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Axel Blau

Researcher
Team Leader

Former colleague

Center

NSYN@Unige Genova

About

Axel Blau is team leader for neuromimetic architectures for information processing and biosensing devices at IIT. He holds a diploma (1995) and a PhD (1999) degree in physical chemistry both from the University of Tuebingen, Germany. From 1999 to 2001 he was a postdoctoral scholar in neurobiology at the California Institute of Technology focusing on optical recording techniques. Between 2002 and 2007 he held an assistant professorship in physics at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Projects

Enabling Technologies for Neuroscience (ETfN)

Research activities are centered on the development of enabling technologies for the sampling, elicitation, and manipulation of neural activity and target at the hardware-embedded simulation and implementation of neural coding schemes. The investigation of electrical recording and stimulation paradigms in the context of network entrainment, learning studies and pattern recognition by in vitro neural networks is supported by the design of electrical and electro-optical manipulation, recording and stimulation devices, by the automation of cell culturing tasks, and by the steering of neural network connectivity with topological and biochemical cues:

  • Design of low-cost, metal-less, flexible all-polymeric microelectrode arrays (polyMEAs) for in vitro electrophysiology and in vivo neuroprosthetics and cardiography.
  • Generation of biochemically and topologically µ-textured substrates by µ-stamping, inkjet printing, µ-fluidics and laser-assisted substrate processing (to support cell adhesion, neural differentiation, and regeneration, and to guide interconnectivity).
  • Design of (µ-fluidic) perfusion chambers and control systems for cell culture automation on the lab bench (for providing homogeneous and reproducible physiological conditions and microenvironments for simultaneous and uninterrupted optical and electrophysiological long-term screening studies).
  • Exploration of neuromimetic computational hardware architectures (www.si-elegans.eu).
  • Development and application of multi-trap optical tweezers and laser microdissection tools for manipulating neural network composition, modifying network interconnectivity, and characterizing biophysical parameters on a cellular and subcellular level.

Current lab members:

  Rouhollah Habibey  Alexey Petrushin Lorenzo Ferrara
  Rouhollah Habibey 
Postdoctoral scholar
02/2012-current
Alexey Petrushin
Postdoctoral scholar
02/2014-current

Lorenzo Ferrara
Postdoctoral scholar
07/2014-current

Alumni (in alphabetical order):

Mario Cerino (intern, 04/2010-10/2010)

Francesco Difato  (postdoctoral scholar, 04/2008 - 12/2013)

Asiyeh Golabchi  (PhD student, 02/2012-10/2015)

Anil Krishna Konduri (PhD student/research associate, 10/2013 - 04/2016)

Dirk Saalfrank (MSc student, 04/2012-10/2012)

Lisa Schibalski (volunteer working with Francesco Difato, 01/2009-12/2009)

Nicolai Corrado Wilk (intern and BSc student, 02/2014-09/2014)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles & Conference Papers . Books & Book Chapters . Patents 

For a complete list please follow this linkGoogle bibliometrics

Some of the articles are copyright-protected and may be downloaded for personal use only. Permission to reprint or republish this material for promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, and the permission to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the owners of the copyrights.

2016

Latifi, S., Tamayolb, A., Cesca, F., Habibeya, R., Sabzevarid, R., Kahne, C., Genyf, D., Wurtman, R., Khademhosseini, A., Blau, A., Benfenati, F., Linderg, M. and Arab-Tehrany, E., Bio-inspired natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity, Nature Scientific Reports 6 (2016)

Wilk, N., Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Latifi, S., Ingebrandt, S., and Blau, A. Selective comparison of gelling agents as neural cell culture matrices for long-term microelectrode array electrophysiology, OCL - Oilseeds and fats, Crops and Lipids, 23(1): D117 (2016) (OCL link)

2015

Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Latifi, S., Difato, F., and Blau, A. A microchannel device tailored to laser axotomy and long-term microelectrode array electrophysiology of functional regeneration, Lab on a Chip: 15, 4578 - 4590 (2015)

Martiniuc, A.V., Bocoş-Binţinţan, V., Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Knoll, A., and Blau, A. Paired spiking robustly shapes spontaneous activity in neural networks in vitro, pp. 29, arXiv:1510.09138 (2015)

Saalfrank, D., Konduri, A.K., Latifi, S., Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Martiniuc, A.V., Knoll, A., Ingebrandt, S., and Blau, A. Incubator-independent cell-culture perfusion platform for continuous long-term microelectrode array electrophysiology and time-lapse imaging, Royal Society Open Science, 2(6) (2015)                

Petrushin, A., Ferrara, L., and Blau, A. The Si elegans connectome: A neuromimetic emulation of neural signal transfer with DMD-structured light in Proceedings of the SPIE Photonics West, Emerging Digital Micromirror Device Based Systems and Applications VII, Session 6: Novel and Emerging DMD Applications, M.R. Douglass, P.S. King, and B.L. Lee (Eds.). Vol. 9376, SPIE, p. pp. 17 (2015)

Ferrara, L., Petrushin, A., and Blau, A. An electro-optical connectome prototype for eight neuron representations in FPGA technology in Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics Lisbon, Portugal, 127-132 (2015)

Mujika, A., Blau, A., Krewer, F., Epelde, G., Alvarez, R., Leškovský, P., and Mauro, A.D. Input Encoding Proposal for Behavioral Experiments with a Virtual C. elegans Representation in Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics Lisbon, Portugal, 115-120 (2015)

Petrushin, A., Ferrara, L., and Blau, A. Past and recent endeavours to simulate Caenorhabditis elegans in Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics Lisbon, Portugal, 133-137 (2015)

2014

Blau, A., Callaly, F., Cawley, S., Coffey, A., De Mauro, A., Epelde, G., Ferrara, L., Krewer, F., Liberale, C., Machado, P., Maclair, G., Mcginnity, T.-M., Morgan, F., Mujika, A., Petrushin, A., Robin, G., and Wade, J. The Si elegans Project – The Challenges and Prospects of Emulating Caenorhabditis elegans in Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, A. Duff, et al. (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 8608, Springer International Publishing, p. 436-438 (2014)


Blau, A., Callaly, F., Cawley, S., Coffey, A., De Mauro, A., Epelde, G., Ferrara, L., Krewer, F., Liberale, C., Machado, P., Maclair, G., Mcginnity, T.M., Morgan, F., Mujika, A., Petrushin, A., Robin, G., and Wade, J. Exploring neural principles with Si elegans, a neuromimetic representation of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans  in the Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics (NEUROTECHNIX 2014), Rome; Italy, 189-194 (2014)

Petrushin, A., Ferrara, L., Liberale, C., and Blau, A. Towards an electro-optical emulation of the C. elegans connectome in the Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics (NEUROTECHNIX 2014), Rome; Italy, 184-188 (2014)
 
Golabchi, A., Habibey, R., Nanni, M., Succol, F., and Blau, A. Polymer-Based in vivo Transducers with Conductive Polymer Mixture Polydimethylsiloxane Composite Electrodes in the Proceedings of the 9th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, Reutlingen, Germany, 289-290 (2014)

Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Konduri, A., Nanni, M., Difato, F., and Blau, A. Oriented Cortical Networks in Polydimethylsiloxane Microchannel Scaffolds for Recordings from Network Modules and Individual Connections in the Proceedings of the 9th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, Reutlingen, Germany, 316-317 (2014)

Konduri, A.K., Saalfrank, D., Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Nanni, M., and Blau, A. Design and Fabrication of a Second-Generation Perfusion Cap for Enhanced Optical Access and Manipulation of Cell Cultures in the Proceedings of the 9th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, Reutlingen, Germany, 181-182 (2014)

Martiniuc, A.V., Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Bocos-Bintintan, V., Knoll, A., and Blau, A. Paired Spiking Is an Ubiquitous Response Property in Network Activity in the Proceedings of the 9th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, Reutlingen, Germany, 181-182 (2014)

2013

Blau A., Cell adhesion promotion strategies for signal transduction enhancement in microelectrode array in vitro electrophysiology ∙ An introductory overview and critical discussion, Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science (COCIS), 18:481-492 (2013) (Invited review) · doi: 10.1016/j.cocis.2013.07.005

Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., and Blau, A. Molding microchannel and brain implant scaffolds from microstructured double layer photo resin master casts - Concepts and examples in the Proceedings of the International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics (NEUROTECHNIX 2013), Vilamoura, Portugal, Paper 21, 1-2 (2013)

2012

Golabchi, A., Habibey, R., Scheggia, D., Difato, F., Papaleo, F., and Blau, ADesign and fabrication of all-polymer transducers with different functional features for basic neuroscience and neuroprosthetics in Proceedings of the 8thInternational Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, A. Stett and G. Zeck (Eds.), NMI, p. 321-322 (2012)

Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., Cerino, M., Difato, F., Nanni, M., Succol, F., and Blau, A. Design and fabrication of microchannel and cell culture scaffolds for neural guidance and enhanced optical accessibility of neural networks in vitro in Proceedings of the 8th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, A. Stett and G. Zeck (Eds.), NMI, p. 350-351 (2012)

Martiniuc, A.V., Saalfrank, D., Difato, F., Succol, F., Nanni, M., Knoll, A., Ingebrandt, S., and Blau, A. Tracking the evolution of neural network activity in uninterrupted long-term MEA recordings in Proceedings of the 8thInternational Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays, A. Stett and G. Zeck (Eds.), NMI, p. 78-79 (2012)

Difato, F., Tsushima, H., Pesce, M., Guiggiani, A., Benfenati, F., Blau, A., Basso, M., Vassalli, M., and Chieregatti, E.Axonal regeneration of cultured mouse hippocampal neurons studied by an optical nano-surgery system in Proceedings of the SPIE 8207, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII,  N. Kollias, et al. (Eds.), p. 820760-820760 (2012) · doi: 10.1117/12.908345

2011

Difato, F., Tsushima, H., Pesce, M., Benfenati, F., Blau, A., and Chieregatti, E. The formation of actin waves during regeneration after axonal lesion is enhanced by BDNF, Scientific Reports, 1(Article Number 183): AdvPub (2011) · doi: 10.1038/srep00183

Difato, F., Schibalsky, L., Benfenati, F., and Blau, A. Integration of optical manipulation and electrophysiological tools to modulate and record activity in neural networks, International Journal of Optomechatronics 5(3): 191-216 (2011) · doi: 10.1080/15599612.2011.604246

Difato, F., Maschio, M.D., Marconi, E., Ronzitti, G., Maccione, A., Fellin, T., Berdondini, L., Chieregatti, E., Benfenati, F., and Blau, A. Combined optical tweezers and laser dissector for controlled ablation of functional connections in neural networks, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 16(5): 051306-9 (2011) · doi: 10.1117/1.3560268

Blau, A., Murr, A., Wolff, S., Sernagor, E., Medini, P., Iurilli, G., Ziegler, C., and Benfenati, F. Flexible, all-polymer microelectrode arrays for the capture of cardiac and neuronal signals, Biomaterials, 32(7): 1778-1786 (2011) · doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.11.014

2010

Dal Maschio, M., Difato, F., Beltramo, R., Blau, A., Benfenati, F., and Fellin, T. Simultaneous two-photon imaging and photo-stimulation with structured light illumination, Opt. Express, 18(18): 18720-18731 (2010) · doi:10.1364/OE.18.018720

Richter, C., Reinhardt, M., Giselbrecht, S., Leisen, D., Trouillet, V., Truckenmüller, R., Blau, A., Ziegler, C., and Welle, A. Spatially controlled cell adhesion on three-dimensional substrates, Biomedical Microdevices, 12(5): 787-795 (2010) · doi: 10.1007/s10544-010-9433-2

Blau, A., Murr, A., Wolff, S., Wüsten, J., Difato, F., Ziegler, C., and Benfenati, F. All-polymer MEAs: Challenges, Features and Perspectives in Proceedings of the 7th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrode Arrays,  A. Stett (Ed.), BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, Stuttgart, p. 281-282 (2010)

2009

Blau, A., Neumann, T., Ziegler, C., and Benfenati, F. Replica-molded poly(dimethylsiloxane) culture vessel lids attenuate osmotic drift in long-term cell culturing, J. Biosci., 34(1): 59-69 (2009) · doi: 10.1007/s12038-009-0009-3

Blau, A., Murr, A., Trellenkamp, S., Dautermann, C., Wolff, S., Heuschkel, M., Wuesten, J., Ziegler, C., and Benfenati, F. Prototyping all-polymer bioelectrical signal transducers in Proceedings of the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering,  O. Dössel and W.C. Schlegel (Eds.). Vol. 26/IX, Springer, p. 327-330 (2009)

2008

Neumann, T., Ziegler, C., and Blau, A. Multielectrode array recordings reveal physiological diversity of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in the chick embryo, Brain Research, 1207: 120-7 (2008) · doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2008.02.039

Murr, A., Ziegler, C., Benfenati, F., and Blau, A. Replica-molded polymer microelectrode arrays (polyMEAs) in Proceedings of the 6th International Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Micro Electrode Arrays, A. Stett (Ed.). Vol. 5, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, Stuttgart, p. 335-336 (2008)

2007

Heer, F., Hafizovic, S., Ugniwenko, T., Frey, U., Franks, W., Perriard, E., Perriard, J.C., Blau, A., Ziegler, C., and Hierlemann, A. Single-chip microelectronic system to interface with living cells, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 22(11): 2546-53 (2007) · doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2006.10.003 

Hafizovic, S., Heer, F., Ugniwenko, T., Frey, U., Blau, A., Ziegler, C., and Hierlemann, A. A CMOS-based microelectrode array for interaction with neuronal cultures, J Neurosci Methods, 164(1): 93-106 (2007) · doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2007.04.006

Blau, A. Biologische neuronale Netze: Computer von morgen? in Proceedings of the Dresdner Beiträge zur Sensorik:8. Dresdner Sensor-Symposium,  G. Gerlach and P. Hauptmann (Eds.). Vol. 29, TUDpress, p. 105-108 (2007)

Hafizovic, S., Heer, F., Frey, U., Ugniwenko, T., Blau, A., Ziegler, C., and Hierlemann, A. Bio-Microelectronic Information Processing Device Consisting of Natural Neurons on a CMOS Microsystem in Proceedings of the Transducers 2007: International Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference, p. 1223-1226 (2007) · doi: 10.1109/SENSOR.2007.4300357

Heer, F., Hafizovic, S., Ugniwenko, T., Frey, U., Roscic, B., Blau, A., and Hierlemann, A. Using microelectronics technology to communicate with living cells in Proceedings of the IEEE 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, p. 6081-6084 (2007) · doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2007.4353736 

Frey, U., Diaz, C., Ugniwenko, T., Heer, F., Sedivy, J., Hafizovic, S., Roscic, B., Fussenegger, M., Blau, A., Egert, U., and Hierlemann, A. Cell recordings with a CMOS high-density microelectrode array in Proceedings of the IEEE 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, p. 167-170 (2007) · doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2007.4352249

Blau, A. and Ugniwenko, T. Induction and analysis of cell adhesion and differentiation on inkjet micropatterned substrates, physica status solidi (c), 4(6): 1873–1876 (2007) · doi: 10.1002/pssc.200675225

2006 and before

Heer, F., Hafizovic, S., Franks, W., Blau, A., Ziegler, C., and Hierlemann, A. CMOS microelectrode array for bidirectional interaction with neuronal networks, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, 41(7): 1620-1629 (2006) · doi:10.1109/JSSC.2006.873677 

Blau, A., Ugniwenko, T., and Ziegler, C. Replica-molded poly(dimethylsloxane) cell culturing lids contribute to cell culture longevity in Proceedings of the 5th international Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Micro Electrode Arrays, p. 218-219 (2006)

Heer, F., Hafizovic, S., Franks, W., Frey, U., Greve, F., Blau, A., Ugniwenko, T., Ziegler, C., and Hierlemann, A.CMOS Integrated Bidirectional 128-Electrode Array for Electrogenic Cells in Proceedings of the 5th international Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Micro Electrode Arrays, p. 212-213 (2006)

Ugniwenko, T., Ziegler, C., and Blau, A. Comparative multielectrode recording studies on retinal development in the chick in Proceedings of the 5th international Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Micro Electrode Arrays, p. 101-102 (2006)

Heer, F., Hafizovic, S., Franks, W., Ugniwenko, T., Blau, A., Ziegler, C., and Hierlemann, A. CMOS microelectrode array for bidirectional interaction with neuronal networks in Proceedings of the 31st European Solid-State Circuits Conference, p. 335- 338 (2005) · doi: 10.1109/ESSCIR.2005.1541628

Heer, F., Franks, W., Blau, A., Taschini, S., Ziegler, C., Hierlemann, A., and Baltes, H. CMOS microelectrode array for the monitoring of electrogenic cells, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 20(2): 358-66 (2004) · doi:10.1016/j.bios.2004.02.006

Potter, S.M., Demarse, T.B., Blau, A.W., and Wagenaar, D.A. Multi-photon time-lapse microscopy and optical recording to study neural processing and plasticity, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 9(S02): 184-185 (2003) · link

Demarse, T.B., Wagenaar, D.A., Blau, A.W., and Potter, S.M. The neurally controlled animat: biological brains acting with simulated bodies, Autonomous Robots, 11: 305-310 (2001) · doi: 10.1023/A:1012407611130 

Blau, A.W. and Ziegler, C.M. Prototype of a novel autonomous perfusion chamber for long-term culturing and in situ investigation of various cell types, J Biochem Biophys Methods, 50(1): 15-27 (2001) · doi: 10.1016/S0165-022X(01)00163-4

Blau, A., Weinl, C., Mack, J., Kienle, S., Jung, G., and Ziegler, C. Promotion of neural cell adhesion by electrochemically generated and functionalized polymer films, J Neurosci Methods, 112(1): 65-73 (2001) · doi:10.1016/S0165-0270(01)00458-7 

Blau, A., Ziegler, C., Heyer, M., Endres, F., Schwitzgebel, G., Matthies, T., Stieglitz, T., Meyer, J.U., and Göpel, W.Characterization and optimization of microelectrode arrays for in vivo nerve signal recording and stimulation, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 12(9-10): 883-92 (1997) · doi: 10.1016/S0956-5663(97)00017-1 

Books and Book Chapters

Ferrara, L., Petrushin, A., Liberale, C., Brannick, D., Connolly, B., Mitchell, P., and Blau, A. Comparison of electro-optical strategies for mimicking C. elegans network interconnectivity in hardware in Biosystems & Biorobotics - Advances in Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics, R.A. Londral and P. Encarnação (Eds.), Vol. 12, Springer, p. 79-98 (2016) · doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-26242-0_6

Habibey, R., Golabchi, A., and Blau, A. Microchannel Scaffolds for Neural Signal Acquisition and Analysis in Biosystems & Biorobotics: Advances in Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics, A.R. Londral, P. Encarnação, and J.L.P. Rovira (Eds.), Vol. 12, Springer, p. 47-64 (2015) · doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-15997-3_4

Dal Maschio, M., Difato, F., De Stasi, A.M., Beltramo, R., Blau, A., and Fellin, T. Optical investigation of brain networks using structured illumination in Cellular Imaging Techniques for Neuroscience and Beyond, F.G. Wouterlood (Ed.), Academic Press, p. 101-120 (2012) · doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385872-6.00005-2


Difato, F., Maschio, M.D., Beltramo, R., Blau, A., Benfenati, F., and Fellin, T. Spatial Light Modulators for Complex Spatio-Temporal Illumination of Neuronal Networks in Neuronal Network Analysis: Concepts and experimental approaches, T. Fellin and M. Halassa (Eds.), Springer Protocols: Neuromethods, Vol. 67, Springer: Berlin Heidelberg, p. 61-81 (2012) · doi: 10.1007/7657_2011_3

Blau, A. Prospects for Neuroprosthetics: Flexible Microelectrode Arrays with Polymer Conductors in Applied Biomedical Engineering, G.D. Gargiulo and A. McEwan (Eds.), InTech, p. 83-122 (2011)

Blau, A. Bioelectronical Neural networks: Towards chemical analysis by coupling neurobiological entities to capacitive or capacitive-optical transducers. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, p. 184 (1999)

Patents

Blau, A. and Benfenati, F. Matrice di microelettrodi a base di materiali conduttori polimerici otticamente trasparenti, e procedimento per la sua fabbricazione / Micro-electrode array based on transparent polymeric conductive materials, and method for the manufacturing thereof. Patent WO2009107069, PCT/IB2009/050751, international publication date: September 3, 2009 (2008-02-29)

Awards

July 2013 . Our entry on polyMEAs: Tissue-Like All-Polymer Microelectrode Arrays for Neuroprosthetics for the Tech Briefs' "Create the Future 2012 Design Contest" was selected as one of the top 100 entries out of 805. CTF2012DC-Certificate Icon

February 2013 . Congratulations to Francesco Difato and Lisa Schibalsky for winning the 2012 Koh Young Best Paper Award of the International Journal of Optomechatronics for their contribution on the "Integration of Optical Manipulation and Electrophysiological Tools to Modulate and Record Activity in Neural Networks".

External funding:

01/2016-12/2018 Graphtivity . Graphene‐based optoelectrochemical sensor for the simultaneous monitoring of the electrical and chemical activity of single cells [FLAG-ERA (the Flagship ERA-NET) Joint Transnational Call (JTC) collaborative research project, Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) contribution: 141 kEuro]

04/2013-03/2016  Si elegans - Emulating the C. elegans nervous system: A blueprint for brain-inspired computational architectures (coordinator) [EU contribution: 2.73 MEuro, with 634 kEuro for IIT]. Do not miss to visit the Si elegans project website.

06/2010-05/2013 Pathogenetic mechanisms of familial Parkinson's disease: WT and A30P alpha-synucleins affect the structure of microfilaments and intermediate filaments. Pathways and effects on cytoskeletal dynamics, Telethon Foundation GGP1010, Italy (collaborator) [187 kEuro]

07/2009-06/2013 Tau-driven degeneration and neurotrophic response: Searching disease markers for drug screening, Compagnia di San Paolo: Bando del "Programma Neuroscienze", shared single center research grant (co-PI) [110 kEuro]

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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.