Shared research projects, scholarships, exchange of students and researchers, circulation of knowledge and ideas: thanks to a framework agreement presented on 28 January 2013, the University of Pisa and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Boston join forces and competences to give impulse to joint research projects. For the University of Pisa this agreement is particularly important, both because of the universally recognised prestige MIT among the very finest research universities in the world, and also because in our country until now MIT has collaborated only on specific projects with the Polytechnic Universities of Milan and Turin. Thus Pisa becomes the first large general Italian university to sign a broad partnership agreement with MIT. The agreement, for three years, will regard all disciplines, beginning with the key sectors -- Energy, ICT and Life Sciences -- directly linked to three Tuscan Technological districts. The agreement pertains is part of the MIT-Italy Program, MIT's program that aims to create opportunities for students and teachers to work with prestigious Italian institutions of research and higher education.
The agreement was presented at the Palazzo alla Giornata (where the Rectorate of the University of Pisa is located) by Rector Massimo Augello, by Serenella Sferza, co-director of the MIT-Italy Program, and by the Vice-Rector for Applied Research and Innovation, Paolo Ferragina, who promoted the initiative on behalf of the University of Pisa. "At a time when the Italian University System is suffering because of repeated cuts in public financing, the University of Pisa continues to invest resources in strategic sectors. The agreement with MIT foresees that the University of Pisa will make an important initial investment, devoted above all to supporting research and the University's young researchers. The collaboration with one of the most prestigious Universities in the world, a leader in many disciplinary areas, is an example of how we have planned and implemented our internationalisation policies".
"We are proud to be able to begin this cooperation with the University of Pisa – adds Serenella Sferza – which is an excellent institution with strong links with local enterprise and a solid international reputation in various sectors of interest to MIT. The program with Italy until now has been one of the smallest of the 12 we have set up – among which those involving India, China, Brazil, Germany and France stand out – but we are very committed to keeping Italy on the map of MIT's strategic collaborations and to supporting the numerous MIT faculty members who are interested in working with this country".
The MIT-UNIPI project will give particular support to collaboration between MIT and University of Pisa staff on projects involving new and advanced directions of research. The contributions will be aimed at new joint research initiatives, with funds that can be used for travel and subsistence, as well as for fees for students who visit MIT. The MIT-Italy Program will foster contacts between researchers of the two institutions who have similar interests. Research and placement fellowships will be financed, to cover the costs of travel and subsistence at the University of Pisa for the MIT students and researchers who will work on the joint projects.