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Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

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Contact Data

Coordinator (University)


Coordinator website

Year Established

Before 1960


Via Zamboni 33, 40126, bologna (Italy)


Contact information

Research Developer Office
+39 0512088516



The Alma Mater Studiorum, the oldest university in the Western world, paves the way for innovation through an increasingly rich programme catalogue, cutting-edge research and a constant and increasingly broad international perspective.

Since its origins in 1088, Alma Mater has been student-centred hosting prominent figures from science and the arts. Based in five campuses (Bologna, Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna, Rimini), with a branch in Buenos Aires, it offers a teaching catalogue diversified and tailored to the needs of present-day society: over 200 degree programmes among its 32 Departments and 11 Schools are offered to over 81,000 students. 5,000 graduates are enrolled in PhDs and 3rd cycle programmes.

As a comprehensive research university Alma Mater invests in the multidisciplinary cross-cultural approach and in the inseparable connection between research and teaching. One of the most active universities leading and participating in European research and academic cooperation projects, Bologna has formed knowledge alliances with industry and public/private organizations. It is a hub of international networks. Beyond its close European links, it enjoys multiple connections with America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Research and Innovation are a priority of the University mission.

With regard to Innovation, UNIBO filed 86 new patent applications in 2017, of which 25 are new registrations, thereby giving rise to an active patent portfolio of over 370 patents related to more than 140 inventions.  It also has an active portfolio of more than 20 patented plant varieties, 80% of which are increased in value through active licenses with geographic coverage in countries in different parts of the world. UNIBO set up or accredited 27 spin-off companies up to 2017 and can also count Almacube, as business incubator that managed 15 incubated companies in 2017.

With regard to the capability of attracting funding for research and innovation, UNIBO is very active both at National and European level in all the research areas. Activities related to competitive funding programs are supported by the Research Division, with more than 10 years experience and about 50 people assisting the research groups in the whole project lifecycle. A Research Development Office deals with the pre-award phase and the UNIBO strategic positioning at local, national and international level, through integrated networking and lobby activities in each specific research area. While the Programs&Projects Office supports the UNIBO researchers in the implementation phase of the projects with technical, legal, financial and administrative expertise. These Offices strictly cooperate between each other and in strictly connection with the Knowledge Transfer Office, for the Innovation Management expertise and the IP protection and exploitation, and the take up and commercialization of project results.

Thanks to its scientific excellence and a central Project Management support working closely,  UNIBO has gained a considerable experience in International and European research projects, successfully participated in FP7: with 274 projects funded in 2007-2013; (58 of them as coordinator) and  87,8ML Euros of funding.

In Horizon 2020, UNIBO is so far involved in 195 funded projects (52 as coordinator) with more than 78 ML Euros of funding. UNIBO is also partner of the EIT Knowledge & Innovation Communities (“EIT DIGITAL”, “Climate KIC”, “EIT Raw Materials”) and many of the most important EU initiatives related to the Horizon 2020 framework program (ie. ETPs, EIPs, JPIs, etc).

UNIBO is the main proposers of a PPP (BI-REX Competence Center) composed by 50 companies (mainly manufacturers) and 7 universities and research centers of the Emilia Romagna Region.  The Competence Center started its activities in december 2018 and will be the perfect driver for transferring knowledge from research institutions and companies, especially SMEs. UNIBO would be able to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs by fostering the reuse of AI methodologies and services in the industrial sector.

UNIBO is in the unique position of being a multi-disciplinary university, with a strong mission on technology transfer (promoting more than 50 University spin-offs) and positioned in a region with one of the highest concentration of SMEs in Italy in the manufacturing sector. The DiH will provide for these companies a one-stop-shop that helps them to become more competitive with regard to their design/production/maintenance processes, products or services using digital technologies.




Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry

UNIBO participates to several national initiatives connected to theme in question, in particular UNIBO is member and actively contributes to the Italian Clusters  Smart Factories ((Fabbrica Intelligente), Energy (Energia), Transport (Trasporti Italia 2020), Green Chemistry (Chimica Verde), Agrifood, Smart Communities Technolgies (Tecnologie per le Sart Communities), Technologies for Cultural Heritage, design and made in Italy, Blue Growth (Economia del Mare). 

UNIBO is the main proposers of the Competence Center BI-REX composed by 50 companies (mainly manufacturers) and 7 universities and research centers of the Emilia Romagna Region. The Competence Center started its activities in December 2018 and will be the perfect driver for transferring knowledge from research institutions and companies, especially SMEs. UNIBO would be able to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs by fostering the reuse of AI methodologies and services in the industrial sector

In 2013, the Emilia Romagna Region developed its Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3). The Emilia Romagna innovation network has been managed by ASTER that organizes the R&D and marketing efforts of all organizations belonging to the High Technology Network (HTN). HTN includes industrial research laboratories and innovation centres and gathers the regional academic institutions and public research centres. UniBO is part of HTN, through its Interdepartmental Industrial Research Centers (CIRI).

UNIBO is part of the Emilia Romagna Region High Technoloy Network and participates to the regional associations Clust-ER (MECH, INNOVATIVE, GREENTECH, CREATE, HEALTH, AGRIFOOD and  BUILD).

Since 2010 UNIBO is partner of the KIC EIT Digital. The EIT Digital Innovation Hub in Italy, headquartered at the Povo Scientific and Technological Centre in Trento, focuses on leveraging digital technologies to help improve quality of life. Located at the core of the Trentino Region, an area rich in communications infrastructures and bristling with innovative companies, the centre unites the leading digital players in Italy. Its core partners are Engineering, Telecom Italia and TrentoRISE, while affiliated partners have activities all over Italy (CNR-National Research Council) and have labs, connected to the Innovation Hub, in Lombardy (Politecnico of Milan), Piemont (Politecnico of Turin), Emilia Romagna (Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna) and Tuscany (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna). Affiliated industrial partners include CFR (FIAT Research Centre), Cooperazione Trentina, PosteItaliane, Reply and ST Microelectronics.

The University of Bologna is among the core funding members of the project H2020 AI4EU - A European AI On Demand Platform and Ecosystem. The project will create a novel, unifying EU infrastructure and framework for AI advances, open to all EU players, from academic researchers to industry partners.

UNIBO is also part of the Italian cluster coordinated by Politecnico di Milano for the new funded H2020 DIH-HERO (Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics), a European project which aims to boost innovation and implementation of robotics in healthcare. The Digital Innovation Hubs for robotics will work closely together with the AI-on-demand platform project AI4EU. 

Market and Services

Market sectors

  • Agriculture, hunting and forestry
  • Fishing
  • Electricity, gas and water supply
  • Construction
  • Transport, storage and communication
  • Public administration and defence
  • Education
  • Health and social work
  • Other community, social and personal service activities (media, entertainment, etc.)
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of textiles and textile products
  • Manufacture of chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres
  • Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
  • Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products
  • Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment
  • Other Manufacturing

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Collaborative Researchs
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Pre-competitive series production
  • Market intelligence
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development
  • Other

Service Examples

Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research in Health Sciences and Technologies - CIRI Health Sciences and Technologies

The main goal of the HST-CIRI is the transfer of technology to businesses.

We develop products and technologies of interest to enterprises in the biomedical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical and ICT sectors.

We provide support and assistance for medium and long-term projects, ranging from the know-how to the construction of industrial prototypes.

More details:

CIRI - Advanced Applications in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Technology

The skills of the Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research on Advanced Applications in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Technology are spread over six different Operating Units.

More details:

CIRI Aerospace

Structures and technologies of composite materials and light alloys
Provides expertise and services related to the design and manufacture of structures and components made by composite materials and/or light alloys.
Design methods for industrial engineering
The main technologies employed in this area are CAD (Computer Aided Design), VR (Virtual Reality), RE (Reverse Engineering) and RP (Rapid Prototyping).
Modelling, control and diagnosis of dynamic systems
The group has the tools and skills to implement the control of dynamical systems, starting with their modeling, continuing with the definition of the main functions of control and management and development of diagnostic tools to monitor their operation.
Micro/nanosatellite micropropulsion system
The expertise is based on two different MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) based propulsion systems.
Georeferencing GPS dynamical data and data analysis using microscopic models
The team has a consolidated experience in georeferencing GPS data recorded in a dynamical way from many vehicles or individuals. The techniques allow a real time reconstruction of the dynamical state in a road network and a now-casting procedure using microscopic models able to simulate the individual dynamics.
Aerodynamics and fluid dynamics
Our group is able to provide expertise and support for aerodynamics and fluid dynamics design of industrial components. Each problem can be thoroughly analysed both from experimental and numerical point of view. Moreover, our group offers a specific experience in the development of novel sensing devices and measurement systems for fluid mechanic applications.
Plasma engineering
This thematic covers competences in the following areas: magneto fluid dynamic interaction during re-entry into a planetary atmosphere; electro fluid dynamic interaction for flow control in the aerodynamicboundary layer, plasma diagnostics, numerical models of magnetohydrodynamic and elettro fluid-dynamic fields and of plasma flows.
Electric and magnetic systems
The skills inherent in this area are: numerical computation of electric and magnetic fields, optimized design of electrical and magnetic devices, special design of power supplies and and high voltage power pulse generators.

More details:

CIRI ICT: Information and communication technologies

Our research center offers different kinds of services to small/medium enterprises and large companies that are pursuing sustainable innovation: from advanced consulting to support in research projects, from high-level professional training to product prototyping.

Support for research projects

Cooperation between university and industry is our mission. The experience gained in years of academic research on different ICT topics enables our research center to offer a valuable support to small and medium enterprises for preparing and implementing national and regional research projects, as well as to obtain funding from the European Union.


CIRI ICT offers advanced consulting services thanks to its outstanding team of highly skilled researchers with international experience. Knowledge transfer is the key aspect of our service: our goal is to solve the customers’ problems by providing them with the necessary future-proof expertise. Each consulting project is thoroughly followed by our researchers throughout its development, from the initial requirements definition phase to the final expected outcomes.

Product prototyping

Prototyping is a fundamental phase in any production chain to test and assess the real value of the offered services or goods. Both experimental and pre-production prototypes are key factors for creating new added-value products and services. CIRI ICT supports its customers throughout the implementation and testing phases of their prototypes.

Support to sustainable innovation

Any small, medium or big company must deal with the increasing competition in the market. Today this means to gain new skills and highly specialized knowledge with limited environmental impact. So sustainable innovation is a requirement, not a choice. Stemming from outstanding academic experience, CIRI ICT activities are aimed towards innovation at any level: technological, industrial, of products and processes.


Industrial research aimed at sustainable innovation must be based on a strong and thorough training process, both theoretical and practical. To this purpose, the availability of up-to-date training laboratories and equipment is fundamental to effectively gain hands-on experience on new technologies. Our research center offers different levels of training courses to customers that want to keep up with the rapidly evolving ICT world.

Instruments and laboratory rental

Due to the constant effort of our research personnel, the CIRI ICT offers several state-of-the-art laboratories and highly specialized equipment to analyze and test innovative products and services. Our customers are welcome to rent our instrumental resources for their purposes.

More details:

CIRI Agrifood

The CIRI Agrifood collaborates with different companies of agri-food sector in Emilia Romagna region and in other parts of Italy. The research centre can meets the company needs and support them in their activities.

The CIRI Agrifood collaborates with different enterprises and supplies an adequate support to industry needs by research and advisory activity.

Organizations, enterprises o private customers ask to CIRI Agrifood support and many research project activities are developed. The main actions of CIRI Agrifood are project drafting, creating know-how and finally developing new process and new products.

In order to stipulate a partnership, it needs to endorse an agreement. The CIRI Agrifood renders assistance related to the financing opportunities (such as F1RST) and financial support on research and development, innovation and technologic transfer topics.

-          It is possible consulting many researchers and professors related to their expertise and research topic

-          Professors and researchers have didactic activities, events, seminaries and conferences

-          It is possible using the equipment of CIRI Agrifood supported by internal staff and by quotation; or in similar way, it is possible the use of pilot plant.

Actually, the CIRI Agrifood has a lot of collaborations with different enterprises and organizations in a wide range of applications, like as bakery products, phermented meat, beverages, frozen foods, fruit&vegetables.

The Center is on the front line for promoting technologic transfer, in particular, for small and medium regional enterprises.


More details:


Organizational form

(part of) Public organization (part of RTO, or university)



Number of employees


Evolutionary Stage

In preparation

Geographical Scope



  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National basic research funding
  • National specific innovation funding
  • Horizon 2020
  • Regional funding
  • Private funding


Number of customers annually


Type of customers

  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Research organisations



Partner Type

Networked, cluster organization



Partner Type

Research & Technology organization


Technological competences

  • Organic and Large Area Electronics (OLAE)
  • Micro and nano electronics, smart system integration
  • Sensors, actuators, MEMS, NEMS, RF
  • Photonics, electronic and optical functional materials
  • Screens and display technologies
  • Broadband and other communication networks (e.g. 5G)
  • Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded systems)
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
  • Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems
  • Location based technologies (e.g. GPS, GIS, in-house localization)
  • Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
  • Cyber security (including biometrics)
  • Advanced or High performance computing
  • Data mining, big data, database management
  • Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
  • Simulation and modelling
  • Gamification
  • Software as a service and service architectures
  • Cloud computing
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • Laser based manufacturing
  • ICT management, logistics and business systems
  • Internet services (e.g. web development, web production, design, networking, and e-commerce)
  • New Media technologies
  • Other

H2020 Projects

  • EuroCPS
    European Network of competencies and platforms for Enabling SME from any sector building Innovative CPS products to sustain demand for European manufacturing
    European Network of competencies and platforms for Enabling SME from any sector building Innovative CPS products to sustain demand for European manufacturing

    SMEs play a key role in European economies; they constitute the largest business block and provide the bulk of employment. They generate most of the innovative ideas for ICT and CPS-enabled IoT products, two areas which represent an inflection point for innovators and industry in Europe.  
    EuroCPS is an ambitious project that aims to arm Europe with a network of design centres that will boost and initiate synergies between SMEs, major CPS-platforms, and CPS-competency providers, to capture the emerging markets for IoT products.

    EuroCPS will
    1. Leverage the existing regional ecosystem across the full value chain (from micro-electronics, smart systems, and CPS, to high value added products and services) and range of expertise and competencies to provide innovators from any sector with an easy path to build innovative CPS-enabled systems.
    2. Act as a one-stop-shop that provides a critical mass of technologies and competencies by facilitating user-supplier partnerships across value-chains and regions. Hence the typical development time of innovative for CPS applications will be significantly decreased through the ease of access to the platforms, and coaching by the competence partners within EuroCPS.
    3. Link software, system and nano-electronic industries along the full CPS value chain to demonstrate a new cooperation model evidenced by experiments initiated and led by innovators that translate the rich pool of ideas from end users into implementation of CPS applications made in Europe.

    EuroCPS gathers major European system suppliers and world class research centres and technology providers, all rooted in the top European regional ecosystems. Based on strong foundations in European and national initiatives, EuroCPS will, through pan European collaboration and knowledge exchange and access to the strong value chain in this strategic sector, significantly reduce development time and certification efforts, thus putting Europe at the cutting edge of CPS development and implementation.
  • Fortissimo 2
    Factories of the Future Resources, Technology, Infrastructure and Services for Simulation and Modelling 2
    Factories of the Future Resources, Technology, Infrastructure and Services for Simulation and Modelling 2

    Fortissimo 2 will drive the uptake of advanced modelling, simulation and data analytics by European engineering and manufacturing SMEs and mid-caps. Such an uptake will deliver improved design processes, better products and services, and improved competitiveness. For the European Union as a whole this means improved employment opportunities and economic growth.

    The importance of advanced ICT to the competitiveness of both large and small companies in the engineering and manufacturing domain is well established. Despite early successes in this area, there are still many barriers to the uptake of such solutions, not least of which are the initial cost and complexity of adoption, particularly in the context of challenging trading conditions. This proposal targets the ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) action line (Phase 2) and builds on Phase 1 of that initiative.

    Phase 2 addresses the adoption of next generation ICT advances in the manufacturing domain. At the core of Fortissimo 2 are three tranches of Application Experiments (~35 in total). An initial set is included in this proposal and two further sets will be obtained through Open Calls for proposals. These experiments will be driven by the requirements of first-time users (predominately SMEs) and will bring together actors from across the value chain, from cycle providers to domain experts via the Fortissimo Marketplace. This will enable innovative solutions to manufacturing challenges, leading to new and improved design processes, products and services. A key feature of Fortissimo 2 will be the adaption of the Marketplace to meet the needs of end-users. It will offer a responsive and reliable service to companies which want to access HPC and Big resources and expertise.

    Fortissimo 2 initially involves 732 months of effort, a total cost of €11.1m and EC funding of €10m over a duration of three years, commensurate with achieving its ambitious goals.
  • CloudiFacturing
    Cloudification of Production Engineering for Predictive Digital Manufacturing
    Cloudification of Production Engineering for Predictive Digital Manufacturing

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is essential for the digitalization of the manufacturing sector; notwithstanding, less than 25% of the manufacturing companies in Europe profit from ICT-enabled solutions. In order to democratically boost the competitiveness of the European manufacturers (especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises - SMEs), innovative solutions need to consider technological and commercial scalability from the beginning. From this perspective, the cloudification of services has become the ideal enabler in the manufacturing digitalization. Successful European initiatives such us CloudFlow, cloudSME or Fortissimo have demonstrated the benefits of cloudification for engineering services, by means of combining HPC resources, computational tools, and cloud computing platforms. Manufacturing SMEs are empowered to compute and solve problems that cannot be tackled without cloud and HPC technology, making them more competitive by reducing development times for innovative product with better performance. The results of these initiatives are fostering the engineering and to some extend the prototyping processes within the manufacturing workflow; however, monitoring and optimizing production processes have not yet greatly benefited from an integrated information workflow and simulation loop based on on-line factory data.
    The core partners of CloudFlow ( and cloudSME ( are joining forces to leverage factory data with cloud-based engineering tools:
    a) paving the way toward manufacturing analytics,
    b) enriching the manufacturing engineering process with on-line data, and
    c) simulating and optimizing the production process with the vision to support it in real-time.
    The consolidated platform between CloudFlow and cloudSME with extended capabilities to process factory data is going to be accessed through a central interface, enabling the stakeholders to interact, and collaborate.
Last updated: 21/12/18 14:53