ESOF in Trieste


Trieste has been nominated European City of Science 2020. 

Trieste boasts a long tradition as a dynamic hub for research, science and innovation, focused on sustainable growth and development, with an impact that extends beyond Italy to the rest of Europe and the developing world. It is internationally renowned for the high concentration of scientific institutions. The city hosts overall more than 30 national and international centres and companies working in research and higher education, 5000 permanent foreign scientists and some 13000 students and researchers. 

For the first time in its history, ESOF will be reaching beyond the national borders of its host country. As a Central European city, Trieste is committed to strengthening the links with Central and Eastern European scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and citizens, thus making a crucial step towards a truly open and inclusive Europe.

The ESOF2020 conference will be held in the extraordinary area of the Old Port (Porto Vecchio), which had been for decades the commercial port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now an outstanding architectural and industrial heritage site that the Trieste Municipality is redeveloping and requalifying.


  • ESOF2020 Trieste generally aims to:
  • PROMOTscience, technology and innovation as key drivers of a sustainable and responsible development that is people-centered;
  • STIMULATdiscussions concerning science, its applications and impact, including ethical issues;
  • ESTABLISH a platform where the dialogue between research institutions, academies and governments is fostered.

ESOF2020 Trieste also has more specific goals:

  • TO STRENGTHEN a scientific and technological network among the Central Eastern European countries, the existing Trieste Science System and the rest of Europe.
  • TO INTEGRATE AND CONNECT this network within the Mediterranean, North Africa and Central Asia;
  • TO CREATE a museum dedicated to Science and Technology and its dissemination.


The mission of Trieste as City of Science will continue after ESOF, through the creation of a science center, The North Adriatic Science and Technology Centre, and an independent, multidisciplinary, non-profit Summer Institute aimed at fostering dialogue among scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and citizens, involving stakeholders from Central-Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Our Motto

The city’s natural spirit of openness and inclusiveness is expressed in the motto that Trieste has chosen for ESOF2020: “Freedom for science, science for freedom”. 

FREEDOM FOR SCIENCE refers to the open-ended and unresolved questions that science is facing, with method and curiosity, without restrictions of credo or prejudices. 

SCIENCE FOR FREEDOM, on the other hand, refers to the inclusiveness of science and its language, which goes beyond borders and conflicts and brings together people of any colour and gender.