Article 1, paragraphs 314-338, of Law 232/2016 (2017 budget bill), adopted the “Departments of excellence” initiative in order to identify and fund – every 5 years and within the 14 CUN areas – the 180 best departments of Italian universities which stand out for the excellence of research and the quality of their scientific projects, organization and teaching, including with regard to research within Industry 4.0. The allocated funding amounts to 271 million euro.

The 180 departments that will receive funding on a national basis in the 2018-2022 period were chosen from a list of the 352 best departments of state universities ranked by their ISPD score, an index measuring their performance, which Anvur calculated on the basis of the 2011-2014 Research Quality Assessments.  The ISPD index of the 352 departments in the ranking ranges between a maximum of 100 and 69.5.

In this context:
- the ten departments of the University of Trento are listed in the ranking of the 352 best departments of Italian state universities, thanks to their ISPD index (between 100 and 92);
- eight out of ten departments received funding among the 180 Departments of excellence, with total allocated funding amounting to over 55.5 million euro.