Third Mission -DIGI
For the first time in Italy third mission activities of universities and research centres are the object of systematic assessment. In fact, a process of assessment of the third mission was started as far back as VQR 2004-2010, when the idea of an opening towards the social and economical environment through knowledge enhancement and transfer was put forward. In that context, a few indicators were introduced both from the strictly technological viewpoint (research and consultancy contracts with external clients, patents, spin-off companies, participation in incubators and consortia with a view to technological transfer) and from the viewpoint of the human sciences (management of archaeological sites and museums and other third mission activities).
Legislative decree 19/2012, which sets down the principles of the Self-assessment, Periodic Evaluation, and Accreditation system, and later Ministerial decree 47/2013, which identifies indicators and parameters for the periodical evaluation of research and third mission (annex E), have acknowledged to all effects the third mission as an institutional mission of universities, besides the traditional missions, teaching and research.
Of considerable importance is the DIGI's third mission activity, spanning from the management of clinics, included in the didactic offer, to the establishment of several laboratories and observatories, LACIS and LOG, tightly bound to emergencies of current events, and the study centre University for Peace.
The latter was instituted with the purpose of fostering, leading and coordinating cross-disciplinary studies and researches about peace, prevention and management of conflicts, but also in order to promote and support experiments as well as formation and didactic initiatives, especially directed to peace education, participation and active citizenship education, cooperation and development, the themes of nonviolence and civil service, management, mediation and transformation of conflicts.
Other purposes of University for Peace are: to encourage and coordinate at local, national and international level the exchange of information and initiatives fit to promote interdisciplinary collaborations for the realisation of the aforementioned purposes, activate or promote suitable organisation means as well as conventions and agreements with public and private entities, both Italian and foreign.
Also part of the third mission activity is a relationship set up with the local penal institutions, which for ten years now have been allowing entitled prisoners to gain access to university studies and students from the DIGI to gain experience of prisons and get to know their inmates.
A special sensitivity to multiculturalism has suggested the development over the years of formation and dialogue projects, directed to students and their communities, each one with a different cultural background, thus carrying into effect one of the objectives stated in the University Strategic Plan 2021/2023.