Large research facilities and international scientific projects

The National Research Council has joined major infrastructures, playing a fundamental role in promoting research of high scientific level, both in Europe and internationally.

In 2021, the below-listed existing agreements with leading neutron sources currently available, have been renewed:

•  ISIS, the pulsed neutron source based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England;

•  ILL (Institut Laue Langevin), located at the European Photon & Neutron (EPN) Science campus in Grenoble. For the next few years, the involvement of the Italian scientific community in the results and the opportunities opened up by these investments, will continue.

In 2021 the National Research Council has signed, together with the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MAECI), the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and Elettra Synchrotron - Trieste, a participation agreement in the European Spallation Source (ESS), with base in Lund which will represent an opportunity not only for the world of scientific research, but also for high-technology industries of our country.

The National Research Council also ensures the scientific community with the access to instrumentation and resources of world excellence for research with the use of X-rays, such as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, which offers Italian researchers a new-generation source for activities in the field of condensed matter, physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

At the Poles, Cnr is active inside three research stations:

•    Arctic Base 'Dirigibile Italia' ('Airship Italy'), multidisciplinary station based in the Svalbard islands, whose activities are coordinated by Polarnet, the unit supported by CNR Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies regarding polar researches;

•    Research Station 'Mario Zucchelli', based in Terra Nova Bay on the Ross Sea in Antarctica, used for studies and researches in particular, on marine ecosystems, coastal environments, marginal ice zones, and for atmospheric monitoring;

•    Italian-French 'Concordia' station, built in 2005 on the Antarctic Plateau, internationally acknowledged in the field of deep ice drilling (ice-coring), believed to be an excellent site to carry out high-precision astronomical observations.

Thanks to its participation in the Ev-K2, CNR researchers can carry out important studies in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, medicine, ethnography, zoology and botany, inside the 'pyramid' made of glass, aluminum and steel which offers the world best scientists, a technologically advanced logistic base at more than 5,000 meters of altitude in the Mount Everest national Park.

CNR also participates in oceanographic programs, and manages, in particular, the oceanographic ship  'Dallaporta', which performs advanced studies in the field of scientific fishing, marine biology and marine environment in general.

Other International Programs with Cnr participation, include:

•    HFSP, Human Frontier Science Program, in the field of Life Sciences, in which the most scientifically-advanced countries take part;

•    W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, an international consortium, founded in 1994, which works to fix web standards. CNR houses the Italian W3C Office;

•    ERCIM, the European Research Consortium of Informatics and Mathematics, which is home to the European headquarters of W3C. It is a consortium created in 1988 with 20 member-countries whose purpose is to be an open network of excellence centers in the fields of science and information technology and applied mathematics. CNR started its membership in 1992;

•     IODP, International Ocean Drilling Program. Started in September 2003, it is dedicated to the reconstruction of Earth history and structure by studying sediments and rocks in the underwater environment. Natural evolution of the ODP program (started in 1986), IODP’s goal is the building of a drillship and an oceanic platform for the exploration of the seabed.

Last update: 01/06/2023