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First Singularity University/Intesa Sanpaolo event to be held in Milano in May, 2012

INTESA SANPAOLO, LEADING GLOBAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, PARTNERS WITH SILICON VALLEY’S SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY

Partnership objectives:

• Promote the knowledge of Singularity University and exponential technologies as factors for driving growth and prosperity to Italian and European top management
• Strengthen Intesa Sanpaolo’s role as a key global player capable of detecting the major changes, impact and opportunities presented by exponential technologies, to provide its clients with solutions for growth and to foster continuous opportunities for innovation and business

Milan, 9 March 2012 – Intesa Sanpaolo announced that it has entered into a partnership at the cutting edge of innovation and frontier technologies with Singularity University (http://singularityu.org/), the Silicon Valley university founded in 2008, at NASA Research Park, with founding partners Google, Autodesk, Kauffman Foundation, e-Planet Ventures – and other leading companies, currently including Genentech. Singularity University was established to promote the development and understanding of rapidly-accelerating technologies with a view to solving the Grand Challenges facing mankind. These include: abundant clean water, energy and food supplies, security and exploration.

The partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo is the first that the prestigious Californian institute has entered into with a European institution at this level. Intesa Sanpaolo was among the first Italian companies and the first banking group in the world to send its managers to Singularity University’s Executive Programs in Silicon Valley.

The collaboration will enable Intesa Sanpaolo to strengthen its role as a key international player capable of detecting the major current changes in myriad important fields, in order to provide its clients with solutions for growth and to foster continuous opportunities for innovation and business.

In May 2012, Singularity University and Intesa Sanpaolo will host the first partnership event in Milan. Principals of Singularity University will be hosting, for the first time ever in Italy, an interactive event offering an insight into the key elements of their unique curriculum. The one-day conference will address key players in the business community: senior managers, entrepreneurs, innovation talents, investors and market regulators.

The study day represents the first milestone of the collaboration between Singularity University and Intesa Sanpaolo, which is aimed at establishing an international reference player for "leading edge" innovation.
To this end, the partnership pursues the following objectives:

1.Promote, with Italian and European top management, the knowledge of exponential technologies as factors for driving growth and prosperity;
2.Plan a joint executive programs organisation of Singularity University in Europe;
3.Strengthen Intesa Sanpaolo’s role as key international player capable of detecting the major current changes in technology in order to provide its clients with solutions for growth and to foster continuous opportunities for innovation and business;
4.Select talent to participate in the training programs of Singularity University and to build a European network of leaders in the innovation sector;
5.Host a series of events across Europe to get in touch with the key players of innovation in Europe (research centres, incubators, universities, etc.) and initiate a fruitful exchange of the best ideas and technology innovations in support of a sustainable development. Ideas and projects will be identified by relying on the innovative expertise of Start-Up Initiative, the platform of Intesa Sanpaolo which is dedicated to start-ups.

***

About Singularity University
Singularity University was established in 2008 by Peter H. Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil. Google, Nokia, Cisco and NASA are among its main founders. The institute is located in the research campus of NASA in Silicon Valley, one of the most prestigious and innovative research centres in the world.
Singularity University training programs provide an intense interdisciplinary, international and multicultural experience. An intensive 10-week course is available each Summer, aimed at a diverse targetted audience, as well as 4-7 day Executive Programs are held throughout the year. Today, SU represents one the most important academic institutes in the world for the study of the accelerating technologies as factors for driving growth and prosperity, to study and solvethe “grand challenges” of mankind (water, energy, sustainability, health, poverty) with a very pragmatic and interdisciplinary approach. Within these areas, Singularity University aims to develop, through the best talents available around the world, ideas and projects that aim to positively impact one 1 billion people within the next 10 years.

About Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative
Established in September 2009, Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative sets out to bring the world of finance increasingly closer to the sector of technological innovation and research, in order to develop new businesses and new entrepreneurs. The first Italian platform of its kind pursues the aim of discovering highly innovative new businesses, prepare them for the market challenge and give them the opportunity to present their ideas to potential investors and industrial partners (Business Angels, Venture Capitalists, Seed Capital Funds, Foundations, private and corporate investors). The meetings are set out according to the usual schedule for these types of events: presentation of the company and of the business plan – following completion of a selection and training stage - and Q&A sessions between investors and the company on economic, financial and technical issues. Since the launch of the initiative, there have been 15 editions in Italy and 12 international events in which over 1,000 Start-Ups and Early-Stage companies have been contacted for selection, over 250 have been provided with training (Boot Camps), and over 160 have been presented at the Investor Arena Meetings, where they met with over 2,500 potential investors and industrial partners, for a total of approximately 1,400 shows of interest.


For further information:

Intesa Sanpaolo
Media Relations - Corporate and Investment Banking
stampa@intesasanpaolo.com / tel.: +39 0287962489

Singularity University
Diane Murphy – diane@singularityu.org / tel.: +1.202.361.9681

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