Politecnico di Torino fits into a scenario in which research is taking on increasingly global and complex meanings, aimed at responding to the social and economic issues affecting humanity, such as the Mega-Trends reported by the OECD: climate change, the ageing population, new paradigms in medicine, digitalisation, the role of technologies in managing geopolitical changes such as migration and security. In a similar scope, the UN has recommended the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, to which the five priority clusters of Horizon Europe, the European Union's 9th Framework Programme for Research, Development and Innovation, are also linked. Challenges of this magnitude entail the multidisciplinary contribution of different branches of science and technology, and in this context, disciplines are increasingly to be considered in their dual significance, i.e. as research fields in their own right, and as transversal and enabling fields for others.
To respond to the challenges of the future, science and innovation will clearly have to undergo a profound transformation. Particularly regarding fundamental research, it will be necessary to take the route of Open Science, to enable an extensive sharing of knowledge and a broad re-use of research data. In addition, it will be necessary to integrate ethical and social considerations into one’s activities, so as to achieve fully responsible research and innovation (Responsible Research and Innovation).
Politecnico’s research strategy aims to make the University a leading player at a national and international level, especially regarding the relevance and impact of its research activities on the economy and society. This strategic objective leads to some basic choices. Firstly, research activity is directed in such a way as to ensure coherence with the Sustainable Development Goals and the priorities of Horizon Europe, which, moreover, are well suited to the University’s competences.
Politecnico then supports multidisciplinary research activities, especially by taking care of the synergies between “digital” disciplines and the other fields of engineering, architecture, planning and design. This commitment is expressed through the Interdepartmental Centres, which were set up in recent years to foster the emergence of new initiatives in transversal cultural areas, and in the Platforms, i.e., the coordination tools for the communication, promotion and enhancement of the skills, services, products and infrastructures available within the University and its ecosystem on major topical issues in international research.
PoliTO fields of research
The fields of research of Politecnico di Torino cover the three areas of knowledge and expertise that the European Research Council (ERC), the most prestigious research funding body in Europe, classifies into Physical Sciences and Engineering (PE), Life Sciences (LS) and Social Sciences and Humanities (SH).