Pisa plays a key role in promoting science education. Sant’Anna Shool, the Comune di Pisa City Council authority, the University of Pisa, the Scuola Normale Superiore, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, the Fondazione Stella Maris, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, and the European Gravitational Observatory-Virgo research centre, have signed an agreement to promote education in science and technology.

The agreement was signed during Professor Pierdomenico Perata’s visit to the Pisa city Council on Monday, October 13th. Pisa, as an education and research network including 9 partner institutions, is built on the basis that the universities and the research activities gain from cooperation across organizations. The Pisa city Council is committed to the revitalization of the town through the project “Pisa Città della Scienza e dell'educazione alle scienze” to reaffirm the value of science education, innovation technology and culture at all levels, to prepare students from a town with a population of 90,000 for the developing world of knowledge and technology.

The partnership signed in Pisa and the shared objectives have the potential to make a significant impact on collaborative educational goals and research networks. They will provide opportunities for sharing science education, culture and knowledge and also for the modeling of governance structures and management of policies involving the higher education sector and the private sectors. The economics of knowledge is facing a structural transformation as the result of knowledge-based investments and activities colliding with a technological revolution that altered the production of "knowledge" as an economic good. This partnership will focus on the sustainable development of the knowledge-based economies to create a collaborative framework for considering shared accountability of educational results.

The idea of developing a strategic partnership agreement between research centres and universities came up in 2016 when popular events such as Bright, Internet Festival, Festival della Robotica, Area Aperta al CNR (to promote active participation of people in academic research) successfully contributed to demonstrate the importance and relevance of modern research to society. Pisa city Council also contributed with valuable initiatives: the Cittadella Galileiana and the “Ponte delle origini”, promoted by the Scuola Normale Superiore.

On 13 October 2017, following the agreement, the rectors of Sant’Anna School and Scuola Normale released the following statements: 

 “The time came for us to develop a long-term strategic partnership – said Pierdomenico Perata – Pisa ‘as a network for science education’ has demonstrated there is no discrepancy between the claim and reality. Education centers must address how to be prepared for the rapidly developing world of science by providing a sound foundation so that young people learn the new technologies to face an increasingly competitive job market. Our higher education institutions Sant’Anna and Normale, through their association partnership, and the city of Pisa offer excellent conditions to operate effectively”.

“This partnership agreement represents a significant step in developing the project ‘città della scienza’ – said the Mayor Marco Filippeschi – Our city boasts high-quality academic research and technology resources. As a town devoted to science and advanced technology, we have actively collaborated to create a tighter community for both local and international students. Our current project, the Cittadella Galileiana, which received EU funding through the Plan for Integrated Sustainable Urban Development PIUSS, will need a concrete network and a joint program of cooperation. Our main objective – said Filippeschi – is to provide science education to help young people in the development of knowledge and technological applications to keep up with the fast developments happening in the workplace. We need to discuss science applications to solve local and global problems and evaluate how science and technology interact with social, economic, and cultural factors”.

Cover photo: institutions’ representatives who signed the partnership agreement “Pisa città della Scienza”. From left to right: Pierdomenico Perata, rector of Sant’Anna School, and Vincenzo Barone, rector of Scuola Normale Superiore.