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February 3, 2014

Italy: Google Launches Made in Italy—Digital Excellence

“The future for Made in Italy depends on further opening up to international markets. Google believes that the digital world can play an important role in this process and has decided to make a concrete contribution to spreading Italian excellence around the world,” said Carlo D’Asaro Biondo, president of EMEA at Google, presenting “Made in Italy: digital excellence,” a platform intended as both a digital shop window and a training tool for Italian brands.

Announced in October by Google president Eric Schmidt, the platform is based on the observation that Made in Italy is a worldwide recognized and sought-after brand: in 2013, Google searches relating to Italian products increased by 12 percent, fashion in first place, and tourism and food seeing the most significant growth. But while the Italian model meets the demand for greater quality and personalization, albeit with limited production – characteristics that do favor distribution on the internet – Made in Italy still has little web presence, and its products of excellence are still not very well known abroad: only 34% of Italian SMEs have their own website and only 13 percent use it for e-commerce purposes.

Hence the need for a bilingual digital platform that brings together 100 well-known and lesser-known Italian products of excellence (whether Parmigiano Reggiano, Murano glass, Fabriano paper, Altamura bread, Vercelli accordions, Sardinian spiky artichokes or Pistoia cymbals) in as many virtual exhibitions of texts, images, videos and historical documents, which allow internet users around the world to discover Italy’s craftsmanship and its traditions. 

The platform “Made in Italy: digital excellence”, produced by the Google Cultural Institute, is not just a shop window, however: part of the project is dedicated to helping businesses embrace the internet in order that they can enjoy its economic benefits. The platform also contains an online training course that, beginning with business stories and case studies, provides entrepreneurs with ideas and starting points for how to use the web to strengthen their own businessess. 

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