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The New Economy Is Taking Off From Catania

The New Economy Is Taking Off From Catania, Starting With The 'Etna Valley' Plan

CATANIA, Sicily - 8:00 a.m. March 20, 2002 (

According to recent KPMG research, in the third millennium any hi-tech entrepreneur wanting to invest in Europe must invest in Catania.

During the "big bang" of the worldwide New Economy at the end of the '90's, the world's most important hi-tech & communications companies like: Nokia, Alcatel, Nortel Networks, Openline, Wire Net, IBM, STMicroelectronics and Computer Science Corporation established operations in Sicily. However, in more recent times it seemed that "Etna Valley's" heyday was over.

Now, following the destruction of the myth of the New Market thanks to Consob restrictions, a new business model based on resource optimization has been adopted. The cost however has included staff dismissals and the shelving of some projects.

Fortunately, thanks to an underground movement based on common sense, tenacity and perseverance a new entrepreneurial spirit has revived Etna Valley

These are the new indicators of the Sicilian hi-tech miracle, conceived and developed in the fertile Sicilian soil that has always generated surprising phenomena.

To give you an example: Global Communication (; a small firm that provides internet services for the development and growth of the Sicilian business market. "Global" as they call themselves, launched the first Sicilian portal, called Etna on line, in 1995 ( Global has directly participated in the starting up of a lot of firms including the foundation of some regional telecommunication companies like Onecom s.p.a. and L:T:S: s.p.a. Another outstanding example is TESI Automazione s.r.l. (, a leading Microsoft partner based in Catania. TESI is the exclusive distributor of the MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist) certification program for Italy and Official Reseller for the Middle East and North Africa. TESI is collaborating with the Italian Ministry of Labor in the implementation of a Computer Literacy program called "Progetto In" aimed at helping 60,000 unemployed young people in the Center and South of Italy to enter the workforce.

Jepssen ( founded by Marina Taglialavore in a little town in the Province of Enna. Taglialavore played with computers as a child and while her father dreamed of her becoming a bank clerk she was dreaming of making her mark in computer science. Today Marina is the C.E.O. of a firm that produces computer programs that are sold in Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong .

These aren't the only examples of Sicilian enterprises which have, thanks to great sacrifices and without the aid of big backers, managed to become success stories.

Because of his love for Sicily, Giambattista Scivoletto developed sicilynetwork in 1996 ( From that modest beginning as an information site about the island he now runs a Network of over 30 web sites, all dedicated to Sicily, that receive more than 50,000 hits daily from all the world. He has recently established important partnerships with the editorial group Michelin and a very important tour operetor.

Others also deserve to be mentioned because of the use they have made of the Internet in the development of their businesses. We should remember Maurizio Caruso, one the first Sicilians to believe in e-commerce and make it the cornerstone of his business. His electronic business portal (, facilitated product distribution from the far east.

Then there is Solacria, a New Media Agency ( Solacria is an acronym of Sole (Sun) and Trinacria (the ancient name for Sicily). It is a small business that offers turn key Internet solutions to Sicilian firms. The company was founded by a young Catanian entrepreneur, Carlo Siliato, creator of a innovative CRM software dedicate to all the operators that work inside a commercial network.

New and old firms, stand united under Etna Valley's common flag and are appreciated worldwide for their seriousness and dedication to giving the best service to the customer rather than just wasting resources.

These companies show us that the new wave of the new economy starts here, in this island, often undervalued and penalized by environmental difficulties and its distance from the rest of the world.

Sicilians now are offering themselves as an alternative to foreign mega-firms, we suggest you check out the difference, you will be pleasantly surprised.

You can check further information on Etna Valley at the following addresses:,1282,41685,00.html

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