Towards four new FBK Research Centers on ICT technologies
The launch of four new Research Centers in the field of Information & Communication Technologies out of the merging between the two major FBK Centers in this domain (ICT and CREATE-NET) is a strategic decision taken by the Board of Directors to strengthen the position of Bruno Kessler Foundation among the top European players in key areas of applied ICT: cybersecurity, digital industry, digital health and digital society.
This decision closes an important cycle for CREATE-NET Center: since its inauguration in 2003 and passing through the integration process within FBK in 2016, the Center has been considered a reference model in terms of scientific excellence and sustainability in Europe.
A concise list of CREATE-NET most significant results is highlighted in the following:
- Scientific excellence: more than 900 publications overall, about a quarter of them published in high Impact Factor journals, with an annual average of 15 journal papers (mostly Q1) in the period 2017-2019. CREATE-NET’s researchers increased their presence within the reference scientific communities especially on issues related to network management, network security and the application of AI techniques in resource-constrained settings (“AI at the edge”).
- Sustainability: a strong capability to attract European funds and well-known skills in coordinating large Research and Innovation projects. Since the year of its first European success (FP6 BIONETS project in 2006), the Center has collected a total of 27+ million Euros from European grants, in addition to 7+ million Euros from private contracts in collaboration with national and international companies. BIONETS was the first of 17 R&I projects (the last one is 5G-CARMEN) in which CREATE-NET successfully played the role of prime contractor and project coordinator out of a total of more than 60 EU projects participated by the Center. With success rates of more than 30% during the FP7 framework program (2007-2013), CREATE-NET Center was awarded two times by MIUR at national level.
- Impact: the “asset-driven” strategy implemented by the Center in 2014 to increase research outcomes exploitation improved CREATE-NET capability to deliver high-TRL prototypes, thus facilitating its positioning not only as a key player within European project consortiums, but also as a reliable partner by a large number of industries & SMEs (the most significant ones are reported here) who were looking for Innovation in collaboration with a research institution that could accelerate the time-to-market of their new products.
- Entrepreneurship: some of the “assets” developed by CREATE-NET contributed to the launch of new entrepreneurial initiatives: in 2011 three start-ups were launched (U-HOPPER, EXRADE and INTELINCS) from which two more were spinoffed in 2016 (ThinkInside and Trakti). Altogether these initiatives have been able to generate job opportunities for about 30 people. Our last spin-off was TESSA, launched at the end of 2019 and created thanks to the skills developed on IoT platforms in the digital agriculture sector.
A big thank goes to all researchers, technologists and administrative people who have contributed to the success of the Center during its 17 years history: without them, none of these results could have been possible!