For a Human-Centered AI

Mission Report. FBK’s results and their impact on society

January 16, 2019

The mission of Fondazione Bruno Kessler is to build a concrete and effective relationship between research of excellence and the demand for innovation that comes from the most diverse sectors of society. The final balance depicts the results achieved and offers all stakeholders an opportunity for discussion based on data

In its first edition, the Mission Report1 aims to be an instrument that can encourage reflection and dialogue with the stakeholders of Fondazione Bruno Kessler. “This occasion is particularly important for us, – president Francesco Profumo explains – as it reinforces and reaffirms the identity of the Foundation as a responsible organization that, in a process of internal reflection with improvement in mind, gives an account of how the results of its action are projected concretely on the society and on its own future. ”

The data for the Mission Report were collected around a key objective of the Foundation’s: implementing the circular economy of knowledge. On the one hand, there is the development of scientific excellence and education with 603 publications, 101 events/conferences, 239 traineeships; on the other hand, their transformation into innovation and progress of the local area through cooperation with companies (68 partners, 46 projects), with local organizations (54 partners, 143 projects), and the creation of spin-offs (25 technology companies employing more than 150 workers).

But the Foundation is also an institution open to contamination with external excellence: in fact, 15 companies, including foreign ones, have chosen to open offices at FBK so that some of their employees can work closely with the Foundation’s researchers.

These results were possible thanks to a continuous exchange between production and transformation of knowledge into impact on society: “The Foundation contributes significantly to the growth of the intellectual capital of the Trentino ecosystem, attracting as well external skills and resources – Secretary General Andrea Simoni adds -exposing our young people to high-quality experiences, pouring new and competent energies into the job and business ecosystems, including with highly innovative initiatives. This happens above all thanks to the Foundation’s consolidated ability to attract funds for research and innovation in the order of several million euros a year, even when international competition is increasingly tight and demanding.

The role of FBK as an “openness facilitator” is also due the development of relations with national companies (102 partners and 115 projects) and international companies (206 partners and 243 projects). The Foundation is engaged in projects with high-profile business partners and leading companies in the industries of reference. Among the projects in which the Foundation was involved in 2017, we find international actors such as Boeing, eBay, Sony, Cisco, Telefonica, Orange and Siemens, collaborations that bring new knowledge and new possibilities in terms of research, innovation and economic development.

These relationships and projects were made possible by the scientific excellence gained by the Foundation over 50 years of activity – and before that by the former Trentino Institute of Culture – by international academic connections (over 40 active partnerships with universities globally) and by our ability to look to the future. “Research requires time and foresight – president Francesco Profumo says – and this is why FBK has developed a Strategic Plan for the next 10 years that invests in knowledge with “patient”capital, which gives basic research the necessary time to produce the expected benefits, be they direct or indirect, desirable or unpredictable.

This process involves several phases: in the first phase the available wealth is transformed into knowledge; in the second, the knowledge is applied in the productive fields and it generates processes, services, innovative products, that assure an increasingly greater efficiency and quality;

Finally, job opportunities and income from activities generated by innovation, stimulate economic growth and yield new wealth that will further fuel investment in research, having the wellbeing of people at heart. ”

The Report was presented publicly on January 17, 2019 at 11.00 am at the Autonomous Province of Trento Government Hall.

¹ “Mission Report” is an expression coined for the first time in 2000 by Prof. Luciano Hinna. This document for non-profit organizations cannot be considered an option since they create social value for society as their institutional mission: hence the importance of reporting the social value created for the various categories of stakeholders. Today, the Mission Report is optional for all not banking related foundations, including public ones, but now more and more foundations, operating in the most diverse sectors, prepare and publish a mission report for fundraising purposes, to manage the consensus between the institutions that interact with them and to effectively measure the social value they create, an activity that is not always easy but also very useful in terms of internal management control.

² the data, unless otherwise reported, refer to 2017

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