Research and volunteering: Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Bank Foundation, Coesione sociale Foundation and Sant'Anna School announce a new research centre named in honour of Maria Eletta Martini

The Research Centre Maria Eletta Martini is a unique partnership between Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Bank Foundation, Coesione Sociale Onlus Foundationa and Sant'Anna School dedicated to supporting research projects, voluntary sector and social trust through academic cooperation demonstrating the importance of Maria Eletta Martini's contribution to cultivating culture, citizen well-being, civic engagement, and human development.

On Wednesday, December 11, Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Bank Foundation, Coesione Sociale Onlus Foundationa and Sant'Anna School representatives Marcello Bertocchini (President of Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Bank Foundation ), Maido Giovacchino Castiglioni (President of Fondazione per la Coesione Sociale), Sabina Nuti (Rector of Sant'Anna School), and Sant'Anna School Professor of Constitutional Law Emanuele Rossi, as the President of the new Research Centre, have signed a partnership agreement to translate the third sector and volunteering actions into economic growth and social cohesion.

The Research Centre in Lucca aims at contributing to research and social value enhancement by assessing the third sector’s impact on society at national and international level. The Maria Eletta Martini Research Centre projects will engage national and local stakeholders in creating greater awareness among private and nonprofit organizations as contributors to economic and social development. As of 2017, latest data estimated 350.492 organizations (increase of 2.1% compared with data in 2016) with 844.775 workers (increase of 3.9%) accounting for 4.3 percent of GDP.

“Bank foundations are major financing components of the third sector. Our bank and the foundations contributing to education, research, and health care improvement will need to pursue specific concrete objectives. As social enterprises, we have a legally binding social mission for which a qualitative approach is employed together with the principle of subsidiarity levelling public subsidies for deficits in service delivery. This partnership agreement with Sant’Anna School for a Research Centre of Excellence can offer us multidisciplinary research, expertise and knowledge-based policy developments for social and economic problem-solving”, said President Marcello Bertocchini.

“Through academic cooperation we strengthen social values within communities and promote solidarity. We bring expertise in building a bridge between the public higher education and the third sector. Sant’Anna legal scholars are traditionally involved in the implementation of policies and regulations alongside their important role in promoting equality, inclusion, diversity and wellbeing. The Research Centre in honor of Maria Eletta Martini can validate the work of third sector institutions, volunteers and universities”, said Rector Sabina Nuti.

“The Foundation for Social Cohesion promotes public health and help individuals in need with assistance. In our professional capacity, we offer administrative support for applied research projects. Being part of the third sector means sharing common values and raising the awareness to contribute to solve social challenges. We need to reach a common understanding toward a sustainable future and lower costs welfare services”, said President Maido Giovacchino Castiglioni.

President Marcello Bertocchini and Professor Emanuele Rossi thanked the Martini family and particularly Gabriella and Chiara Martini for allowing the Research Centre to testify Maria Eletta Martini’s volunteer service and political sensitivity. “The Research Centre in honor of Maria Eletta Martini will work to enhance economic development and social cohesion, as an independent entity irrespective of public authorities and private stakeholders’ control. We are proud to pay tribute to Maria Eletta Martini, we honor her spirit and legacy, an enduring legacy of freedom for Lucca and Italy”, they said.

The Research Centre celebrating di Maria Eletta Martini’s legacy aims to work collaboratively on research projects and knowledge sharing, to maximize the impact of third sector activities through strategic partnerships and achieve the most common benefits.

“Maria Eletta Martini’s legacy is not confined to a historically concept of charity – highlighted Emanuele Rossi – The Research Centre encompasses multiple institutions that are expected to provide services through public- private partnerships as a distinct social economy that substitute state provision”.

Emanuele Rossi identified the annually funded specific projects and integrated actions at a local level. Focussing on cost-containment strategies and the regulatory requirements, researchers and experts will work on a set of functions for organizations and volunteers such as service provision, advocacy, community-building, and value-maintenance whereas service production and economic activities impacts can be translated into well-being, innovation, civic engagement and empowerment at both the individual and societal levels.

The Maria Eletta Martini research centre scientific committee will include Professors Pierluigi Consorti, Andrea Salvini, Cinzia Canali and Luca Bagnoli; Luca Gori, a researcher of Constitutional Law at Sant’Anna School will serve as acting director.