UNIVR - The Università degli Studi di Verona (UNIVR) is a young and dynamic public institution, established in Verona in 1982. It has more than 23000 students and around 60 courses (including bachelor, master and PhD courses). According to the prestigious business Italian journal “Il Sole 24 Ore”, in 2015 the University of Verona was ranked 1st in Italy for the quality of the research and teaching. The University of Verona has participated in more than 70 EU projects. The project activities will be carried out by two departments of UNIVR, the Department of Biotechnology (mainly involved in activities related to stormwater treatment and management) and the Department of Computer Science (mainly involved in activities related to the smart robotic boats).
The Department of Biotechnology has a successful record of fulfilling and managing EU research contracts. Some 50 people make up the permanent research staff of the department, more than 50 PhD students and 20 technicians, and a large postgraduate population of research fellows, assistants and contract researchers representing 80% of researchers employed in the Department. A PhD course in Biotechnology is part of the department's postgraduate programme. The Group of Environmental and Bioprocess Engineering is a leader in the sectors of wastewater treatment and management and biowaste and sludge management, with an average income for research projects (both public and private) of 500 k€ per year in the last five years. The group has a consolidated experience in the management and implementation of EU projects and a stable network with water and waste public and private companies and water authorities.
The Department of Computer Science counts about 50 Faculty members, about 30 PhD students, 40 Postdocs, 30 Research Assistants. It has a significant record of EU and national research projects (27 grants for a total of 7.7 M€ in the period 2007-2013) and it is very active in several research areas including Cyber- Physical systems and Machine Intelligence. The department offers degrees at various level (with a total of a thousand students) including a Master degree in Computer Science and Engineering and a PhD course in Computer Science. Within the Department, the research described in this proposal will be carried out by the AI and Robotics group using the facilities of the ALTAIR robotics lab. The group includes three professors, 7 PhD students and 4 post-docs. It has a decade long history of research on intelligent autonomous systems and robotics with applications that range from service robotics, to search and rescue and bio-inspired robotic systems. The group has been involved in 9 EU projects (3 as coordinator). The ALTAIR laboratory employs a staff of about 20 people, with a strong background in several areas of robotics including mobile robotics, robot programming and robotic software development.