CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche)

General introduction to describe the institutions nature, mission and main features

The National Research Council (CNR) is the largest public research institution in Italy, the only one under the Research Ministry performing multidisciplinary activities.

Founded as legal person on 18 November 1923, CNR’s mission is to perform research in its own Institutes, to promote innovation and competitiveness of the national industrial system, to promote the internationalization of the national research system, to provide technologies and solutions to emerging public and private needs, to advice Government and other public bodies, and to contribute to the qualification of human resources.

In the CNR ‘s research world, the main resource is the available knowledge which means people, with their skills, commitment and ideas. This capital comprises more than 8000 employees, of whom more than half are researchers and technologists. Some 4000 young researchers are engaged in postgraduate studies and research training at CNR within the organization’s top-priority areas of interest. A significant contribution also comes from research associates: researchers, from Universities or private firms, who take part in CNR’s research activities.

Description of the Specific Department involved (if any)

Three institutes belonging to the National Research Council of Italy, operating also in the city of Genoa, are involved.

ICMATE – Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry and Technologies for Energy

The Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry and Technologies for Energy (ICMATE) institute has a strong multidisciplinary approach oriented towards innovation, owing to its consolidated and acknowledged expertise in chemistry, physics, and materials engineering.

Its unique know-how spans from innovative synthesis and theoretical modelling, to the correlation between structure and properties in nano-systems, materials and interfaces. ICMATE has an important role in the development of innovative molecules, functional surfaces and advanced inorganic and metallic materials, providing relevant solutions for advanced manufacturing and emerging technologies, energy efficiency and sustainability, and nanomedicine.

ICMATE has developed a strong connection with public institutions and industry, with consulting activities and knowledge transfer to the relevant stakeholders. An important aim of the institute is to disseminate knowledge and give contribution to educational programmes and scientific formation.

SCITEC – Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technology “Giulio Natta”

The Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technologies “Giulio Natta” (SCITEC) is an internationally recognised institution that carries out both basic and applied research in the following fields of the molecular sciences: biomolecules, chemical biotechnologies and mechanisms of bioregulation; macromolecular chemistry, physics, engineering and technology; theoretical and experimental modelling of molecular, macromolecular and nanostructured systems; development and application of new technologies to chemistry, materials science, life science, protection of cultural heritage. In the framework of the global challenges, research activities are also addressed towards the issues of safety, eco-sustainability and circular economy.

In the framework of the strategy adopted by CNR, SCITEC has developed a scalable model, named “3D Communication”, brought about to enhance and disseminate, also to the general public, scientific knowledge and research achievements.

IBF – Institute of Biophysics

The mission of the Institute of Biophysics (IBF) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) is to investigate biological systems using methods that are typical of the physical sciences. A wide range of subject areas are covered at IBF by a multidisciplinary research staff including physicists, physiologists, molecular biologists and biochemists. IBF plays an important role in research training, tutoring and science dissemination in schools.

Research activities include the study of membrane communication within and between cells, proteins structure and dynamics, molecular mechanisms of membrane permeability, physiopathology of genetic diseases, mathematical modelling of biological systems.

Previous experiences in Public Engagement activities and the European Researchers’ Night

The three Institutes previously described are all actively involved in outreach activities. The researchers in Genova are involved, among others, in:

ideation and implementation of different educational laboratories for specific events (for example, the Science Festival in Genova, the Space Festival in Busalla (GE) and other events)
seminars for a general public
tutoring of high school students within the framework of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research programme named “School/Work Alternation” and PON-FSE (European Social Fund) projects (see below)
ideation and realisation of videos
Other relevant features of the institutions (research communication products/ publications/ European projects etc…)

Some departments were involved in/collaborated to the dissemination-focused Projects:

RawMaterials@Schools – ESEE – Project N. 19069/EIT/EIT Raw Materials, funded by European Institute of Innovation and Technology in the field of Raw Materials sector (EIT Raw Materials), aimed to promote and assist a wide dissemination action on Raw Materials related themes in schools and society (01/2020-12/2022)
PON-FSE (European Social Fund) 10.2.2A-FdRPOC-LI-2018-59 “Information Technologies applied to research in experimental sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)”; laboratory activities for high school students, 30 hours (year 2020).
Raw Matters Ambassador at Schools 3.0 – RM@Schools, Project N. 17146/2018/EIT/EIT Raw Materials. Flagship program in the Wider Society Learning segment of EIT Raw Materials, coordinated by CNR, 21 European partners from 13 countries (01/2018-03/2021)
PON-FSE (European Social Fund) 10.1.6A-FSEPON-LI-2018-28, “STEM professions – One week as a researcher in biology, chemistry and physics laboratories”; laboratory activities for high school students, 30 hours (year 2018).