The University of Palermo (UNIPA) is leader of WP 5. It was officially founded in 1806 from King Ferdinand of Borbone, and today it is an internationally acknowledged public research organization which covers almost all main fields of study fostering an interdisciplinary approach.

Its internationalization strategy envisages 45 double-degree study courses and 8 courses as well as 262 study subjects delivered in English. It welcomes about 390 enrolled foreign students and 370 incoming ERASMUS students per year. It is active in 240 international cooperation agreements and has managed 1.538 student interinstitutional agreements from 2015 to 2017.

The academic structures include: 16 Departments, 1 School of Medicine, 21 libraries, 3 decentralised premises (Agrigento, Trapani, Caltanissetta), the Museum System, the Language Centre, the Italian school for foreign students, the Guidance Centre.

The educational offer for the academic year 2019/2020 consisted of: 131 degree courses (first and second cycle), 24 master courses, 61 specialization schools, 21 PhD programmes.

The academic community in 2019 consisted of 41.097 students, 1.468 lecturers, 1.483 technical and administrative staff units, 595 PhDs, 120 research fellows, 300 post-lauream study grants, 1.241 students attending specialisation courses.

With regard to the research and innovation projects funded in the framework of international, national and regional programmes within the 2014-2020 programming period, the achievements of the University of Palermo in figures are the following:

 35 Horizon 2020 projects

 6 projects funded by the Directorates Justice and Migration and Home Affairs

 86 research projects of national relevance (PRIN, SIR)

 over 40 projects funded from national funds

 12 projects funded under territorial cooperation programmes (7 Italy-Malta, 1 INTERREG MED, 4 Italy-Tunisia),

 31 ERASMUS projects (International Credit Mobility, Strategic Partnerships, Capacity Building for HE, Learning Mobility of Individuals, Support for policy reform, Jean Monnet, European Universities)

 42 projects funded from the Sicilian Region within the ERDF

 1 Excellence Department acknowledgment (Law) as well as other projects funded under different programmes such as LIFE+, FAMI, Italy-Central America bilateral cooperation, from foundations, associations and global initiatives. Research projects in operation in 2019 were 164.

In order to implement its third mission, the University of Palermo has set up an Industrial Liaison Office, launched a network of University labs (ATEN Center) for testing and transferring new technologies to

SMEs, founded a university business incubator and started up a Contaminaton Lab. The University labs integrated system has been conceived to create synergies among the different academic skills available, enhance coordination with other centres and exploit research results to generate economic value.

The business incubator located within the University Campus of Palermo, managed by Consorzio ARCA (a public-private partnership) intends to boost the growth and success of innovative business ideas by means of a structured network of resources and services. It provides interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education training packages, helps generate profitable start-ups, supports academic spin-off companies and assist students for their participation in business plan competitions joined by the University.

Key personnel