On March 21st 2017 one of the topics of discussion at Politecnico was the challenges of the researchers and the obtained results, which make the university rank in the first places in Italy and in Europe as regards the funding per head. The quality of the scientific and technological research is the basis of the reputation of a university in Europe and in the world.
The obtained results and the future strategies were examined and explained to the city and the region, in order to show the challenges of the scientific research together with the strategies and the actions that were carried out thanks to the support of institutional and industrial partners; their collaboration fosters projects in different sectors of the fundamental and applied research. On this occasion it was possible to show the main results Politecnico obtained in this sector, which make the university rank in the first places in Italy and Europe as regards the funding per head: there are already 100 projects of the programme UE Horizon2020 and around 37 million euros have been given out in the last three years. All these factors enabled Politecnico to gain better positions both on a national and on a European level: it ranks 4th in Italy and 58th in Europe, overcoming other bigger universities. There are also 36 international projects, 112 national projects and 342 regional projects that have been obtained in the last five years and are worth 62 million euros. There are also important research contracts with agencies and businesses (about 19 million euros in 2016).
The university has started specific projects in order to encourage students to participate and to increase the project activities: the projects H2020@polito and ERC@polito offer professors and researchers tools that support the activities. There has also been an announcement (La ricerca dei talenti – The talents research) supported by Fondazione CRT, whose aim was to give value to the independence of young researchers.
In addition, many activities have been organised thanks to the partnership between Politecnico and Compagnia di Sanpaolo: as regards the internationalisation of research, new announcements have been introduced. Their objective is the development of partnerships with universities which rank in the first 50 positions of the international rankings or which are in strategic areas of interest for Politecnico; another goal is the creation of research projects in collaboration with international agencies of excellence, thanks to exchanges of doctorate students. Starting grants are also planned, in order to finance highly-qualified researchers who come from other universities or research agencies. Last but not least, Mettin in rete la tua idea di ricerca is a new initiative which allows the sharing of research ideas on the internet, which has been launched to give value to the collaborative research.
The vice-dean for research Stefano Corgnati and the director of the Research Area Laura Fulci have explained the actions and the projects that have been started. The researchers of the university have presented some of the projects of fundamental and applied research (individual or collaborative), showing videos where they talk about the various fields of research of Politecnico, the departments and the many financial sources which support the projects, the mobility and the career of the researchers. Important industrial partners the university collaborates with took the floor as well: among them Prima Industrie, which collaborates on a project about Technological Platforms – Intelligent Plant of Regione Piemonte; FCA, which has given its contribute for almost 20 years; ENI and GM, which have signed partnership agreements with the university.
Finally, a workshop introduced by the President of Compagnia Sanpaolo and the previous dean of the university Francesco Profumo enabled the discussion with institutional partners and businesses about the relationship between Politecnico and the socio-economic system of the region and of the country, in a background where new roles and new financial models are extremely requested from a technical university.
“Universities are requested not only to carry out scientific research, but also to contribute to promote the spread of new technologies, in collaboration with the socio-economic system and the institutions. They also have to be able to find solutions for the challenges they face. Politecnico has established itself as a Research University, which is recognised on an international level, as the most accredited rankings show: in fact, Politecnico has one of the highest positions in the world as regards Engineering and Architecture” said the dean Marco Gilli during his introduction.
“Politecnico must confront itself with an international research context which has become more and more competitive but which also offers unlimited resources” said the vice-dean for research Stefano Corgnati. “For this reason Politecnico has defined new strategies in favour of research, in collaboration with the most prestigious universities in the world and continuous exchanges of researchers and professors. We have also adopted specific policies for the promotion of multidisciplinary activities, since we want to put together the knowledge of different sectors in order to carry out complete research that make us competitive with the great international research groups. Finally, we have planned support actions for the young researchers who have to work in innovative and difficult fields, where a high scientific quality is necessary expertise on an economic, financial and management level”.