Research Institute for Complexity
Science of complex economic, human and natural systems
The transdisciplinary study of complex systems offers innovative solutions to outstanding scientific questions and global societal challenges. It requires the work and contributions of mathematicians, computer and data scientists, physicists, linguists, historians, social scientists and researchers in the fields of humanities, economy, ecology and climatology. In complex systems, growth patterns and final structures are not predictable: no design is possible from a priori knowledge but design possibilties are experimented: it requires evolutionary algorithms to optimize complex systems.
Pattern identification and the study of dynamic interactions in complex systems allow the development of models and simulation tools that fit stylized facts and can be applied in a variety of fields, ranging from climate projections to the implementation of risk management and mitigation strategies and the understanding of behaviours in socio-economic, and natural systems.
Advanced and smart materials, Behavioural models, Big data, Climate science, Complex networks, Computational models, Computing, Data mining, Modelling, simulation and forecasting tools, Network modelling, Pattern identification and analysis, Risk assessment, Risk management, Smart cities and, communities, Systemic risk
High-impact and award-winning projects
A European AI On Demand Platform and Ecosystem
Artificial Intelligence is a disruptive technology of our times with expected impacts rivalling those of electricity or printing. Resources for innovation are currently dominated by giant tech companies in North America and China. To ensure European independence and leadership, we must invest wisely by bundling, connecting and opening our AI resources. The AI4EU project will efficiently build a comprehensive European AI-on-demand platform to lower barriers to innovation, to boost technology transfer and catalyse the growth of start-ups and SMEs in all sectors through Open calls and other actions. The platform will act as a broker, developer and one-stop shop providing and showcasing services, expertise, algorithms, software frameworks, development tools, components, modules, data, computing resources, prototyping functions and access to funding. Training will enable different user communities (engineers, civic leaders, etc.) to obtain skills and certifications.
It will mobilize the whole European AI ecosystem and already unites 80 partners in 21 countries including researchers, innovators and related talents. Eight industry-driven AI pilots will demonstrate the value of the platform as an innovation tool. In order to enhance the platform, research on five key interconnected AI scientific areas will be carried out using platform technologies and results will be implemented. The AI4EU Ethical Observatory will be established to ensure the respect of human centred AI values and European regulations. Sustainability will be ensured via the creation of the AI4EU Foundation.
QUality and Effectiveness in Science and Technology communication
Science Communication (SciCom) plays a key role in addressing today’s societal challenges. To be effective, it must be conceived as multi-directional communication, involving scientists, policy-makers, journalists, other communications actors and citizens. On one side, scientists produce research results but are not always equipped to communicate efficiently to the public and to policy-makers. On the other, journalists and other communications actors act as the interface between science, citizens and other audiences, although they may face challenges in fully comprehending the scientific message. Citizens will have a varied perception of the information received but limited knowledge and tools impeding a qualitative assessment. The variety of means of communication existing today makes communications faster and easier, but that increases the complexity of these interactions and the challenge to communicate “sound” science. We also need to consider that much of today SciCom passes through the digital sphere, as the advent of digitalization has changed the way in which information flows and opinions are shaped, also regarding science. Social media are one of the key representatives of these modern means of communication, deserving a special focus.
QUEST aims at facing this challenge with a multi-step approach that will: (1) understand the dynamics of today SciCom (2) design tools to evaluate SciCom quality (3) experiment best practices and proposing innovative ways for SciCom (4) promote SciCom training (5) build an engaging SciCom community. The focus will be on (a) journalism (b) Social media (c) Museums, recognized as having the highest impact in this context. Climate change, vaccines and Artificial Intelligence are used as case studies.
Risk Governance of Nanotechnology
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are covered by REACH/CLP regulations; the general opinion is that the risk assessment (RA) approach routinely used for conventional chemicals is also applicable to ENMs. However, as acknowledged by OECD and ECHA, the OECD and ISO Test Guidelines (TGs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) need to be verified and adapted to be applicable to ENMs. The project RiskGONE will support the standardization and validation process for ENM by evaluating, optimizing and pre-validating SOPs and TGs and integrating them into a framework for risk governance (RG) of ENMs.
Innovative packaging and display tools for cultural heritage: APACHE
Most cultural heritage objects housed by museums are often stored under unsuitable climate conditions. The project APACHE will develop a cutting edge technology to control and prevent the degradation of such patrimony. It will take advantage of advanced sensing and absorbing materials to control the artifacts’ environment, modeling of artifacts’ degradation and remote control of the works of art stressors to reduce to the lowest possible level the costs actually required by conventional technology for art conservation. On the other hand, new generation of active and intelligent display cases, crates, and storage boxes, will be implemented. Wireless sensing devices will be employed, as well as multiscale models integrated in an open simulation environment will be used to predict the degradation of artifacts.
Researcher: Antonio Marcomini
Duration: 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2022
GAIN - Green Aquaculture Intensification in Europe
Eco-intensification of European aquaculture is a transdisciplinary challenge that requires the integration of scientific and technical innovations, new policies and economic instruments, as well as the mitigation of social constraints. Successful eco-intensification of aquaculture will provide more and better aquatic products, more jobs, and improve trade balance by reducing imports. GAIN, besides looking at innovative ways of integrating cultured species, will seek integration with other sectors, in order to promote the implementation of the principles of circular economy in Aquaculture.
EeDaPP– Energy efficiency Data Protocol and Portal
Despite some progress has been made in green finance, only a fraction of bank lending and funding (securities) is explicitly classified as green. There is a huge and urgent need of a standardised approach to “green due diligence”. The EeDaPP Project intends to deliver large-scale, granular technical and financial data related to energy efficient mortgages by way of a standardised data protocol to be accessed through a common, centralised portal. The EeDaPP Project will boost the green securities market in terms of size, liquidity and efficiency by providing for the traceability of the performance of energy efficient assets, allowing for the identification of such assets for the purposes of energy efficient covered bond/bond issuance and potentially other derivatives, and by significantly boosting investor confidence in such securities.
BIORIMA- BIOmaterial RIsk MAnagement
The project BIORIMA aims to develop an integrated risk management (IRM) framework for nano-biomaterials (NBM) used in Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products (ATMP) and Medical Devices (MD). The BIORIMA RM framework is a structure upon which the validated tools and methods for materials, exposure,hazard and risk identification/assessment and management are allocated plus a rationale for selecting and using them to manage and reduce the risk for specific NBM used in ATMP and MD. BIORIMA will deliver a web-based Decision Support System to help users, especially SME, evaluate the risk/benefit profile of their NBM products and help to shorten the time to market for NBM products.
Smart manufacturing for EU Growth
"MAKERS -Smart Manufacturing for EU Growth and Prosperity" brings together leaders from business, academia and policy to study issues related to the drivers and dynamics of sustaining the competitiveness of EU manufacturing sectors.
The project’s innovative research, training and mobility activities address key concerns related to the historic opportunity for the EU to lead a manufacturing renaissance that not only upgrades existing manufacturing competences but, more importantly, develops new technological capabilities across EU regions to support regional industrial resilience for more distributed and sustainable socioeconomic growth and prosperity.
This project is funded by Horizon 2020 - Research and innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) and is developed at the Ca’ Foscari Economics Department.
Researcher: Mario Volpe
Duration: 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2018
Predicting Tropical Atlantic climate and its impacts
PREFACE - Enhancing prediction of Tropical Atlantic climate and its impacts - is a climate change FP7 project with 28 partners across 18 countries in Europe and Africa, and 3 associate partners directly involved in the sustainable management of the three Eastern boundary large marine ecosystems of the Tropical Atlantic.
Ca’ Foscari leads the work package “Statistical methods to assess and improve forecast of Tropical Atlantic variability (TAV)”.