The University of Trento has been, since the beginning, a research-oriented university. Increasing our ability to create new and innovative knowledge, making the most of the different products generated through research, and broadening our participation in the international research community: these are not ambitious objectives but necessary requirements for the University’s existence, independence, and growth.
The University must therefore provide a material and regulatory framework that facilitates research work in departments and centres, pursuing the strategic priorities described below.
Invest in basic research
The University recognizes the great importance, in the long term, of free knowledge-oriented research, and supports it by ensuring funding and by increasing the level of quality, reinvesting some of the resources obtained from research that has a high social impact in the short/medium term. The University of Trento also promotes applied research and works for its enhancement through knowledge transfer.
Reinforce the reputation of the university's research
The University and its individual departments and centres enjoy a high international visibility. It is, however, crucial to further increase it to promote the reputation of the University in national and international research networks (which is a precondition for accessing funding and for the attractiveness of the University as a place of work and study), by emphasizing the scientific research with the greatest visibility and impact on the scientific community and society, even if this results in a decrease in the overall production.
Identify and ecourage the development of cross-sector research
The University will implement mechanisms to stimulate and reward the research groups and the departments and centres which, in addition to furthering knowledge within their discipline (an essential requisite), can also organize ambitious cross-sector projects that go beyond their traditional field of expertise, involving other departments and external organizations.
New mechanisms will make it possible to create inter-departmental initiatives integrating research or education on cross-sector and innovative topics which can only be explored through a multidisciplinary approach that includes a regular assessment process.
Improve and optimize infrastructural resources
The University’s infrastructural resources are one of its strengths and must be maintained and developed. It is necessary to create an investment accounting model based on a mapping of current infrastructure resources and the University’s new requirements (to provide for the maintenance, updating and rationalization of the use of equipment in each department and centre).
The optimization of the use of infrastructures requires policies that enable all researchers to share and access all University equipment, thus increasing the actual use of resources and avoiding the duplication of purchases. In this way costs are evenly shared among departments and spending is transparent. Making equipment and materials available to external organizations can facilitate technology transfer and generate resources for infrastructure upgrade. The University libraries and, in particular, the new Central University Library, are infrastructural resources that need to be promoted as places of research and of cultural and scientific dissemination.
Increase administrative flexibility and strenghten research support processes
One of the strengths of the University of Trento is its efficient administration, thanks to which it can pursue projects that would seem impossible to achieve in other Italian universities. However, despite this efficiency, because of new regulations, many researchers feel that they are required to devote increasing attention to time-consuming administrative tasks.
Many of these new regulations cannot be modified at the local level, but it is the intention of the University, whenever possible, to simplify procedures and reduce the time required to complete some of them. In addition, it is necessary to enhance research support services for funding applications, especially for young researchers.
Facilitate knowledge transfer
The University’s departments and centres have implemented initiatives aimed at developing models of research undertaken in liaison with external organizations (e.g., cultural institutions, companies, and public and private bodies) and at stimulating and promoting entrepreneurship (start-ups, training and tutoring, incubators, crash courses, contamination lab, etc.), including in collaboration with other entities (e.g. Trentino Innovation Hub). Action is required to make these initiatives well-known in academic departments and centres and supported by long-term plans.