Not only research, but impactful solutions for the real world: RESTART takes stock one year after launch

/ February 9, 2024/ Events, News

Event venue

RESTART – “RESearch and innovation on future Telecommunications systems and networks, to make Italy more smART” partners met in Bologna on January 30 and 31 at the Plenary Dissemination Workshop, a public event to present the results obtained during the first year of activity and collegially define future initiatives.

RESTART is funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU under the PNRR and represents the most important program ever funded in Italy for research and development in the field of Telecommunications. It has the ambitious goal of helping to outline the evolution of the sector in Italy.

The event, organized one year after the launch of the program and hosted by WiLab – National Laboratory of Wireless Communications – of CNIT – National Interuniversity Consortium for Telecommunications – was spread over two days, with a packed agenda of appointments, which first featured presentations by the Missions (i.e., the strategic trajectories of the program) followed by scientific sessions, panels with guests of national and international relevance, and poster and demo sessions.

After opening remarks by Professor Roberto Verdone, organizer of the event and head of Mission 5 – Education & Training, Professor Nicola Blefari Melazzi, President of the RESTART Foundation, and Professor Antonio Capone, scientific coordinator of RESTART and Vice-President of the Foundation, provided a general overview of the progress of the work and future prospects of the program.

A machine that is now well on its way, which needs to accelerate in order to always aim to improve and get better: this is the current state of RESTART, as evidenced also by the excellent feedback from the MUR and international reviewers. The will is therefore to do even more, to be able to generate impact in the real world.

In addition to research, the program includes numerous cross-cutting initiatives promoted by its component Missions. So-called “Grand Challenges” have been added to the activities planned at the proposal stage: 19 challenges related to priority themes, designed to effectively and directly communicate the work of RESTART’s 32 projects, which in this way find relevance not only at the scientific level, but as tangible results and to be proposed to policy makers. These Grand Challenges will eventually be used as a tool to increase the impact and exploitation of the solutions developed by the program, becoming enablers that will make the investments made worthwhile.

Key moments of the two-day event were panels that brought together national and international speakers to discuss pivotal issues for the industry. The first focused on the changes taking place in the world of Telecommunications. The second, on the other hand, opened the debate to an international perspective, providing a valuable opportunity for discussion, thanks to the contribution of representatives of six initiatives similar to RESTART, but conducted in other European countries and which together represent a very considerable amount of research and development funding, in the order of 2 billion euros.

The format envisaged, on the other hand, for the technical-scientific sessions was particular, conducted from a tutorial approach, thanks to a chair with the dual role of speaker and tutor, with the aim of uniting the RESTART community on issues even far removed from the expertise of individuals, so that everyone, regardless of their specialization, could be able to follow the interventions and actively participate in the discussion.

To further stimulate interaction and networking among participants, a prize was announced for the best posters: at the end of the poster sessions organized during the two-day workshop, a vote was opened to decide the “Best poster” and the “Best poster runner-ups,” with a voting system aimed at encouraging collaboration among partner institutions. Complex Ecosystem Management via Digital Twins Networks” by Leonardo Paroli, Leonardo Scommegna and Marco Becattini won the “Best poster award”. Second place for “Coherent – A deep dive on KV and KVI management” by Marco Becattini, Salvatore Quattropani, Carmelo Ricci and Lucia Pintor. The third place was shared by two posters: “Effective Intent-based Service Provisioning via Network Digital Twins” by Federica de Trizio, Giancarlo Sciddurlo, Giuseppe Piro and Gennaro Boggia and “SweepTron: B5G Portable Spectrum Monitoring based on Micro-Service Architecture” by Luca Chiaraviglio, Mattia Antonangeli, Vittorio di Paolo, Alessandro Pellegrini, Enrico Brinciotti, Roberto Verdone and Nicola Blefari Melazzi.

Not only Plenary Dissemination Workshop: Bologna was also the venue for the 1st RESTART Camp on Soft SkillsLeadership, Team Working and Public Speaking for a Career as a Researcher, the initiative organized under Mission 5 – Education & Training of the program and dedicated to relational/social skills. Five days of training aimed at graduate students, PhD students, post-docs, junior researchers or anyone who wanted to strengthen soft skills to be more successful in their research career. A great response, as shown by the number of participants: 39 enrolled who, after taking part in training sessions held by experts and professionals in the field, were able to put themselves on the line, presenting their research activities with the new public speaking skills acquired during the week.

“Activities are now in full swing. We were also able to compare ourselves with other European initiatives similar to RESTART. There were 7 European nations represented during this event, and the total amount of funding granted by these 7 European nations to telecommunications research and development programs is about 2 billion euros-a huge sum that has never been allocated in the field. We have, therefore, a great responsibility to make this funding pay off and we will try to do this together with our European partners. As of today we can say that we have also started this strategic collaboration with them.”
Nicola Blefari Melazzi, RESTART Foundation President


“The scientific part has shown the progress made during this first year of activity. The 32 projects have entered a very active phase of research, we have already seen a number of interesting results, some of which are leading not only to level scientific publications but also to project ideas or even ideas for new startups. The program objectively covers all aspects of research relevant to telecommunications, and the comparison we had also during this event with national projects from other European countries shows us that we are on the right path and that the quality of research is of the highest level.”
Antonio Capone, RESTART scientific coordinator and Vice-President of the Foundation

“It has been two very intense days of great exchange: 300 people here in Bologna for the RESTART Plenary Dissemination Workshop, where we addressed both technical and scientific issues and the other part of the program, namely the one dedicated to the other six Missions. With regard to the activities of Mission 5 – Education & Training, which I coordinate, I am very satisfied, because I have been able to make people understand the relevance of the actions put in place, and I have the feeling that many colleagues have perceived this and are willing not only to contribute but also to criticize and intervene in the work we are doing.”
Roberto Verdone, Head of RESTART Mission 5 – Education & Training 


RESTART partners:
Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Politecnico di Bari, Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Università degli Studi di Catania, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Università degli Studi di Padova, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (CNIT), Fondazione Ugo Bordoni, Open Fiber S.p.A., TIM S.p.A., Vodafone Italia S.p.A., Wind Tre S.p.A., Ericsson Telecomunicazioni S.p.A., Prysmian S.p.A., Italtel S.p.A., Leonardo S.p.A., Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) e Tiesse S.p.A

RESTART program plans to add more partners to the initial ones, to be chosen through competitive procedures (cascade calls). Eight cascade calls are planned, and to date the one issued by the University of Rome Tor Vergata has been concluded, resulting in the selection of the following entities:
Università degli Studi di Salerno, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Università di Genova, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Università di Pisa, Università di Siena, Università di Trento, Anritsu, Fastweb, Logogramma, Maticmind, Nextworks, Sensor-ID, Unidata

Share this Post