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University & Entrepreneurship: together for research

Six scholarships and three additional PhD scholarships are starting off to help improve Internet of Things systems applied to logistics. The public-private lab founded thanks to the profitable cooperation with Polytechnic University of Bari and ISIRES research institute represents a fundamental resource for our company, all the actors involved and the young researchers working there.


The project launched in 2019 and sponsored by company General Manager Vittorio Cavirani connects SM.I.LE80 headquarters in Parma and the Polytechnic of Bari; it constitutes a landmark for the future of research and the partnership between university and entrepreneurship. It is all a matter of creating a propelling space for innovation, where Elettric80 and SM.I.LE80, its business unit, can work with the University synergistically.


This lab represents an important milestone for the research, as well as an example of collaboration between two sectors, university and entrepreneurship, still too far from each other,” said Elettric80 General Manager Vittorio Cavirani. He continued, “it’s a propelling space for innovation where Elettric80, SM.I.LE80 and the University can work side by side promoting the improvement and the sharing of highly useful skills. A best practice that looks ahead and supports the youth.”


So far, the project launched six scholarships for highly qualified scholars selected among the students of the University of Bari. In Italy, there are only three polytechnics (Bari, Milan and Turin) and the campus of Bari stands out and attracts students across Southern Italy because it ensures the highest standards and boasts a close collaboration with the world of work. The public-private lab founded in cooperation with Elettric80 and SM.I.LE80 decided to award three additional PhD scholarships by November 2020 in order to support medium-term research.


PoliBa (the University of Bari) group of professionals is made up of several lecturers mastering a wide range of diverse and complementary expertise. Specifically, four professors decided to collaborate on behalf of just as many research labs:  Alberto Grieco (Telematic lab), Simona Colucci (Information System lab), Vitoantonio Bevilacqua (Industrial IT lab) and Mariagrazia Dotoli, (Decision and Control lab)


Internet of Things Lecturer Alfredo Grieco, project representative for the Polytechnic of Bari, explains the mission, “the goal is a multi-year plan for the development of technologies and know-how: we need to train students to integrate complex systems and IoT technologies in order to meet the needs of the industry. The public-private lab aims at collecting specific evidence on the field and becoming an incubator for future talents that can see the bigger picture and will lead us tomorrow.”


Francesco Cupertino, Dean of the Polytechnic of Bari, pointed out, “thanks to IoT 4.0 the Polytechnic has at its disposal a cutting-edge laboratory that enriches even further the partnership with the entrepreneurship strongly oriented toward research and innovation. This proves the growing attraction exercised by the Polytechnic for the best companies on a local and national level. The numerous practical applications of the IoT to logistics allow exploring endless scenarios of technological change within a key sector of the economy. This is a crucial opportunity for our young talents to interact with leading companies working in a technological field capable of shaping the way we produce and manage goods and services over the next years”.

The Italian Institute for Research and Development – Research Body (ISIRES) represented by Carlo Pezziga and Giovanni Capussela coordinates and oversees the project. The 2 Project Managers are assisted by researchers Amir Faridkhou and Guglielmo Ricciardi. ISIRES is in charge of carrying out administrative and certification procedures according to the Budget Law currently in force. Aside from the bureaucratic supervision of lab activities, ISIRES mediates between two actors that are often far from each other because of the different goals they pursue. On the one hand, the company and its needs influenced by market and innovation, on the other hand the academic world, whose main purpose is acquiring knowledge trough scientific investigation.


Pezziga underlined, “the action of the research institute frees both the company and the University from all the highly demanding procedures related to organization, project management and mediation. These tasks used to be a major stumbling block to the partnership between public and private sectors. In other words, ISIRES may be considered as an idea accelerator.”


Semipublic model has already been tested successfully by the Polytechnic of Bari and for this reason, our companies are confident in positive outcomes, so much so that we are considering to establish there by 2021 a new Italian branch similar to our research center in Poland.

As explained by Stefano Cavirani, General Manager di SM.I.LE80:  In such a context, our company, the University and ISIRED proposed not only to formalize our research agreements but to set up a public-private IoT laboratory in Bari next to the Polytechnic. The lab aims at supporting technological development and innovation in the field of logistic automation and warehouse management. Application of the Internet of Things to integrated logistics is the main purpose of the scientific inquiry. The lab acts as a critical hub within a developing Italian network that stretches from North to South. Moreover, it promotes partnership and teamwork between academic world and work sector in anticipation of the growing challenges the market is presenting us”

Stefano Cavirani is in charge of the project on behalf of Elettric80 and SM.I.LE80. His colleagues Enrico Fais (Core Products), Rossano Catellani (AHS Products) and Giuseppe Leggero (WebUI Products) support him under the supervision of Antonio Cerviotti (Product & Sales Analyst). This opportunity represents a change of paradigm for our Group: the lab from now on takes the lead on the creation of a network that connects South and North in order to strengthen the teamwork between public and private in order to face effectively the growing challenges of the market.

The public-private lab represents a sign of hope and resiliency, especially, in these difficult times that we are living in.

Despite Covid-19 outburst, the team is 100% operational; professors and students have online meetings on a regular basis. Research is carried out thanks to telecommunication infrastructures, which are not only a mean to an end but an identifying part of the group led by professor Grieco.

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University & Entrepreneurship: together for research