With quantum technology. The agreement also covers sustainable materials for the biomedical and manufacturing industry
A fast encrypted communication network in Milan, thanks to quantum technology; advanced and sustainable materials for the biomedical and manufacturing industry. These are the two innovation objectives that led to the signing of a specific agreement between the Lombardy Region and the Milan University Politecnico di Milano, as part of the economic recovery measures under the 'Piano Lombardia’ scheme. Agreement approved by Regional Council on a motion by the Councillor for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation and Simplification Fabrizio Sala.
Infrastructure and R&I to boost the economy
To enhance the competitiveness of the regional system, the Lombardy Region has chosen to focus on the development of research, innovation and technology transfer thanks to new collaboration agreements with universities, under which a total of 13.5 million Euros were allocated to the eight public universities in Lombardy.
Each university is to receive 1,687,500 Euros to cover up to 50% of project costs. The funds granted under the Collaboration Agreement with Politecnico di Milano account for 40.53% of the total projected cost of 4,163,400 Euros.
“Research and technology transfer are at the core of our action plan. With these agreements," assures councillor Fabrizio Sala, "we are promoting the construction of key infrastructure for our territory, while experimenting with the most innovative and advanced technologies. Even in these difficult times," continues the councillor, "we remain committed to supporting our universities with aimed investments to develop new solutions. These solutions will have a spill-over effect in different areas, ranging from telecommunications to advanced manufacturing.
The two objectives of the Agreement with Politecnico di Milano
With regard to Politecnico di Milano, the collaboration agreement with the Lombardy Region is centred around two initiatives:
- “POLIQI - POLItecnico Quantum Infrastructure”, an infrastructure for the distribution of quantum keys in urban areas;
- “Advanced and sustainable materials and manufacturing for Life Sciences and Energy Transition”.
The first initiative aims to create a quantum communication network in the Milanese urban area, with a maximum diameter of 25 km, using the standard telecommunications optical fibres already installed in the territory as a secure and fast infrastructure for data sharing and transmission.
This operational quantum-security network will make it possible to develop and test the most advanced security technologies for data transfer applications in different fields, ranging from administration through to finance and health; to test new communications solutions and quantum technologies (qu-bit manipulation); to test hardware and/or software innovations to build encryption and authentication devices, thanks to quantum keys periodically agreed upon between communication authors.
The two challenges to advanced manufacturing
The second initiative aims to strengthen research infrastructures for the design and characterisation of advanced and sustainable materials, so as to tackle two major challenges to advanced manufacturing: the development of new solutions for additive manufacturing (3D printing) in the biomedical industry and the development of innovative energy storage solutions to support Energy Transition.
In the first case, a high-resolution, high-speed 3D bioprinting system is to be developed for customised and complex biological tissues. The specific objective in the second case is to develop, prototype and test innovative electrochemical devices for energy conversion and storage.
Connecting the university system to industry
“The aim of the agreements with the universities," summarises Councillor Sala, "is to meet the actual needs of universities and students, establishing a closer connection between the academic world and industry. This is a strategy that we have been increasingly focusing on over the years and the pay-off has been huge. Universities are key players in our innovation policies.
Politecnico di Milano as an international benchmark
“Quantum technologies, 3D printing of biomedical devices, advanced materials, environmental and energy technologies are just a few of the fields in which the Politecnico has gained international recognition thanks to outstanding research work and the ability to translate it into innovation with and for companies," says Ferruccio Resta, Rector of Politecnico di Milano. Concrete projects thanks to the support of the Lombardy Region that are aimed at the development of the territory and resonate with the priorities of Next Generation EU".