Research & Innovation

Networking Politecnico research

13 September 2017

Scientific research is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and international, crossing the boundaries between science, academia and industry, as well as those between different regions and countries. To create new knowledge, it is necessary to work together and build partnerships, thinking beyond the limits of sectors and subjects, as pointed out in July by the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, at the conference “Research and Innovation - Shaping our Future” which launched the process for defining the 9th Framework Program.

This is the spirit of the “Network your research idea call, launched in December 2016 by the Politecnico with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo and whose main goals also include promotion of the scientific independence of the University's most talented researchers who are starting and consolidating their scientific career.

As many as 43 researchers from the Politecnico have proposed interdisciplinary and innovative research projects to be implemented through collaboration with universities, companies and other organisations of the socio-economic system, both in Italy and abroad, as required by the terms of the call.

The substantial funding available (approx. two million euros, half of which made available by Compagnia di San Paolo and half by the University) allowed 14 excellent projects to be funded, at the end of a very strict selection process, which included a double international peer review phase and oral interviews. The projects include very different subject areas and the research topics include: biomaterials and intelligent materials, additive manufacturing, waste and water treatment, energy sustainability, urbanistic studies and archaeometry, the Internet of Things, technology for the food industry and sustainable agriculture.

Coordination of the entire process, from publication of the call to the help desk for applicants and collection and organisation of the selection of proposals, was carried out by the Research Area of the Politecnico di Torino, which will also support the scientific directors of the winning projects and their departments for the planned two-year duration, providing advice on administrative, financial and communication aspects.

The 14 winning projects will network the University with 27 partners of excellence including universities, research centres, companies and local authorities in the Piedmont Region, in other Italian regions and in other European countries (UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain).

The Vice Rector for Research of the Politecnico di Torino Stefano Corgnati, President of the Scientific Committee, comments: “I was favourably impressed by the quality of the projects submitted and by the design skills of the young researchers at our University. Participation in this call was an opportunity for all applicants to get involved with the preparation of collaborative projects and an evaluation mechanism similar to those of major national and European research funding programs. For the winners, demonstrating that they have obtained a grant of a significant amount with the role of coordinator also represents an important recognition for their career prospects”.

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