for you to promote sustainability and what opportunities are presented to the Italian business sector through targeted investments in environmentally friendly technology, capacity building and industrial development?

Diana Battaggia: To promote sustainability means to respect its three pillars: economic, environmental, and social. Indeed, the investments promoted by UNIDO ITPO Italy in selected developing countries aim at addressing key sectors for the growth of the local economy and generate shared prosperity, advancing social inclusion through the involvement of women and youths for job creation, and the transfer of green technologies with low-carbon impact to respect the environment in the fight against climate change. As said before, an Industrial Development which is truly Inclusive and Sustainable. On the other hand, UNIDO ITPO Italy offers the Italian companies the possibility to discover innovative opportunities in developing countries with emerging economies to launch industrial projects to benefit all parties involved.

Photo >>Diana Battaggia at the Signing Ceremony for the partnership agreement in geothermal energy between Kenyan and Italian delegations © UNIDO ITPO Italy

MONACŒCOART®: Could you give us some concrete examples of win-win international projects from your direct experience?

Diana Battaggia: Of course! All our projects are meant to develop collaborations between companies and institutions from Italy and all over the world, which in many cases make official agreements of partnership, distribution, knowledge exchange or training, by bringing significant benefits to both parties, thus generating a mutual win-win situation.

Among the most recent ones, worth mentioning our ongoing project for the promotion of investment and industrial zones in Iraq, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. Two other projects are funded by the Italian Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) Region, which promote respectively the academic cooperation with United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and the wine sector in Lebanon. Furthermore, the UNIDO project supporting trade and investments in Somalia and our recently concluded project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, aimed at fostering international partnerships between companies and institutions in the energy and environment sectors among Italy and seven partner countries: Botswana, Cuba, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco and Peru.

Photo >> Manila Di Giovanni, CEO & Founder of Dworld, been awarded by Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy, at the 2023 ANGI Awards Ceremony © UNIDO ITPO Italy

MONACŒCOART®: Your recent participation to the sixth edition of the Premio ANGI 2023 - Oscar dell’Innovazione reaffirmed your vocation to enhance innovation capable of improving the economic, social, technological and cultural conditions of contemporary society. How do you feel about supporting initiatives of this kind? What strikes you most from the entrepreneurship of the new generations?

Diana Battaggia: The ANGI Award represents a great initiative supporting Italian and international young innovators, and we are proud to have participated in ANGI events on several occasions as speakers and jury members to award such innovations. In 2023 edition, we recognised the merit of Manila Di Giovanni, young CEO & Founder of DWorld, the start-up that created the first Metaverse of the Principality of Monaco, a virtual platform on which it is possible to contribute to a concrete economic development and beyond. For UNIDO and ITPO Italy, young entrepreneurs and start-ups play a vital role in industrial development, since our operative model also includes a bottom-up approach that makes progress evolve, as stated by our motto “Progress by Innovation”. Our activities focus also on the discovery and the valorization of the most promising early-stage entrepreneurial realities, to offer them the visibility they deserve on the global stage and guide them through their growth path.


Then, our Office launched several calls in order to identify and promote innovative projects: first and foremost, our “International Award” and the “Global Call” that we designed and launched, becoming one of the UNIDO flagship initiatives. Moreover, among the ones from these last two years, the “FIPEE Call for High Impact Cleantech”, the “Sustainable Agro-Energy in Iraq – IPI Call for Innovative Entrepreneurship”, the “Call for High Innovative Sustainable Solutions in FVG Region”, and the “YES! Call 2023 – Sustainable Innovative Solutions from FVG Region” currently ongoing for young university students. These initiatives also provided the implementation of a series of educational and promotional activities such as study tours and business acceleration courses for participation in fairs and events of international relevance.

Photo >> COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (Dubai Expo City, 30th November – 12th December 2023) © COP28

MONACŒCOART®: The COP28 in Dubai pushed forward a new Nature-Based Solution Economy increasingly integrated with science, technology, finance, philanthropy, local an indigenous culture. How all this will be affecting your commitment at UNIDO ITPO Italy and what are your plans for the near future?

Diana Battaggia: UNIDO took part in the COP28, with its contribution to the table of discussions on climate change by remarking the importance of sustainable innovation and a multilateral approach. All that led to new international collaborations and the joint commitment to these shared goals with the support of the United Arab Emirates.


In the same direction, UNIDO ITPO Italy will continue to follow its mandate and promote sustainable investments and technology in Energy and Environment to advance a green industrial development for the prosperity of our planet, our generation and the future ones, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (2030 Agenda).


To follow up on UNIDO ITPO Italy through social media channels, to stay updated on its latest activities an discover new opportunities of investments through their services (completely free of charges) please visit:


By Maurice Abbati

Journalist; Editor; Communication, Media and Public Relations Specialist

Lecturer and Author in English language of Technical Articles and the Manual: "Communicating the Environment to Save the Planet, a Journey into Eco-Communication" by Springer International Publishing.

Cover page of PhD manual by Maurice Abbati

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