The Leonardo Committee was established in 1993 on the common initiative of Confindustria, the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and a group of entrepreneurs, among whom Sergio Pininfarina and Gianni Agnelli,with the aim of promoting and establishing Italian Quality around the world. Not by chance, the name Leonardo refers to the magic alchemy between art, science and technology: three forms of expression of the intellectual capacity that reflects our country’s success at international level.
Today, the Committee brings together 160 well-known figures, including entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and men and women from the world of culture, who wish to share the goal of enhancing Italy and its originality by holding high-profile, cultural and economic events. In carrying out its activities, the Leonardo Committee collaborates with all the institutional bodies that are responsible for promoting Italian companies overseas as well as their internationalisation. These include the top offices of state, such as the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Economic Development, and the Minister of Cultural Activities and Heritage.
In 2017 the companies associated with the Leonardo Committee have generated total revenues of over €321 billion of which 51 percent derives from overseas sales. This confirms the international vocation of Italian entrepreneurship and the role the Leonardo Committee has played on behalf of Italy’s economic system since 1993.
Confindustria and the Italian Trade Agency encourage the Committee’s activities by providing strategic and operational support to all initiatives, in Italy and overseas, with a view to enhancing the best that Italy has to offer, by creating synergies between production, art, culture and science.
Rather than being a mere showcase for Made in Italy, the Leonardo Committee aims to play an active role via a host of initiatives, including granting scholarships, which promote talent and foster relations between universities and industry; meetings at local level, which promote dialogue and cooperation among entrepreneurs from the many local companies that bring Made in Italy to the world; and participation in international missions.
Promoting Italy’s national economic system involves highlighting the talents of entrepreneurship, artistic creativity, refinement and culture that are reflected in the country’s products and lifestyle. This is why the Committee established the Leonardo Prize which, based on assessment by a wide-ranging and qualified panel of judges, is awarded to a leading figure from Italy or overseas who has made a significant contribution to affirming and promoting Italy’s image around the world.
The Committee also awards Leonardo Italian Quality Prizes to entrepreneurs from companies that have excelled during the year in terms of product quality innovation, as well as projecting a strong international, commercial and manufacturing presence.
At important high-profile and promotional events, held within the scope of organised missions in markets deemed strategic for the internationalisation of Italian companies, the Committee awards the Leonardo International Prize to a leading figure from a country that has made a special contribution to developing and improving cultural and economic ties with Italy.
Since 2004, the Career Prize and the Special Prize havebeen awarded to leading figures who have helped to strengthen Italy’s image, thanks to the excellence of their professional activities.
In addition to the traditional Leonardo Prizes, in agreement with the Ministry of Economic Development and the Italian Trade Agency, the Leonardo Committee established the Leonardo Start-up Prize which since 2012 has been awarded to young Italian companies that have excelled in terms of growth, success and innovation.
The prize-winners have been called “ambassadors of Italy’s image around the world”, due to the invaluable international role they play and the results they achieve, which bear witness to the excellence of Italian workmanship.