Cross-fertilization of ideas for real success stories
by Gianluigi Rozza*
Technology and knowledge transfer is a crucial and strategic activity within the more general mission of creating innovation and guaranteeing valorization of research and talents. It includes a wide range of activities and it is closely related with the so-called third mission of the Universities, together with Education and Research.
Universities, as well as Public Research Centers, are giving great impulse in the last few years to this mission by creating better connections with industry and their representatives, as well as institutions like scientific parks and technology clusters to better reach SMEs, and also hospitals in the surrounding regions. This is necessary to be able to transfer research results and create new valued opportunities to foster innovation by knowledge transfer (valorization of talented students and researchers, joint research projects and initiatives at regional, national and international level, just to mention few ones). Not only, these actions will enhance the impact of the research activities on Society by improving citizens’ quality of life (environment, safety, work conditions, products, processes, mobility, communications).
One of the goals for ESOF is to better motivate scientific community in enabling the “knowledge transfer” mission for a better valorization of research activities (and talents) by trying to establish better connections with potential research partners and networks, in order to guarantee a better visibility of the scientific community, thanks to a virtuous contamination of ideas in the society. Friuli Venezia-Giulia region is well known for its high standards in education and research and this virtuous contamination helps keeping these high standards in research and, at the same time, creating motivation and new original insights for scientists. Innovation helps also the region being competitive and in a growing economy scenario, thus guaranteeing employment and market.
In recent years several initiatives carried out in the region, such as research networks supported by technological clusters, regional, national and European programs, like Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie actions, European Research Council and COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology), POR-FESR (European Fund for Regional Development) initiatives are clearly demonstrating that a solid bridge between Science and Industry not only is possible, but also expected to be fruitful.
ESOF is a unique opportunity to show this bridge between Science and Industry, by enhancing knowledge valorization, speeding up innovation, and contributing in the improvement of the society and citizens’ quality of life by following “virtue and knowledge” and giving to Trieste the flag of “Innovation City”.
A wider link between Science and Society will contribute in re-affirming the important role of research in modern countries, as strategic guideline to guarantee wealth. It is very important that public opinion could help in restoring in political agendas a better and deeper attention to research and innovation themes: to reach this goal an important role is played by outreach activities led by scientists in order to help citizens and SMEs in better understanding what science could do for society.
ESOF Trieste 2020 is the most important stage for this mission we should accomplish not only as city, region or nation, but as European research area. This challenge is the main motivation to see in science an important potential for future, able to apply a deep transformation in the economical, social, industrial and even architectural structure of the city of Trieste, re-discovering Paolo Budinich’s vision of the city of science, much richer and developed, able to attract outstanding talents and important investments in the city, maybe in its historical places like Porto Vecchio, ready for a new life.
For a real success story we need contamination of ideas, vision and the right spirit: ESOF will play the endorsement role we need for our future.
*Gianluigi Rozza is full Professor of Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Coordinator of the Phd Programme in Mathematical Analysis, Modelling and Application, Director’s delegate for Technology Transfer and Industrial Cooperation SISSA, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste. Member of TESI Science to Policy committee. Member of the Management Committee of SMACT competence center (Industry 4.0) of North-East of Italy.