Interdepartmental Centers

In their everyday activities, researchers have to tackle the complexity of scientific problems, which represents one of the most common challenges they have to face on daily basis. In this regard, more and more frequently, the best solution is founded in the coordinated combination of more disciplines.

As a result, according to the objectives of its Strategic Plan, our University tried to take the opportunity to turn the interdisciplinary collaboration among different technological and scientific fields into something more systematic. In particular, in our Institution, this strategic objective was put into action through the establishment and the funding dedicated to the so-called Interdepartmental Centers, also thanks to the knowledge of some interesting international experiences gained by our partners such as MIT, Technion, ETH e EPFL.

In this regard, through some physical and organization temporary platforms (3/5 year lifetime), researchers belonging to different Departments interacted and cooperated with the aim of:

  • Combining competences and producing knowledge in the field of the so-called breakthrough technologies;
  • Making the reputation and the visibility of University grow in the areas of strategic interest at a local and a national level;
  • Enhancing relationships with the most prestigious international institutions;
  • Strengthening partnership relationships with the main players of the social and economic system.

Furthermore, the Interdepartmental Centers turned to be the result of two different selection approaches.

In the first approach (called Top Down), the University Governing Bodies performed the role to detect the strategic topics (Energy, Additive Manufacturing, Mobility; Urban Challenges/Cultural Heritage, Data Science/Big Data and Internet of Things), where our University is considered to be leader at an international level with the aim to make its excellence grow, as well.

Within the same five thematic fields, other five interdisciplinary groups of researchers were created and involved in the second approach (called Bottom Up), where they proposed interdisciplinary research topics autonomously. In particular, through a self-organized process, these groups submitted 13 proposals for other corresponding 13 centers on topics which are different from those defined in the Top Down approach. Then, the proposals were assessed by the University Evaluation Board, according to some prior-defined qualifying criteria adopted by the Board of Governors. At the end of the evaluation and selection process, the board finally approved the funding for 6 Bottom Up centers.

Top Down Interdepartmental Centers

Bottom Up Interdepartmental Centers