Telecom Italia and Politecnico di Milano: announcing the Joint Open Lab to bring research and industry closer together

01/16/2013 - 11:00 AM

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Telecom Italia and the Politecnico di Milano have begun working together on a project to create a “Joint Open Lab”, a laboratory that will serve as a new template for relations between industry and universities by combining research and academic knowledge with industrial know-how and experience. A Framework Agreement for the lab was signed by the Rector of the Milan Polytechnic, Prof. Giovanni Azzone, and Telecom Italia’s Head of Innovation & Industry Relations, Cesare Sironi.

When up and running at the Politecnico di Milano, the “Joint Open Lab” will design and realize new services for “Smart Spaces”, where mobile Internet technologies empower people to interact with the environment in new ways, opening up the potential for re-engineering and creating highly innovative services.

The lab is set to bring together the Politecnico di Milano’s competencies in Innovation Management, Service Interaction Design and Software Engineering with Telecom Italia researchers’ expertise in identifying, designing and creating services for personal sustainability and well-being. We live in a world where smartphones are increasingly widely-owned and extensively used, impacting our everyday lives and how people interact with the world around them.

The venture consolidates a long-standing relationship between Telecom Italia and the Politecnico di Milano, which has already resulted in funding for 6 Ph.D. scholarships, advanced apprenticeship training contracts for graduating students, a Master in Business Innovation and ICT Management, and joint participation in funding applications for domestic and international projects.

The agreement is part of Telecom Italia’s plan to re-engineer and transform relations between business, research and university teaching in the field of technological innovation by setting up six groundbreaking research labs across Italy in partnership with the country’s top universities. The partnership’s aim is to boost the transfer of knowledge from academia to industry, converting new ideas into tangible benefits for the socio-economic system.

A stimulating environment with spaces designed specifically for sharing know-how that are modular to meet the needs of different projects, the new research lab acts as a central element of development and demo-related activities. It will attract talented young people and foster practical applications for new ideas and solutions, generating new value from joint research and shared innovation goals.

The lab will also be able to take part in competitions for regional, national and European-level research funding.

Under the terms of the agreement, Telecom Italia is providing the “Joint Open Lab” with its own research staff, lab instrumentation and service platforms, while the Politecnico di Milano is furnishing the lab with research staff, scholarship students, interns and final year undergraduates.

Rector Giovanni Azzone says: “The Politecnico di Milano is keen to bolster our industrial system and our services’ ability to innovate and stay competitive. By signing this agreement, we are taking an important step in this mission. Thanks to this lab, our students and researchers will be able to work side-by-side with Telecom Italia researchers, cooperating with them on leading-edge research projects and seeking to create technological solutions and distinctive competencies of absolute value.”

Cesare Sironi, Head of Telecom Italia Innovation & Industry Relations, says: “Telecom Italia is very keen to invest in university research and advanced training, which is why it is approaching one of Italy’s most prestigious universities, the Politecnico di Milano. The consolidated relationship between the Politecnico and Telecom Italia is now set to forge a new approach to teaching and research that will have immediate and positive repercussions on business.”
Sironi adds: “Telecom Italia is keen to continue along this path, as is clear from today’s announcement to establish a veritable joint research lab. The move is part of the Group’s broader plan to radically transform its approach to the relationship between academia and business, creating value and feeding business with innovative ideas from local level upwards.”


Milan, 16 January 2013