Silvano Casini

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Dr. Casini is currently a Senior Strategy Advisor for Domaine de Beauregard. His most recent industry experience involved FIAT AVIO, the former aerospace unit of the FIAT group, known today as AVIO.

Dr. Casini holds an Electrical Engineering doctorate, as well as a Masters Degree in Electronics, from Milan Polytechnic University. Has a strong humanistic background, and served in the Italian Army as an artillery officer, mostly at the Sardinia Missile Experimental Range. His industrial career has mainly developed in the frame of large NATO and Italian defense programs. He has extensive experience in managing and restructuring companies as well as government scientific and technological agencies. Dr. Casini has worked with a number of major international organizations, including the European Space Agency. Notably, in 1995 and 1996, he served as General Administrator of the Italian Space Agency. He has been also acting as a consultant to European and Italian institutions, so achieving outstanding records in managing, restructuring and revamping private companies and governmental agencies, in Defense and Aerospace Sectors.

Main Past Memberships

  • Member of the Board of Directors of ANIE (Associazione Nazionale Industrie Elettrotecniche ed Elettroniche)
  • Member of ANIE Defense and Space Group Management Committee.
  • Member of Board of Directors of AIA (Associazione Industrie Aerospaziali)
  • Chairman of the Equipment Sectoral Group of AECMA (European Association of Aerospace Industries).
  • Member of EAIC (European Aerospace Industry Council).
  • Member of Consiglio Nazionale per la Scienza e la Tecnologia (Italian National Council for Science and Technology).
  • Member of European Space Agency ESTEC Working Group “Innovation for Competitiveness”.
  • Member of United Kingdom’s Cadre of Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
2013 – Current

• Consultant to industrial entities to define and start the implementation of aggressive strategic plans (typically focused on new markets selection, required advanced technologies, and investment planning).
• Leader of industrial teams bidding for large contracts beyond the state-of-the-art, such as the Neutral Beam Injector (NBI) for the Megavolt ITER Injector and Concept Advancement (MITICA), in the framework of Fusion For Energy (F4E) global project (participated by Europe, USA, Russia, Japan, India, China … for a total of 35 countries).
• Maintained working contacts with NASA and Washington D.C. decision makers.

2008 – 2012

Member of ALTA Team in the framework of the HiPER project

For advanced high power electric propulsion systems for deep space exploration, with the responsibility to evaluate future missions’ requirements.

December 2004 – July 2008

Adviser to ESA to define a long term strategy assuring a seizable role to Europe in the new Space Policy

announced Jan. 2004 by the U.S. President with the Directive “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery” which focused U.S. resources on the manned exploration of the solar system “and beyond” “to advance scientific, security and economic interests” of USA. That target being clearly beyond the possibility for Europe to be a co-leader with the USA, pursuing a strategy at least assuring, despite its limited resources, to Europe the role of meaningful partner, so to protect its long-term interests. After many meetings with White House and US Congress representatives, and contacts with NASA management, not to mention Roscosmos and Chinese Space Agency, a detailed analysis of potential scenarios was available on July 2006. It was taking into account the evolution of the US Space policy in the following twenty-five years and by consequence the European evolutionary role apt to matching such a dynamic situation. On the second half of 2008, ESA received also careful analysis of private stakeholder potential contribution, and scientific/technological fall-outs positively affecting the Earth's environment and economy. What foreseen in those reports is now a reality in the US policy and NASA programs for Deep Space Exploration. ESA (for Europe) decided to discard those reports, and still now has no strategy at all.

2006 - 2008

Member of a group of four “Chercheurs”, financed by “Délégation aux Affaires Stratégiques” of the French Defense Ministry of Defense

with the duty of anticipating the evolution of Russian Defense Policy, and its impact on the Russian Armed Forces, in the period 2009-2025. The final report was successfully presented and discussed on February 2008 at “Ecole Militaire aux Invalides”, at the presence of numerous high-level officers of the French Army, and members of the French Assembly and Senate. The complete report has been later edited by “Délégation aux Affaires Stratégiques”.

Mid 2001

The French delegation at ESA Council approved VEGA as an ESA program. Late 2001 signed with ESA General Director the contract for development and production of VEGA launchers. May 2002, signed with Arianespace PDG an agreement assuring to VEGA their global commercial support as well as the availability of their launch and ground support facilities. Created and managed ELV, a subsidiary company of FIAT AVIO SpA, with the mission of developing an Italian independent system capability center with regard to launcher development and related missions.

Late 2000

Called by Paolo Fresco, CEO of the FIAT Group, to rescue the VEGA launcher program. Their subsidiary FIATAVIO Spa, having hugely invested in the program, was however unable to obtain from ESA Council the recognition of VEGA as an ESA program, namely the key to obtain the participation of other ESA member Countries to the financing of development and production costs of the launcher. French industry was, in fact, considering VEGA a potential competitor of Arianespace launchers. By consequence, the French government, and the French delegation at ESA Council were strongly opposing the Italian request to have VEGA recognized as an ESA multi-lateral program. Solved the problem by presenting, to French ministerial representatives, and to the CNES president, an industrial and technological program beneficial to France, Italy, and other ESA Countries.

1999 - 2000

Appointed by the French Senate as one of the three wise men constituting the "Comité de Pilotage" to support both French Chambers in reviewing the French Space Policy.

1999-2003

Appointed by the Italian Prime Minister member of CIVR, the National Committee responsible for Direction and Evaluation of all Italian Public Research Centers and Agencies.

1997 – 2000

Member of the board, appointed by IRI, the major Italian State owned conglomerate, of

• Autostrade S.p.A. (1997 - 2000)
• Aeroporti di Roma Holding S.p.A. (1997 - 1998)
• Aeroporti di Roma S.p.A. (1997 - 2000)
in order to support their privatization process, including the entering in the Italian Stock Exchange Market.

1995 – 1996

General Administrator of ASI

• Left Finmeccanica in July 1995, being appointed by the Italian Prime Minister, and confirmed by the Italian Parliament, as General Administrator of ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana – Italian Space Agency) with the task of rescuing and restructuring the Agency, at that time de facto bankrupted, and providing it with an effective strategic plan. The implementation of the rescue plan required the renegotiation of all on-going programs with ESA and NASA, to reduce as much as possible the Italian quota. That proved to be particularly complex and sensitive due to heavy drawbacks on the most important programs of the European Space Agency and on some bilateral programs with NASA. As the rescue program had to include the utilization of a loan of 300 million dollars, secured the authorization from the Italian Ministry of Treasury to directly negotiating the loan on the international financial market. Defined and implemented a sound national long-term Strategic Space Plan for Italy. Programs initiated (1996) in the framework of that plan, such as VEGA launcher and Cosmo-SkyMed satellites for Earth observation, are still the backbone of Italian Space activity. In November 1996, having completed his tasks, and because of disagreements with the then Italian prime minister and the minister of science and education, resigned and came back to the industrial sector.

October 1995

by participating as General Administrator of ASI to the European Space Ministerial Council at Toulouse (France), probably the most difficult one in the history of ESA, had the opportunity to establish cordial, constructive and stable relations with the then French government and CNES representatives.

1993

CEO of GF Sistemi Avionici S.p.A., Officine Galileo S.p.A., Agusta Sistemi S.p.A, OMI s.r.l. and SMA S.p.A.

Following the acquisition by Finmeccanica of ex-EFIM Defense Companies, it is responsible to study and implement the restructuring of the whole of the Finmeccanica Avionics and Optronics Companies. As such, while maintaining the control of FIAR, he is appointed CEO of further five companies (GF Sistemi Avionici S.p.A., Officine Galileo S.p.A., Agusta Sistemi S.p.A, OMI s.r.l. and SMA S.p.A.). Fifteen months later, a compact structure was operational and controlled by central management with unified strategies. In agreement with the Trade Unions, the workforce decreased from more than four thousand to less than three thousand employees, and the number of main factories decreased from ten to four. Eliminated duplication of investments, and created specific centers of technological excellence. The Company born out from this overall restructuring was initially called Galileo Avionica, and later Selex Galileo.

1991

Confirmed CEO after acquisition of FIAR

at a value sensibly higher than its Stock Exchange value, by Finmeccanica Group, the major Aerospace, Defense and Heavy Electrical Equipment Italian Conglomerate, controlled by the Italian State, Nominated Operational Manager directly reporting to the CEO of Group.

1981

Initiated negotiations and implemented the transfer of FIAR to the Swedish multinational Ericsson Group. Confirmed by the new shareowners as CEO of the company.

1985

Secured shareowners authorization to enter FIAR on the Italian Stock Exchange Market, first case worldwide among all the Ericsson affiliates. The quotation was successful, due to the company broad basket of new advanced products (e.g. sonar, radar, Air Traffic Control systems, advanced avionics for fighter aircraft, systems for scientific and telecommunication satellites) and its increasing worldwide market share. Capitalization quadrupled in three years.
Managed and reorganized the Italian branch of Ericsson Security Systems business.

1977 – 1980

CEO of FIAR

at that time seriously confronted with a crisis originated by an extended Italian defense budget shrunk, with the duty of restructuring and revamping the company. Achieved the goal within 30 months, despite serious problems with Trade Unions, then infiltrated by Red Brigades. AS the mother company, US General Electric Co, redefined their policy with regard to non-domestic subsidiaries active in the Defense market, had to find a valid industrial buyer of FIAR Company.

1972 – 1977

Strategic Planning Manager of CGE S.p.A

He came back to the industry directly reporting to the CEO (at that time Paolo Fresco, later number two of US GE conglomerate, and eventually CEO of the FIAT Group).
His responsibility quickly enlarged to cover business development, public relations, and Trade Unions’ negotiation. General Electric Co also appointed him as Regional Manager for the South-Eastern Mediterranean area. Contributed to the definition and implementation of the restructuring of the CGE Group, focusing mainly on acquisitions, divestments, and modifications of the management structure. Prepared and implemented actions towards the Italian Parliament, Industry, and Public Opinion, which allowed General Electric to keep the leadership in the Italian Nuclear Power Plant market (later annihilated by an anti-nuclear popular referendum). Promoted the expansion in foreign markets of some CGE units traditionally oriented to serve the domestic market only.

1970 – 1972

Manager of the office for technical and commercial relationship with customers

Moved to Paris, joining ELDO (European Launcher Development Organization) for the technical and commercial relationships with customers such as ESRO and French and German governments.

1963 - 1970

Junior engineer for design and development of electronic equipment for the Italian space and defense programs

Joined FIAR S.p.A., an Italian leading defense electronic company controlled by CGE (Compagnia Generale di Elettricità – Italian affiliate of US General Electric Co). Appointed in 1965 first as program manager, and later as marketing manager for space programs and advanced defense electronic systems. Main fields of interest: scientific satellites, space telecommunications, electronics countermeasures.