The University of Palermo (UNIPA) is a consolidated cultural, scientific, and teaching presence in central-western Sicily. Its 5 Schools and 20 Departments cover the most important domains of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge. Aside from Palermo, UNIPA is also present in Agrigento, Caltanissetta e Trapani. University offers around 122 courses(first and second cycle), as well as 44 master and specialization and 23 PhD courses, targeted to the training of specific professional figures, in cooperation with external institutions and companies.

Palermo University has 20 Departments, where researchers study every day to find the new solution to the questions posed by nature, science and society, contributing to the innovation and progress to the international scientific community and the world of production. In the laboratories (many of which are open to the local community) the first step of collaboration between researchers in the academic world and in the business world are taken, basic and applied research is carried out, and students are given the chance to turn their intuitions to good account.

Successful technological transfer implies the full synergy of innovative technologies, scientific expertise, production systems and processes. Actually, it is necessary to implement a full-fledged system including the “know-how”, production processes, goods, services and organizational and operational skills.

In order to contribute to achieving this goal, the University of Palermo has set up a network of University labs (UniNetLab) for testing and transferring new technologies to SMEs. UniNetLab aims at the technological innovation of enterprises for the economic recovery of Southern Italy.

The University labs integrated system has been conceived to create synergies among the different types of expertise available. It is also meant to be a centre of reference for other activities of technology transfer of the Universities and research entities operating in our region, in view of using financial resources better and reaching the necessary critical mass of operators in the sector.

UNIPA will host 4 SMARTI ETN projects:

ESR6 -“Smart Damper”– Smart railway and road bridges through novel formulation for introducing seismic damper. The challenge of this project is to propose a theoretical formulation for modelling structural bridges equipped with dampers along the span in such a way to predict the smart bridge response.

ESR8 -“COMP2RHEO”– COMPutational design and characterisation of RHEOlogically COMPlex emerging Materials to enhance durability and resiliency of transport infrastructure’s technologies. The objective of this project will be to develop a computational-based platform that will allow engineers to design and characterise rheology-complex materials with a computer rather than performing costly and highly resources consuming laboratory tests.

ESR10 -“LCSA4TRANSPORT”– Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment for Transport InfrastructuresWithin “LCSA4TRANSPORT”the fellow will take advantage of the experience from UNIPA and UNOTT in developing a sustainability assessment rating system for railways and roads infrastructures technologies and will try broadening this framework by using the outcomes of the PROSUITE project. Furthermore, the fellow will carry out the sustainability assessment of the technologies developed in other SMARTI projects.

ESR12 -“SuRoMa”– SUstainable ROad MAnagement through Low-Cost Techniques – Creating an innovative and integrated methodology to evaluate road pavement condition in order to give better guidance to the decision maker.