Andrea Nanetti received his university education in Medieval and Renaissance studies between 1986 and 2000 in Italy (University of Bologna), France (University of Paris I-Sorbonne and Paris X-Nanterre), Germany (University of Cologne), Greece (National Hellenic Research Foundation), and USA (Brown University), where he has been instructed by world’s leading professors to work on research questions and solutions through the cross-fertilization of different methodologies (historical, philological, diplomatic, aesthetic, anthropological, and computational).
As a scholar—who started his research vocation in historical studies at the advent of computer operating systems with graphical user interfaces—he has always been fascinated by the exponential growth of interdependencies between artificial actions (i.e., made by humans) and computational operations (i.e., completed by electronic devices able to store and process data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to them in a variable program) in terms of both quantity and quality. With this interest he is proposing the theoretical need to direct traditional disciplinary knowledge towards a formal science of heritage able to study what kind of data and information—now encoded in complex interactions of written, pictorial, sculptural, architectural, and digital records, oral memories, practices, and performed rituals (i.e., the treasure of human experiences)—may be inherited by machine learning algorithms. This state-of-the-art science pioneers integrated action plans and solutions in response to, and in anticipation of, the exponential growth of emerging needs in our increasingly complex human society. In practice, the research uses multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary methods to identify case studies for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary teamwork investigations. Between 1996 and today, the results have been made available in 10 books, 10 pioneering e-publications, 2 web sites, 1 cloud computing based management system for historical sources, 12 international exhibitions, 25 major international scholarly events organisation (conferences, workshops, and seminars), 4 video productions for e-learning, and more than 60 other academic publications in English, Italian, Chinese, Spanish and Modern Greek, in three main areas: global histories of intercontinental networks of cities, national art-heritage-politics dynamics, territorial human-heritage-landscape systems, and, more recently, biocultural heritage and human interpretation of the external world (seen as artificial intelligence amplifications ante litteram).
His academic research has been supported by his entrepreneurial experience, which started in 2001, when he was awarded a prize in the “StartCup” of the University of Bologna and the General Confederation of the Italian Industry (the first Italian business plan competition devoted to projects with high content of knowledge) to establish Meduproject Pte. Ltd. In 2002 the company was founded as a spin off of the University of Bologna focused on projects at the interface of cultural heritage and S&T: access to heritage, networking of conservation-restoration experts, and support to heritage management (advisor to public and private institutions in strategic decisions). Since 2008 the company manages and supports the web platforms of Andrea Nanetti’s main research project called Engineering Historical Memory (EHM), which thrives on meeting the next challenge in developing and testing old and new sets of shared conceptualizations and formal specifications for content management systems for historical data seen as the treasure of human experiences. He first theorized EHM as a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University in 2007 and further developed it when he was Visiting Full Professor at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari in 2012. Since 2013 he is carrying on the research at Nanyang Technological University Singapore at the intersections of humanities and data science. The presentation of the results of the project was awarded best conference paper at 2013 Culture and Computing (Kyoto, Japan), and has been funded, among others, by Microsoft Research (2014-2017).
Andrea Nanetti lives with his family in Singapore, at Nanyang Technological University, where he is Associate Professor in the School of Art, Design and Media, Senior Research Team member in the Complexity Institute, and Faculty member of the University Scholars Programme.
Andrea Nanetti serves the academic domain of heritage science also as Deputy-Director (International Relations) of the International Research Centre for Architectural Heritage Conservation at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, as a member of the College of Professors of the curriculum ‘Surveying and Representation of Architecture and Landscape’ in the PhD School of Architecture at the University of Florence, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Maniatakeion Foundation (Athens and Koroni).
Andrea Nanetti received his Laurea in Medieval History (final dissertation on ‘Venice and the Latin Empire of Constantinople’) with highest honors (magna cum laude) and his Ph.D. in ‘Society, Kingship and Priesthood in philological, historical and anthropological methodology (5th-16th c.)’ from the University of Bologna (Prof. Antonio Carile). As MA he accomplished the 2-year School of Archival studies, Paleography, and Diplomatics of the Archivio di Stato di Venezia. As undergraduate scholarship recipient he has also studied at the Universität zu Köln (Prof. Peter Schreiner), Paris I-Sorbonne (Prof. Heleni Glikatzi Ahrweiler), Paris X-Nanterre (Prof. Evelyne Patlagean), the National Hellenic Research Foundation (Athens, Profs. Chryssa Maltezou, Nikolaos Oikonomides, and Evanghelos Chrysos), and as graduate student at the Universität Wien (Prof. Johannes Koder), and at Brown University in the United States (Prof. Anthony Molho).
His scholarly career started at the Department of History and Methods for Cultural Heritage Conservation of the University of Bologna (Ravenna), where he learned how advancements are made by interdisciplinary and international approaches to main areas of the Heritage science domain (e.g. history, art history, music, archaeology, antropology, computer science, economics, chemistry, and physics). He has been Deputy Director dealing with heritage management and digital archiving of cultural heritages in national and international research projects.
Between 1996 and 2016 his research results has been presented in more than 250 papers in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. He has received international prizes, awards, and grants, and chaired/organized international conferences and workshops as well. Most of his main sixty publications (in Italian, English, Greek, Spanish, and Chinese) are used and cited in international peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Nanetti’s main research project is called EHM-Engineering Historical Memory. EHM is both an experimental methodology and an ongoing research project, which develops and tests new sets of shared conceptualizations and formal specifications for content management systems at the intersections of humanities and data science/visualisation. He first theorized it as a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University in 2007 and is now carrying it on in Singapore at Nanyang Technological University (see publications #28, 42, 43, 51, 57, 59, 61, 63, 66) after having worked on the project as Visiting Full Professor at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari in 2012. The master plan designing, Web strategies, commercial and industrial solutions of EHM are developed and administrated by Meduproject Pte Ltd.－a company established in 2002 by Nanetti as academic spin-off of the Department of History and Methods for Cultural Heritage Conservation of the University of Bologna, after having been awarded in 2001 a prize in the first Italian business plan competition devoted to projects with high content of knowledge and having been financially supported by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment－with research teams and fundraising in Italy, PRC, Australia, USA, Greece, and Singapore. The project was awarded best conference paper at 2013 Culture and Computing (Kyoto, Japan) and has been funded by three Microsoft Research grants (2014-2017).
His teaching credentials (in English, Italian, and Modern Greek) focus on interactive global histories and heritage systems in the 21st century. At present he is Associate Professor in the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).
Andrea Nanetti’s business idea MeduProject® (for Cultural Heritage Projects):
- since 1999 was engaged in Engineering historical cartography (Italy, funded by the Carira Foundation, the Carimola Fundation, the Region Emilia-Romagna, and the Italian Ministry of Culture), producing the CD-Rom published in Mario Giberti – Andrea Ferri, Imola nel territorio [tra Romagna, Ferrara e Bologna]. La documentazione cartografica (secoli XV-XIX), edited by A. Nanetti for the “Associazione per Imola storico-artistica” in collaboration with the DISMEC (Dept. of History and Methods for Cultural Heritage Conservation of the University of Bologna), Imola 2000; second revised and augmented edition, La Mandragora, Imola 2005.
- in 2001 was awarded a prize in the “StartCup” of the University of Bologna, the first Italian business plan competition devoted to projects with high content of knowledge;
- in 2001-2002 was funded by the Spinner Consortium through the ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment) for the MDproject (Multispectral technologies for manuscript diagnostic);
- in 2002 became an academic spin-off company of the Department of History and Methods for Cultural Heritage Conservation (now Department of Cultural Heritage) of the University of Bologna;
- in 2010 was given an award by the Italian Institute of Human Sciences and by the Ph.D. School of Humanities of the University of Bologna respectively, presided and directed by Umberto Eco, presented at the inter-doctoral seminar The Ph.D. outside the University. Meeting with entrepreneurs, managers and professionals organized in collaboration with Consortium Spinner in Bologna;
- in 2006 started the publication of the international series “Mediterranean Diaries” (co-editors-in-chief Prof. Andrea Nanetti and Prof. Luigi Tomassini) in occasional collaboration with the University of Bologna and the Greek Ministry of Culture;
- in 2010 Andrea Nanetti presented his companyin Shanghai at the World Expo; since then Meduproject organizes b2b meetings and workshops in the field of Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management: for Chinese Academics and Professionals in Europe and for European Academics and Professionals in China;
- in 2011 started the publication of the international series “Waves of History” (co-editors-in-chief Prof. Andrea Nanetti and Prof. Antonio Carile) with the cultural patronage of the University of Bologna, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), the Institute for Byzantine Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (IBE-NHRF), Prof. Romano Prodi former President of the European Commission, and others;
- in 2013 a presentation of the project Engineering Historical Memory was awarded best conference paper at the international conference Culture and Computing 2013 (Kyoto, Japan). The master plan designing, Web strategies, commercial and industrial solutions of Engineering Historical Memory are developed and administrated by Meduproject.
- in 2014 Meduproject CEO was invited by the President of China-Italy Museum League (on behalf for the China-Italy Union of Museums) to give the keynote address Heritage Science as a New Silk Road: Musuem, University, and Company based integrated solutions at the 中意博物馆联盟展览交流第三次会议暨首届联盟理事会/ China Italy Museum Alliance for Exhibitions Exchange – 3rd Conference and 1st Allied Council of Administration, held in the Anhui Provincial Museum (Hefei, PRC, April 24-26, 2014).