Third Mission/Social Impact

The Politecnico di Torino has worked to guarantee structured support to promote and facilitate the implementation of Third Mission initiatives, some of which are of a structural nature, i.e. they involve the entire University, and others are promoted by individual Departments or even by projects of individual members of the academic community, aligned and integrated within the University's impact strategies.

Third Mission initiatives are surveyed either through the Departments’ annual report on the monitoring of departmental improvement indicators of the University Strategic Plan, or through the Research Database platform – IRIS RM for those entities that have already been implemented, in particular for Public Engagement.

In this context, the following are some of the initiatives in which the University has invested in recent years, which can be found in the document “Politecnico di Torino’s Third Mission”.

The Politecnico, together with other players in the area, has structured a true “innovation ecosystem”, which aims to guarantee complete coverage of the Technology Transfer chain. The Politecnico’s Technology Transfer system has long been able to rely on the joint activity of a network of players (bridging institutions), which strengthen its action and impact on the economic and business fabric of the area.

Some of the most successful tools and initiatives promoted by the University include:

  • The programme Proof of Concept, for the funding of applied research projects;
  • The Service Charter and the Newsletter for businesses, to encourage a matching between the research produced at the University and the innovation needs of the industrial world.

In addition to internal services, there are also:

The university is also strongly committed to improving the visibility of its research infrastructure, making them open especially as a service towards businesses.

For the Politecnico di Torino, knowledge sharing is not only a strategic objective defined in terms of research and technology transfer, but is also the way in which the Politecnico di Torino works together with the Territory to contribute to making Torino an increasingly metropolitan city of culture, as well as a University city.

This includes, for example the Castello del Valentino, property of the Politecnico di Torino and home to the Department of Architecture and Design and the Interuniversity Department of Science, Planning and Territorial Policies; the Castello del Valentino has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997 and is included in the serial site “Le Residenze sabaude”.

Testifying to the institutional, teaching and research activities of the Politecnico, the University’s historical collections include archival and scientific collections.

The Politecnico di Torino is engaged in awareness-raising activities on health-related topics. Examples include:

  • JUST THE WOMAN I AM, an event that through a 5 km run – walk open to the city community, raises funds for university cancer research, promotes prevention, healthy lifestyles, inclusion and gender equality. The event is organised in collaboration with the CUS and the University of Turin. The event is organised in collaboration with the CUS and the University of Turin.

  • Sei unico fino al midollo (You're unique down to your marrow), promoted since 2013 in collaboration with ADMO, Associazione Donatori di Midollo Osseo Piemonte (Piedmont Bone Marrow Donors Association), to encourage the registration of students in the donor register. This initiative, interrupted during the pandemic period, is currently being rescheduled.

In this context, the Politecnico di Torino has set up the Specializing Master's Programmes and Lifelong Learning, which, in collaboration with public and private partners, identifies the need for high-level technical training to specialise the knowledge acquired in traditional degree courses and responds dynamically by offering a wide range of training courses (Level I and II Masters, short/medium-term training and specialised refresher courses).

This includes initiatives to disseminate research and involve citizens in the dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge, such as:

  • Biennale Tecnologia, a cultural festival of an international nature promoted in 2019 by the Politecnico di Torino and dedicated to investigating the relationship between technology, man and society. On this occasion, the public can attend the presentation of research groups, also through the “Politecnico Aperto” initiative that includes laboratory visits and interactive activities.
  • Biennale Tecnologia for Schools, a cycle of training and scientific dissemination activities aimed at students in secondary schools throughout Italy. The activities involve researchers and PhD students from the Politecnico di Torino in meetings designed to complement teaching and educational support and career advice.
  • European Researchers' Night, an event promoted by a network of national and international partners under the umbrella of the European Commission, whose programme consists of numerous scientific dissemination activities designed to bring the world of research closer to citizens.
  • Theseus - Centre on Technology, Society and Humanity, an interdisciplinary University centre - established in 2022 - whose mission is the integration of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. As part of its activities, the Centre organises and promotes two cycles of events: the Theseus Colloquia and the Theseus Policy.
  • Tempi difficili - Difficult times, a series of lectures and meetings dedicated to reflecting on topical issues: the first proposed edition in 2021 focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, while the second edition in 2023 discussed the topic of war and peace.
  • Cinque Libri - Five Books, a series of interviews with experts who, having chosen a topic of interest, recommend five books to learn more about it.
  • Liberi Libri - Free books, a series of appointments with writers from different fields, who present their works in a dialogue with the University and its scientific community.
  • Grandi Sfide- Grand challenges, eleven introductory lectures of the “Grand Challenges” courses, which have been open to the public since 2022 to give all citizens the opportunity to study and explore topics of particular relevance.

The Politecnico di Torino is facing a new season of growth, interaction with the territory and opening up to internationalisation, in which the issue of spaces and their quality constitutes one of the University's strategic nodes. This growth must therefore, on the one hand, experiment with innovative configurations of spaces for work, research and the use of knowledge; on the other, it must qualify the Campus as a place for living, enhancing the liveability of the premises and favouring it as a place for debate and a space for gathering.

In this context, 2017 saw the launch of the University Master Plan: a “round table” for dialogue and sharing in which the spatialisation of requests, needs and opportunities makes it possible to highlight limits, criticalities and benefits. One of the objectives is to share the University's development projects with local stakeholders, thus contributing to the development of the quality of the urban, environmental, cultural, economic and social context.

In 2019, a University policy on open access was adopted with the aim of adapting these principles to the scientific literature and promoting the free dissemination of research results produced in the University.

The Politecnico di Torino has been on a path of integrating sustainability principles into its activities for many years now. These principles were introduced in the Statute of the Politecnico di Torino since 2012 and in 2018 a specific line of the PoliTO4Impact University Strategic Plan was dedicated to the development of a sustainable campus and the role of the University in the exchange of knowledge and technologies for sustainable development.

The Politecnico di Torino's path towards a Sustainable Campus is presided over by the Green Team, a HUB for gathering skills and awareness of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 United Nations Agenda, applied to the university domain.