ITAE has always promoted initiatives and been part of projects that aim at local development making its skills and knowledge available for the territory.
To this end, it has been collaborating and still collaborates at the local level with Sicily, municipalities, enterprises, University, schools, trade and professional associations, and technology clusters.
At the regional level, it has been participating in boards of experts to define the Regional Innovation Strategy. Currently, ITAE is part of a work team, which has been established by the Regional energy and public utilities Department for Sicily, working on the development of the new regional energy plan.
Various collaboration agreements with the municipality of Messina, other municipalities throughout the province and other provinces located in Sicily have been signed. They focus on developing and defining actions aimed at finding specific solutions to meet the territory needs concerning:
– the application of innovative environmentally-friendly energy technology both in the field of building and transport;
– the spread of forms and methods designed to increase efficiency and energy savings;
– the spread and use of renewable energy sources.
For example, in the municipality of Capo d’Orlando, which is a little town lying on the Tyrrhenian side of the province of Messina, thanks to a fund granted by the Ministry of Education, Research and University (MIUR), a project providing for a public transport system (passenger and goods) based on electric and hydrogen vehicles has been realised.
Collaborations have been established also with other local authorities and the decentralised office of the national institutions. A collaboration agreement has been drawn up with the Superintendency for Architectural and Environmental Heritage together with another CNR Institute, the Institute for Architectural Heritage and Monuments, in order to realise a self-powering preventive structural monitoring network aiming at the long-term analysis of the stability of the Ancient Theatre of Taormina.
Furthermore, there is a very active collaboration with Universities both in Sicily (i.e.: Palermo, Catania, Messina and Enna) and Calabria, in particular with the Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria and University of Calabria in Cosenza.
Joint projects are carried out together with the Universities. Many professors are associated members at ITAE and they specific operating agreements concerning fellowships and research fellowships. ITAE hosts and helps students who have to prepare their dissertation on scientific topics relating to the activities carried out at the Institute.
In order to ease and increase the relationships between the world of research and enterprises – that are a key factor for the economy in Sicily – throughout the territory, ITAE supported and promoted the launch of the Technology Cluster of Maritime, Commercial and Leisure Transport “Sicilia Navtec”. The Cluster was built in 2008 under the intervention policies, strategies and lines promoted and implemented by Sicily in the field of research, innovation and technology transfer. It is managed by a consortium company and it works in the field of maritime, commercial, and leisure transport. It includes: 10 enterprises – the most representative enterprises known in the field including small and medium-sized enterprises as well as as large ones; the Universities of Palermo, Catania and Messina, the CNR, three private research bodies, the Sicily Region, seven consortium companies, professional associations, and the Science and Technology park of Sicily.
Since it was built, the Cluster has carried out seven research, innovation, and technology transfer projects with the joint participation of enterprises and research bodies. Very important results have been achieved through these projects. They led to the realisation of craft prototypes or new systems that integrate various energy technology for ships, yachts, and fishing vessels.