The project

Overview of the project's key components

The European Marie Curie (MSCA) COFUND project will train a new generation of qualified experts in the complex cultural, organisational, environmental, technological and political dynamics linked to the application of Big Data. Coordinated by the University of Bologna in collaboration with the Region and all the Universities of Emilia-Romagna, it is co-funded with 9 million euros. Thanks to an international call for applications, 53 candidates will be selected for as many PhD scholarships.

Overall description of the project

Big-data management through high-performance computing is nowadays considered as the richness of the new knowledge economy, providing unprecedented opportunities in several R&I and applicative domains, from climate change to health, from mobility to cultural heritage, from digital change in production systems to new materials and financial analysis. In Italy, 70% of the national computing and storage capacity is set in the Emilia-Romagna Region, making it an authentic Data Valley.

In this context, the University of Bologna, in partnership with the other 5 Universities located in the region, with the support of the Regional Authority and involving the relevant stakeholders, is proposing “FutureData4EU”, a project to train the Data Science experts of tomorrow through an interdisciplinary, international and cross-sectoral approach.

The FutureData4EU programme is open to a variety of areas around Big Data research and knowledge, grouped in: (1) Health, (2) Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society, (3) Civil Security for Society, (4) Digital, Industry and Space, (5) Climate, Energy and Mobility, (6) Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment, (7) Enabling Technologies. 

Partner Universities: University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Parma. University of Ferrara, Politecnico di Milano, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Why this project

Big-data management, facilitated by high-performance computing, stands as a cornerstone of the emerging knowledge economy, offering unprecedented prospects across various realms, spanning from climate studies to financial analytics. The Emilia-Romagna Region, home to 70% of Italy's computing and storage capacity, establishes itself as an authentic Data Valley.

Recognizing the vital role of supercomputing infrastructure in bolstering European competitiveness, there arises a pressing need for skilled experts in data science and big data application within pertinent societal and industrial sectors. In response to this demand, the University of Bologna, in collaboration with five other regional universities and relevant stakeholders, introduces FutureData4EU. This innovative initiative aims to train the data science leaders of tomorrow through a multidisciplinary, international, and cross-sectoral approach. Leveraging existing PhD programs, FutureData4EU offers an integrated curriculum that combines advanced research training with transversal skills development, focusing on the multi- and trans-disciplinary landscape of Big Data, encompassing enabling technologies and thematic areas delineated by Horizon Europe Clusters (1. Health; 2. Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society; 3. Civil Security for Society; 4. Digital, Industry and Space; 5. Climate, Energy and Mobility; 6. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment).

Project opportunities

The project will run for five years and will recruit 53 candidates through an international call for applications, of which 21 will be assigned to University of Bologna, 9 each to University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Parma and University of Ferrara, 3 to the Piacenza Territorial Pole of Politecnico di Milano and 2 to the Piacenza Campus of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Building on the existing PhD courses in the Universities in theEmilia-Romagna region, it will offer an innovative combination of training, research and transversal skills in the field of Data Science. Doctoral students will specialise in the complex cultural, organisational, environmental, technological and political dynamics related to the application of Big Data.

Selected candidates will be enrolled in the doctoral courses of each University and will be contracted with a research fellowship (“assegno di ricerca”).