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[History] - Introduction

[History] - Timeline



In September 2003, the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) was set up.
The Commissario Unico (Vittorio Grilli) and the Steering and Regulation Committee were appointed to outline the statute.
  • 2004


    Drafting of the statute, formulation of the scientific research plan, and definition of the business plan.
  • 2005

    First Scientific Director

    Selection process for the first Scientific Director under the supervision of the then Minister of Economy and Finance (Giulio Tremonti), the then Minister of University and Research (Letizia Moratti), and the Commissario Unico (Vittorio Grilli).
    On December 8, 2005, Roberto Cingolani was officially appointed as the first Scientific Director of IIT.
  • 2006

    Headquarters and Governance

    The institute's headquarters are set up in the city of Genoa (Morego).
    Vittorio Grilli is appointed as the President of IIT, with Gabriele Galateri di Genola leading the Board, and the Technical-Scientific Committee chaired by the scientist Emilio Bizzi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
  • 2006

    Selection of Department Directors

    International applications are invited for the selection of research department Directors. Appointment of six internationally renowned scientists (Giulio Sandini, Darwin Caldwell, Jean-Guy Fontaine, Fabio Benfenati, John Assad e Daniele Piomelli) to lead six departments in the key three areas of Robotics, Neurosciences, and Drug Research and Development.
  • 2006

    Strategic Plan and Beginning of Scientific activities

    The strategic plan is drawn up by the Scientific Director, in collaboration with department Directors and some of the leading international experts in the institute's research areas. Construction of laboratories and scientific activities begin.
  • 2007

    First Robotics Laboratory

    IIT becomes part of the European RobotCub project.
    Inauguration of the first robotics laboratory, where the iCub robot is developed through teamwork coordinated by Giulio Sandini, Giorgio Metta, and David Vernon.
  • 2008

    First Evaluation

    First evaluation of the institute by the Technical-Scientific Committee and the Evaluation Council.
    Further evaluations of IIT are carried out every three years.
  • 2009

    Scientific Plan 2009-2011

    Introduction of the concept of "Humanoid Technology," involving intelligent bio-inspired machines to support humans in daily life. Consolidation of activities in robotics and neurosciences, and establishment of cross-cutting facilities dedicated to nanosciences and nanotechnologies (nanophysics, led by Alberto Diaspro, nanochemistry, led by Liberato Manna, and nanostructures, led by Enzo Di Fabrizio).
    Launch of the national network of the Foundation in collaboration with major research centers and universities in Italy.
  • 2011

    First Start-up

    Establishment of the first IIT start-up (3Brain GmbH) in the field of neuroscience.
  • 2012

    Outstation centers

    Opening of two centers in the USA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard.
  • 2012

    Scientific Plan 2012-2014

    Introduction of the concept of "Translating Evolution into Technology," i.e., imitation of solutions found in nature for the development of new technologies in robotics, materials science, and natural sciences.
  • 2013

    Joint IIT-INAIL Laboratory

    Establishment of the joint IIT-INAIL (Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work) laboratory for the development of robotic devices for humans (prosthetics, exoskeletons, and rehabilitative systems).
  • 2014

    Graphene Flagship

    Launch of the European project "Graphene Flagship," a billion-euro project in which IIT plays a major role.
    Inauguration of Graphene Labs in Genoa.
  • 2014

    Nikon Imaging Center

    Launch of the Nikon Imaging Center, a Nikon-sponsored research center at IIT for the development of advanced optical microscopes.
  • 2015

    Scientific Plan 2015-2017

    Interdisciplinary research program focused on humans.
  • 2015

    Human Technopole Foundation

    Following the IIT model, the Human Technopole Foundation is established, with IIT contributing during the start-up phase.
  • 2016

    Top 100

    Inclusion of IIT in the Nature journal's Rising Star list, which features the top 100 research and university institutes worldwide that significantly increased scientific productivity from 2012 to 2015.
  • 2017

    Movendo Technology

    Launch of the Movendo Technology start-up, funded with 10 million euros by the Dompè Group.
    The rehabilitative robot Hunova enters the market.
  • 2018

    Scientific Plan 2018-2023

    Introduction of the four research domains supporting IIT's research activities.
    Renewed emphasis on developing sciences and technologies centered on humans through a highly interdisciplinary approach.
  • 2018


    Establishment of the start-up BeDimensional dedicated to the production of two-dimensional materials, attracting approximately 20 million euros in private investments.
  • 2018

    Center for Human Technologies

    Inauguration of the Center for Human Technologies at the Erzelli Technological Park in Genoa.
  • 2019

    New Scientific Director

    Giorgio Metta, selected through an international application process, is appointed as new Scientific Director, succeeding Roberto Cingolani's third term.
  • 2020

    IIT vs COVID-19

    Launch of the "IIT vs COVID-19" program for managing the health emergency related to the SARS-COV2 pandemic.
  • 2020


    IIT awarded second place at the Cybathlon Olympics, Cybathlon2020.
  • 2020

    Joint IIT-Intellimech Consortium Laboratory

    Inauguration of the joint laboratory with the Intellimech Consortium at the Innovation District Kilometro Rosso in Bergamo.
  • 2020


    Inauguration of the Franklin supercomputer to enhance the institute's international computing competitiveness.
  • 2021

    New start-ups

    Establishment of four new start-ups in the life sciences field, raising approximately eight million euros in total funding.
  • 2022

    New external funds

    In 2022, IIT receives 110 million euros in funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and reached, since its establishment, a total value of 75 million euros in grants awarded by the European Research Council.
  • 2023


    Inauguration of the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Systems and the Hub for Entrepreneurship in Genoa.
  • 2023


    Launch of Alkivio, a start-up focused on developing a new plastic substitute material, with a 2 million euro investment from Novacart.
  • 2023

    Twentieth anniversary

    From September to December, a series of events are planned to celebrate the institute's twentieth anniversary.
  • Scientific Plan 2024-2029

    Introduction of the concept of "Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare and Earthcare".