The future is here: research stories, the adventures that can change the world. It is not just a slogan, but a precise vision of the role of a public university in the society. Education and research to create social impact. Training, research and third mission to face the challenges of the present and the future with the right tools, and to imagine what does not yet exist today.
The Sant'Anna School inaugurated the 2023/2024 academic year with an innovative, interactive and multimedia event that took place on Thursday 7 December at the Verdi Theatre in Pisa.
"In addition to publications and acquired projects, the world asks us for more. It asks us for innovation, curiosity, creativity, listening and understanding of the problems that plague our society. Above all, it asks us for the ability to make a difference,' said Rector Sabina Nuti.
Research that can change the world
Who took to the stage at the Verdi: the honor students who received a scholarship from the Fondazione Il Talento all'Opera and Fondazione Luca Cavallini; institutional representatives such as the mayor of Pisa Michele Conti and the councillor of the Tuscany Region for Education, Vocational Training, University and Research, Employment, International Relations and Gender Policies Alessandra Nardini; industrial and civil society representatives; professors and researchers to recount some of the challenges of the research conducted in recent years by the Sant'Anna School.
The common feature of the speeches was the ability of research to create value, which is measured not only in terms of scientific publications and citations, but also and above all by the impact that research itself is able to determine in society. Such as the latest frontiers of research conducted by bioengineering professors Christian Cipriani and Silvestro Micera: Christian Cipriani is the scientific responsible for a project that enabled an amputee patient to return to using a prosthetic hand naturally; Silvestro Micera is the author of a study that enabled three paralysed people to walk again thanks to electrodes implanted in the spinal cord.
Synergies and strategic alliances on topics of particular innovative relevance are also at the basis of the collaboration between the Sant'Anna School and STMicroelectronics, represented by General Manager Nunzio Abbate, in exploring enabling technologies in the world of sensors, telecommunications, medical and robotics.
Research also needs to respond to the health needs of people living in marginalised areas, where there is a shortage of services. This is the case of the Proximity Care project, which aims to encourage the improvement of health, social and socio-health services in the 'internal areas' of the province of Lucca. 'The Proximity Care project,' states Andrea Tagliasacchi, Mayor of the Municipality of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and President of the Union of Municipalities of Garfagnana, 'is the legitimisation of an alliance between the Garfagnana territories, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca and the Sant'Anna School.
"Research becomes even more valuable when it is interdisciplinary and manages to involve more and different skills". With the strategic AfricaConnect project, the Sant'Anna School is teaming up to create impact on the African continent by pooling its expertise with an interdisciplinary approach and to find synergies with and for the people of Africa and to contribute to the inclusive and sustainable development of the continent's enormous potential. Don Dante Carraro of Doctors with Africa CUAMM took the stage to present the project and the initiatives of AfricaConnect.
"It is a beautiful day for our community," concluded Rector Sabina Nuti. "We were able to give space to all the components of the School to celebrate the inauguration of the 2023/2024 academic year in the best possible way.