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Project of Excellence

Department of Excellence

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The 2017 Italian Stability Law no. 232/2016 instituted a five-year “Fund for the financing of university departments of excellence”, aiming to enhance the activities of those academic departments which stand out for the quality of their research and their scientific, organisational and didactic planning, consistently with the research purposes of Industria 4.0, Italy’s national plan for industry.  

The projects of the best 350 Departments of state universities were assessed by a board made up of seven members. For the University of Milan, 23 Departments were included in the preliminary ranking. At the end of the assessment, the board selected 180 Departments of excellence for the allocation of funds for the period 2023-2027. 

Project of excellence 2023-2027

The activities of the Ardito Desio Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Milan continue in the footsteps of the Project of Excellence 2018-22, by delving deeper into the research on georesources, with a view to protecting, managing and using them in a responsible way. The final aim is to support territorial development interventions based on the principles of environmental sustainability, inclusion, digital transition and education.  

The project is divided into three work packages (WP), revolving around the following topics:  

  1. sustainable and circular use of georesources, with particular reference to mineral, water and energy resources;  
  2. protection and vulnerability of georesources, with a focus on freshwater, sea environment, soil and subsoil;
  3. georesources for culture, cohesion and inclusion, with a focus on geocultural heritage enhancement and conservation, cultural cohesion within the territory and the development of internal areas.  

There is also a fourth cross-cutting WP aimed at enhancing the use and dissemination of the outputs of the first three WP (e.g. databases, cartography, calculation codes) through digitalisation and innovation processes.

To support these activities, the Department plans to hire: 1 full professor; 4 fixed-term research fellows (2 of them co-financed using UniMi funds); 2 technicians and 1 administrator; 2 postdoctoral fellows. The Department will also implement new infrastructures in some strategic laboratories and upgrade the existing equipment. Finally, it will take on initiatives regarding graduate and postgraduate programmes, for example by increasing the number of doctoral scholarships for the “Georesources” curriculum of the PhD programme in Earth Sciences.