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Francesco Greco Write a Message

Visiting scientist

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Bioinspired Soft Robotics




Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34
+39 (0)50 883414

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Francesco Greco (M.Sc. in Materials Science 2004, PhD in Chemistry 2009, University of Pisa, Italy), is a Researcher (Team Leader) with Center for Micro-BioRobotics - Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy (CMBR-IIT) since 2013 and Associate Professor (without tenure) of Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan since January 2016 (Top Global University Program).

He has been guest researcher at SOPRA S.A. (Paris, France) in 2007. He was Postdoctoral Researcher at Dept. of Chemistry, University of Pisa, then at Center of Research in MicroEngineering of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, then at CMBR-IIT, Italy (2009-2013).

His main research interests are in the field of polymer and nanocomposite functional and stimuli-responsive materials and interfaces with applications in micro-biorobotics and biomedicine. His research focuses mainly on: I) Electro Active Polymers and other smart polymeric materials for soft actuators and sensors; II) polymer nanosheets, conformable and skin-contact organic electronics; III) micro/nanostructured and bioinspired functional surfaces with tunable properties. He is involved in industry-funded projects, dealing with energy harvesting materials and devices and bioelectronic devices. He also acted as academic consultant for some industry-funded Advice Reports on advanced polymer materials.

Francesco Greco is the author of 31 peer-reviewed full papers (22 ISI papers), 3 book chapters, 5 applications of national and international patents and of several communications to international conferences. He serves as reviewer for several international journals in the fields of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology, Microrobotics.

Since Spring Semester 2016 he teaches a course on “Smart and Bioinspired Materials” to bachelor, master and international course students at School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo (Japan). Since 2014 he is Teacher of the course  “Fundamental Technologies for Microrobotics”, Graduate school of Biorobotics, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy) and of the course “Biomechatronics”, Master Course in Biomedical Engineering, University of Pisa (Italy).

He is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), of the Materials Research Society (MRS) and of the EuroEAP Society. He has been involved in ESNAM network (European Scientific Network on Artificial Muscles) and associated EU COST action MP1003, serving as Principal Investigator and Contact Member for the network at CMBR IIT@SSSA.


Research projects

  • IIT interdepartmental joint project CMBR-RBCS: All polymer ultrathin conformable and stretchable large area epicortical electrode arrays. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (January 2013-January 2015).
  • European Project PLANTOID (FP7-ICT-2011-C) Innovative Robotic Artefacts Inspired by Plant Roots for Soil Monitoring. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (May 2012 – April 2015).

Industry-funded projects

  • Industrial research project sponsored by MED-EL, Innsbruck (Austria): Tattoo skin-contact electrodes (December 2016-today)

  • Industrial research project sponsored by VIBRAM SpA, Albizzate (Italy): HERO II - Smart Power Soles: Harvesting Energy in Rubber Outsoles - Phase II. (January 2015 - December 2015).

  • Industrial research project sponsored by VIBRAM SpA, Albizzate (Italy): HERO - Harvesting Energy in Rubber Outsoles. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (October 2012- March 2014)

  • Industrial research project and feasibility study for VIBRAM SpA, Albizzate (Italy): Smart materials and technological solutions for energy harvesting in footwear. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (May – November 2011)


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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.