Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo (FCSP) has renewed its University Agreements for the three-year period 2022–2024 with five universities in Piedmont, Liguria and Campania, to support the development of the university system and the surrounding areas.

Harnessing the value of research

FCSP’s support for the development of the university system, both as a centre of learning and research, and as a contributing factor to local development is provided through a variety of tools. Fundamental amongst these are the agreements with universities in Piedmont, Liguria and Campania.

In particular, these three-year agreements have been signed with five universities:

  • University of Turin;
  • Polytechnic of Turin;
  • University of Eastern Piedmont;
  • University of Genoa;
  • University of Naples Federico II.

The university agreements support a programme of activities defined and agreed with the universities, monitored annually and evaluated at the end of the three-year period.

Since 2006, the total financial contribution earmarked by FCSP for the development of the university system is 219 million euros.


Agreements defined by a data-driven strategy

For the three-year period 2022-2024, the agreements signed with the Universities are again based on a careful analysis of the context drawn from various data sources

  • ministerial rewards: FFO [ordinary financing fund for Italian universities], VQR [evaluation of research quality] and departments of excellence;
  • resources for research: in terms of grants won and attracted;
  • performance in the latest H2020 years.

The agreements with universities were renewed in 2019 for the three-year period 2019-2021 according to the Grand Challenge – Missions – Mission Projects model, inspired by the European Commission.

Having identified the Grand Challenge as “Innovative, competitive and attractive universities”, the four Missions that contribute to its achievement, consistent with with the structure of the 2019-2021 Agreements, are:

  • to support the universities in the European competition after Horizon 2020 with actions consistent with Horizon Europe;
  • to promote innovation in teaching to reduce the mismatch between skills and market needs;
  • to improve the performance of universities to increase ministerial rewards with system strategies at local level;
  • to promote advanced strategies for the management, protection and promotion of the intellectual property generated.

Under the 2022-2024 University Agreements, FCSP also intends to support actions intended to enable universities to access competitive European and national resources, including Next Generation EU, Horizon Europe and the tenders envisaged under the NRRP.

To this end, three new areas of intervention have been introduced for the new three-year period, namely:

a “cross-cutting” area intended to implement structural strengthening processes for the benefit of universities; the “third mission” area, dedicated to public engagement actions, and the “actions for local development” area, dedicated to supporting and strengthening processes, also in ways that are complementary to the NRRP and EU tools.

The main innovation introduced for the current three-year period is a redefinition of the activity, dividing the support provided by FCSP into two lines of intervention. The first, consistent with the past, includes actions managed by the University by implementing jointly defined projects; the second, which is a characteristic of the new Agreements, reserved for initiatives managed by FCSP and/or co-designed by the parties and focused on digital, environmental and social transition issues in line with the NRRP.


Monitoring and evaluation

In agreement with the five universities, a monitoring and evaluation plan for the Agreements has been established to monitor the progress of the activities over the three-year period and measure the outcomes of the four missions at the end.

  •  the monitoring will be carried out by asking the universities to document the progress of the actions planned under the agreement via an “online reporting” system and completing an annual final report;
  • the evaluation, which measures the impact and effectiveness of the actions taken (i.e. documenting the progress in terms of competitiveness, attractiveness and innovation), uses a before&after methodology. Once the outcome indicators/variables have been agreed, they are surveyed at the end of the three-year period in order to measure any change.

This project contributes to achieving the following Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure