Sciences for technological innovation, bio-informatics, brain computer interfaces and artificial intelligence
SIT research activities are focused on developing technological aspects, assessing scientific principles, and increasing knowledge-base underlying and nurturing innovation. Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Computer Sciences are key sciences to achieve this goal. SIT sections are synergically devoted to the development of enabling technologies in the field of biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, and advanced materials, and to contribute in solving societal challenges regarding health, environment, food security. ISET research environment, aiming at becoming a cradle of innovation, is based on an open-minded and multidisciplinary approach, and relies on a network of national and international collaborations with universities, research institutes and SMEs.
Biomolecular strategies, genetics and avant-garde therapies
Researchers of “Department of vanguard medicine and therapies, biomolecular strategies and neuroscience” work on neurodegenerative and rare genetic disorders, with a translational approach, in order to apply obtained results on clinical research. Particularly, research activity of the Department focuses on:
1) Proteomics and molecular genetics investigations applied to neuroscience and predictive medicine, with particular interest in neurodegenerative and genetic rare diseases, malformation and metabolic disorders, as retinitis pigmentosa, Currarino syndrome and trimethylaminuria.
2) Genomic and expression analysis applied to all living organisms, with phylogenetic and translational aims, with particular interest to agribusiness and microbiological areas.
3) Studies on vascular and inflammatory multi-organ pathologies, like osteomyelitis and caverous angioma, as well as on new frontiers of pharmacological and surgical treatments integrating conventional medicine with innovative phytotherapic approaches.
These studies are conducted with instruments and techniques exploiting the most modern and developed technologies and with a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, they request a large phase of data menagement and analysis and statistical validation, as well as their inclusion in European and territorial projects, in order to guarantee a finantial and menagement renewability of research activity. Extreme synergy among department’s members is essential for achievement of these aims, together with the numerous both national and international co-operations in which this Institute is partner.
Molecular diagnostic and neuroscience
The research activity of the Department is based on three areas of study. The first concerns the proteomic and molecular genetic research applied to neuroscience and to medical prediction, with particular reference to degenerative retinal disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and the study of mechanisms that trigger the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The second concerns the investigation of cancer immunology and the search for new cancer biomarkers able to direct early diagnosis. Finally, the third branch deals with studies on multi-organ vascular pathologies and new frontiers of pharmacological and surgical treatments in this field. These studies are carried out through the use of new technological instruments and thanks to the synergy between the members of the Department who collaborate with members of other Departments of our Institute and with national and international collaborators.
Organizational, clinical and translational research
The Interdepartmental Centre promotes the integration of competencies of the various departments of the IEMEST. All that for conception and design on a practical and implementation level of the following research activities:
- development of new organizational models for health-care quality improvement (to realize better efficacy and efficiency);
- use of new technologies for organizational and health-care quality improvement;
- development of models and programs for knowledge management to share knowledge within healthcare systems and organizations;
- explorative, explanatory and experimental clinical research;
- translational research projects (on cells, tissues, and animal models) oriented to the development of effective clinical applications;
- education in clinical epidemiology methodology, research methodology, and evidence-based medicine for health-care professionals.
Stress biology, epigenetics, human longevity, sport and health
The Department studies the correlations between a healthy lifestyle, aging and the onset of diseases. Among the diseases studied there are some forms of cancer, metabolic disorders and autoimmune diseases. The Department also deals with the study of issues related to the molecular mechanisms underlying healthy and active aging, the pathogenesis of stress-related diseases and their possible treatment.
Sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and food security
The research activities of this Department are focusing on: the study of the biodiversity of plants and animals in the marine environment; the establishment and implementation of the protocols aimed at developing a sustainable agriculture based on the study of plant diseases, in order to plan an integrated pest management mediated by the use of rapid diagnostic techniques; the study of new formulations of biological origin derived from protein extracts from organisms such as fungi, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.
Nanotechnologies, innovative materials for health and safety, architecture and cultural heritage
Nanotechnologies are highly effective enabling technologies that are leading to a radical change in how the most diverse class of objects and consumer goods are manufactured, affecting all areas of industry, society and thus having a strong impact on the environment. The technological advancement is the result of interdisciplinary collaborations in which normally distant skills have to cooperate in order to achieve common goals.
In this context the IEMEST was equipped with an Interdisciplinary Center where the convergence of different skills and sharing knowledge becomes a basic requirement in which research can be really productive and effective answering to questions arising from innovation in the industrial sector.
NIMA was born with strong applicative orientation in order to test and validate the use of innovative materials and nanomaterials in key sectors such as health, architecture and the preservation of the cultural heritage.
The Centre has already several collaborations with Italian and foreign universities and institutes, for the development and validation of advanced materials. The instrumental equipment of the center and the laboratory network connected to it allows enterprises to conduct researches in various fields such as biomedical, materials engineering and restoration of cultural heritage.
The Centre supports companies interested in innovating their products through the adoption of advanced technologies, providing industrial research and experimental development activities as well as supporting in accessing funds and resources targeted to technological innovation.
Renewable energy, resource efficiency and aerospace research
The research activities of this department are focused on the issues related to the transformation of energy from renewable sources, accumulation modes, distribution systems, and the reduction of the effects of energy dissipation both in terms of power and pollution Environmental and energy saving. These activities see in the Smart Cities Department's research lines, mobility and transportation, territory, environment and climate, aspects related to the application of technologies to the territory. The Department also carries out issues related to the evolution of international, national and regional force norms and the development of technologies for renewable energy systems. In the field of aerospace research, the Department is interested in aeronautical and spatial-related issues.
Smart cities and community
The transformation of a city into a Smart City is a complex process because it requires a profound innovation of material and immaterial infrastructures, of people's way of life, of the way of redeveloping or planning urban spaces, of the way of producing economy, of dialogue and to govern complexity and requires a rethinking of policies and actions to give life to a community able to live and compete in the globalized world. The "Smart Cities and Communities" Department intends to elaborate addresses for the contemporary cities together with the Public Administrations, paying particular attention to the peculiarities of the Sicilian cities, where the traditions, the art, the culture, the relationships between the people constitute still today a "value" to be preserved for future generations. There are many topics dealt with in the various projects and training initiatives, with reference to "smart" systems and methods, including: technological innovation, energy efficiency, renewable sources, sustainable mobility, and the fight against air pollution. and to CO2 emissions, environmental protection, preservation of cultural identity, sustainable tourism and systems of active participation in the decision-making processes of the Administrations. The themes are dealt with starting from methodological and operational-experimental investigation tools up to the development of projects that allow the sustainable urban interpretation of infrastructures and intermodal systems, with particular attention to indoor and outdoor comfort and to social and environmental wellbeing. of the "human being". The scientific competences on the themes of the city are also involved in order to make them interact with the most interesting administrative and professional experiences of the economic world to support the development of territorial development policies. The interdisciplinary approach allows for strong interaction with other departments of the Institute.
Territory, environment and climate
The way to govern cities and territories is facing rapid changes due to several factors: the speed and complexity of spatial dynamics, the careless use of the land too often seen as an inexhaustible resource, the uncontrolled expansion of private and collective transport, the crisis management of the political-administrative and economic obsolescence of a part of planning tools, the needs of the community for a greater transparency in decision making.
Noting the dynamics of territorial transformation, the research group aims to study what are the connections that occur among the processes defined by mutations on-going, planning instruments and policies. The main goal is to identify the relationships between these issues and the new demands of the contemporary society, whit a special attention to the responses it expects from the planning and institutions.
We work through the learning processes to find a new relationship among society, territory, and political-economic environmental sustainability.
Among the themes developed by the Department is the study of urban and extra urban transport management through the search for more flexible systems and the use of smart mobility aims to provide its contribution to the development of real sustainable mobility, characterized by the reduction Energy Consumption and Atmospheric Pollution. As part of the theme of territorial security and cities, the Department, using geomatics, wireless sensor technology and the latest generation technologies, is developing research and monitoring services that will help Operators and technicians in the industry to counteract geological, hydrogeological and disaster-related disasters due to exceptional seismic and atmospheric events. Another area of research is renewable energies and energy saving, on which the Department has already developed two major research projects skiing Enters: "Hidroenergy" on the use of existing water networks for the production of hydroelectric power and "PERIMA" a wind energy system with a low impact environmental impact pole system, which has led to both real events Concrete applications in the area. In general, the research group wants to support the need for cities and territory to become more intelligent in infrastructure and resource management to meet and better meet the current and future needs of citizens and businesses. It is intended to help plan a sustainable and innovative economic development that can interact with the virtual world of services, with the physical infrastructure of the intelligent city (electricity, heating, water, waste, transport and communication networks, ecc.), with the territory and its inhabitants.
Human and social science, tourism and cultural heritage, 3D technology and augmented reality
The research activities carried out by our department revolve around the themes of identity, relationships on various levels (concerning individuals, couples, families, organizations and social groups), belonging and memory through the transmission of codes, symbols and myths. We approach these themes mainly from a historical/archeological, psychological and anthropological perspective.
Employing a multidisciplinary approach and vocation, assisted by ICT and the new technologies, the department aims its studies and research activities at the promotion of resources regarding relational issues and general wellbeing. Models for analysis and intervention from clinical psychology and physiotherapy are applied with a view to favor new ways of interpretation.
The Scientific and Socio-Cultural Area of the Institute concerns itself with studies, researches and initiatives directed at the protection, the enhancement and promotion of identity and traditions, as well as the cultural, artistic, archeological, architectural, natural and environmental heritage.
The Department is dealing with the following areas of research:
• Archeology, History, Art and Populations
• Philosophy, Antropology and Ethics
• Intellectual Property, Competition and Sharing Economy
• Psychology of Health, Community and Organizations
• Psychology of Tourism and Relational Marketing
• Statistics for Interpretations and Decisions
• Innovative technologies and 3D applied to Cultural Heritage and Smart Cities
The above mentioned studies and researches are supported by a network of national and international partners as well as international representatives from universities, research centres and SME.
One of the many prestigious results that this department has achieved is to be shortlisted as one of the first out of 30 European projects by the commission – Horizon 2020 – JPI Cultural Heritage Plus, with the research project proposal ‘TH.S.E.O. Thòlos. Symbol of the civilisation Euro-mediterranean Origins’.
Included in the scientific activities in the field of Psychology of Health, Community and Organizations, are those related to the prevention and cure of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) through models, methodologies, tools and technical innovations of a multidisciplinary perspective, in collaboration with UH (University of Houston) in Texas, University of Jyväskylä in Finland, HUMlab of Umeå University in Sweden and the Department of Educational Science ‘Giovanni Maria Bertin’ at the University of Bologna.