The Professional Training Unit of CNR-STIIMA operates in line with CNR’s third mission – which is one of the institutional missions of universities and research institutions, representing the “propensity of the structures to open up to the socio-economic context, exercised through the valorization and transfer of knowledge”- in the field of professional training with specific reference to:

  • ITS (Higher Technical Institutes) and IFTS (Higher Technical Education and Training)
  • PCTO (Pathways for Soft Skills and Orientation) • Continuous Training for companies and other operators in the relevant sector
  • Cross-cutting actions to support professional training

The Unit is coordinated by ELISABETTA OLIVERI and constituted by:

ITS Academy

ITS The Higher Technical Institutes – ITS Academy – represents the first Italian experience in tertiary professional education, following a system established for several years in other European countries. Established in 2010 to train higher-level technicians in strategic areas for Italy’s economic development and competitiveness, they are high-tech schools closely connected to the productive system. They prepare specialized middle managers to be inserted into companies to help manage and leverage the potential of Industry 4.0/5.0 solutions.

ITS Academies provide the opportunity to obtain a Higher Technical Diploma with skills certification corresponding to Level V of the European Qualifications Framework. The EUROPASS diploma supplement accompanies the diploma to facilitate national and European mobility.

The programs have a two-year duration (a total of 2000 hours). The course includes a mandatory internship period, lasting at least 30% of the total hours, in companies operating in the relevant sectors. At least 50% of the teaching staff come from the business world and the professions, complemented by teachers from the research and university sectors.

ITS Academies are organized according to the participatory foundation model in collaboration with companies, universities/research and technological centers, local authorities, schools, and training systems.



IFTS courses, Higher Technical Education, and Training represent an integrated educational channel developed in collaboration between schools, universities, companies, and training agencies for training Specialized Technicians as post-secondary professional figures responding to public and private job market demands.

These programs have an annual duration of 1000 hours and include internships, which can also be organized abroad, accounting for at least 40% of the total hours.

At the end of the program, the qualification awarded is the Certificate of Higher Technical Specialization (Level IV EQF), which allows access to ITS programs.

Within the framework of ITS and IFTS courses, in line with the Institute’s mission and especially with CNR’s Third Mission CNR-STIIMA conducts the following activities:

  • Defining the professional profile at the end of the courses, based on the collection and analysis of the training needs of stakeholders in the relevant market, and translating them into skills-knowledge-abilities
  • Designing ITS/IFTS courses or parts thereof
  • Scientific coordination and/or participation in the Scientific Technical Committees of Foundations offering ITS and IFTS programs
  • Teaching and support for teaching
  • Support for laboratory activities and the provision of equipment and experimental applications
  • Development of project work characterized by real projects where acquired knowledge and skills are put into practice
  • Training for trainers

PCTO paths are curricular projects that allow students from Secondary Schools to integrate traditional classroom training with training periods at companies or private/public organizations. These paths are undertaken by students in the third, fourth, and fifth years.

Activities carried out by CNR-STIIMA within the scope of PCTO: 

  • Designing PCTO pathways in collaboration with requesting schools
  • Coordinating and mentoring PCTO
  • Dissemination and communication of the activities carried out

Training programs aimed at company personnel, professionals, and, more broadly, all operators in the application areas of CNR-STIIMA. These programs are designed based on specific needs and aimed at disseminating knowledge about new technologies in an Industry 4.0/5.0 context.

Activities carried out by CNR-STIIMA in the field of continuous training:

  • Designing customized training programs for companies and other operators in the relevant sector
  • Implementation of courses: management, realization, and monitoring
  • Seeking funding opportunities for continuous training

CNR-STIIMA has established and operates a Training Unit. This unit, active in the field of professionalizing training, carries out targeted actions such as:

  • Analysis of training needs in the reference market
  • Definition of new professional figures
  • Development of new teaching methodologies
  • Use of new technologies to support training
  • Training of trainers