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Excellent Departments, NRRP PhDs, House of Emerging Technologies: the University of Bologna is at the forefront of research and innovation

11 out of 15 departments submitted by the University of Bologna to the national initiative 2023-2027 Excellent Departments were awarded prizes, for a total funding of 90.7 million Euros, among the highest in Italy. Good news came also on the NRRP funding front for new PhD scholarships: our University will receive a total of 254, 172 of which in collaboration with companies, placing us first in Italy. Also relevant is the result obtained in partnership with Bologna City Council, the Metropolitan City of Bologna and Ravenna City Council for the House of Emerging Technologies

The Italian initiative Dipartimenti Eccellenti 2023-2027 (2023-2027 Excellent Departments), promoted by the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), rewards 11 Departments of the University of Bologna: a flattering result, placing the University of Bologna among the most significantly funded universities in Italy. Over five years, the total funding will amount to 90.7 million Euros. These funds will contribute to strengthening and enhancing the university's scientific activity, with investments in human capital, research infrastructure, and highly qualified teaching activities.

Among the Excellent Departments of the University of Bologna selected by the MUR, these are the ones confirmed and further financed, after the success in the 2019-2022 call: Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician", Classical Philology and Italian Studies, Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi", Psychology "Renzo Canestrari", Economics, Legal Studies, Political and Social Sciences, and Agricultural and Food Sciences. Three new departments joined them: Arts, Medical and Surgical Sciences, and History and Cultures. At a national level, the annual fund for Excellent Departments is 271 million Euros. It rewards the best 180 Italian university departments, considering the maximum number allocated to each of the 14 scientific areas of the Italian National University Council (CUN). With its 11 Excellent Departments, the University of Bologna collects 6.7% of the total funding.

As for NRRP funds, 254 new PhD scholarships are awarded to the University of Bologna: an achievement worth 10.08 million Euros, earmarked to launch new innovative PhD projects.

More specifically, 82 PhD scholarships - worth a total of 4.92 million Euros - are earmarked for innovative PhDs and PhDs for Public Administration and Cultural Heritage, while 172 PhD scholarships - worth a total of 5.16 million Euros - will go to innovative PhDs that meet the innovation needs of companies and promote the recruitment of researchers by the same companies.

The innovative PhDs in the NRRP are designed to promote and strengthen higher education and postgraduate specialisation. The aim is to multiply the number of PhDs in our country by linking this training more closely with the business system and the world of work. In this area, the University of Bologna is the leading Italian university in terms of number of agreements with companies and the amount of funding, with 172 grants funded, almost trebling the national average.

The University of Bologna also participates in the Casa delle tecnologie emergenti - CTE (House of Emerging Technologies) project, which was awarded first place in the Ministry of Economic Development national call for tenders, presented by the Bologna City Council in partnership with the Metropolitan City of Bologna, Ravenna City Council, Birex, Cineca, CNIT - WiLab, Gellify, G-Factor, TIM, Almacube, Creative Hub Bologna, ART-ER S. cons. P.A., Search On Media Group srl, Port System Authority of the Northern Central Adriatic Sea (Port of Ravenna), START 4.0.

The project aims to set up technology transfer centres to support research and experimentation projects, support the creation of start-ups, and encourage technology transfer to small and medium-sized enterprises, focusing on cutting-edge topics such as Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, 6G and quantum technologies. For this project, 13.7 million Euros have been requested from the Ministry, of which 1.4 million Euros for the University of Bologna.

“After the national success of the NRRP calls, the extraordinary quality of University of Bologna research is confirmed,” says the Rector, Professor Giovanni Molari. “The recognition we receive from the Ministry rewards us in all the disciplinary fields that make our university so rich and strong and recognises our ability to interact with institutions and businesses in the region. These results are the fruit of many individual talents and great collective work: I express my thanks to those who made them possible. Every achievement must spur us on to do better and better, with an ever increasing sense of community within us and a sense of responsibility to the outside world.”