Rovereto-based Cerism returns to be an interuniversity centre of the universities of Verona and Trento with support from the City of Rovereto and Trentino Sviluppo. The development of research and education in the areas of sport, mountains and health will also boost innovation at the local level
The details of the agreement were presented today at Polo Manifattura in Rovereto by the rector of the University of Verona Pier Francesco Nocini, the rector of the University of Trento, Flavio Deflorian, the Provincial Councillor for Economic Development, Research and Employment of the Province of Trento, Achille Spinelli, the mayor of the City of Rovereto, Francesco Valduga, and the director of Cerism, Federico Schena. The president of Trentino Sviluppo, Sergio Anzelini, was also present.
The centre, that is already well-known and regarded, brings together science and sport and, with this interuniversity approach, will open up to collaborations with other research centres and universities in Italy and beyond.
"Cerism – rector Nocini explained – is one of the many collaborations in place between the universities of Verona and Trento, such as the School of Medicine, the degree programmes in Health professions, Bioengineering, History and Sport, in the area of education, and various other projects in the area of research. The agreement that we signed today aims to make Cerism an inter-university centre, again. It is the result of a collaboration strategy that we have agreed with the rector of the University of Trento, with whom I have had the pleasure of working in recent years. I also would like to underline the positive role that the Province of Trento has always played in this relationship, and the support by Trentino Sviluppo and the City of Rovereto, that has worked side by side with the universities since the foundation of the centre.
The team that now makes up Cerism is therefore more than ready for the Olympic Games, the great sport event that will also take place in Trentino and represents a challenge and an opportunity. The activities of the interuniversity centre will be decided by a joint committee made up of the representatives of the four institutions, while the activities will be organized by a steering committee, composed by two faculty members from each university. Professor Federico Schena was confirmed as director.
"The collaboration between the University of Trento and the University of Verona has led to many successful projects over the years in education and research. One of these is certainly the inter-university Master's degree in "Sports science and performance", which is partially based in Rovereto within the Progetto Manifattura incubator," commented Rector Deflorian. "Today's agreement strengthens this cooperation in a key area for innovation and life sciences in Rovereto, developing the field of research that goes hand in hand with education. Sport is indeed a powerful driver for development and especially in Trentino that, based on a recent survey, is the most physically active province in Italy with a strong network combining sport, the economy and society. The new interuniversity agreement between Verona and Trento is part of this network, and it also includes the City of Rovereto and Trentino Sviluppo."
"I am pleased – added councillor Spinelli - that the universities of Trento and Verona today further strengthen their fruitful relationship with this agreement, and that this takes place in the new spaces of Progetto Manifattura in Rovereto, that have been created precisely to foster collaboration between the business world and public and private research centres to promote knowledge and skills. This creates a chain of knowledge production to the benefit of the young people who are studying at the University of Mountain Sports, at the Manifattura Complex, in the Chimney building. From here, they will have the opportunity to continue their studies, conduct research, write their thesis or specialize at Cerism or at its partner companies of the sport sector. Besides, the Manifattura complex is not far from via del Brennero, where Trentino Sviluppo, the Province and the University of Trento are working together at the former Ariston industrial complex to create the "Polo Scienze della Vita", the life sciences facility that will serve as an incubator for start-ups in the biotechnology sector".
"I am satisfied to see that another piece of the puzzle goes into place after a long time," said Mayor Francesco Valduga. "Our city knows how important it is to invest in innovation and research and that it can do so through the University. This requires investments of course, but also ideas. However, beyond financial resources, we know that we are reaping what previous administrations have sown by collaborating with institutions, the world of sport, sports clubs and companies, in a context that goes far beyond the provincial borders. This agreement consolidates the relationship between the two universities and their people, who are not competing against each other but building something together.
Headquartered at the Be Factory of Progetto Manifattura, the business incubator of Trentino Sviluppo, Cerism is a multifunctional and modular facility to conduct research, equipped with cutting-edge laboratories, with work and study spaces that can welcome researchers from everywhere in the world. The centre will be able to provide new opportunities to companies through projects and collaborations that will create innovation and foster research into products that can improve the performance of athletes.
The consolidated collaboration in academic education between the University of Trento and the University of Verona also led to the first master's programme in Mountain Sports, that opens interesting perspectives for graduates in the area of outdoor and mountain sports.
Cerism, the research centre on sport, mountain and health, was established in 2010. Researchers and professionals carry out basic and applied research in the field of sports and physical activity studying, in particular, the adaptation to the natural environment, outdoor sport performance and in extreme environments in hypoxia and hypothermia.
The centre offers services such as functional and physiological evaluations, medical support, counselling and research commissioned by individuals, institutions, sport clubs and associations, and companies. These include the long-standing collaboration with the Italian Winter Sports Federation (Fisi) and with the other sports federations in the sector, with Coni (Italian Olympic Committee) and Coni Trentino and with major sports equipment and clothing companies.
The centre also provides teacher training, post-graduate courses on mountain sport activities, the international master's course in "Outdoor activities for health", training courses with Scuola dello Sport of Coni Trentino on sports and physical activity, organizes national and international congresses, and promotion events and sports education activities.
The Center has the following laboratories: Biomechanics and Human Locomotion, Ergonomics and Comfort, Physiology in Extreme Environments, Exercise Physiology and Functional Evaluation, Muscle Strength and Functionality, Prototyping for Research. The Centre also has a Sports Medicine Clinic accredited by the Autonomous Province of Trento that can provide specialist exams and exams for sport practice, as well as functional evaluation tests. All laboratories are equipped with state of the art technology.
And there are also two special laboratories: the advanced locomotion laboratory and the extreme environments laboratory. The first, 4 meters high over 90 square meters, contains a large treadmill (2.5 x 3.5m) for any type of physical exercise including skiing and skating. This laboratory is also used by athletes of the national Nordic ski teams for functional assessment tests and biomechanical and neuromuscular analyses for technical improvement. The second laboratory is focused on how the body adapts to extreme environments. It is suitable for extended stays, and is able to simulate different altitudes including Himalayan ones. Extreme temperatures can range from -30°C to over 70°C, and the new air conditioning management system, created by the South Tyrolean company Frigotherm Ferrari, ensures a very precise temperature control.