University of Catania
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RESearch and innovation on future Telecommunications systems and networks, to make Italy more smart
national research
PNRR - Partenariati estesi
Decreto Direttoriale MUR n. 341 del 15/03/2022 - Avviso pubblico per la presentazione di Proposte di intervento per la creazione di “Partenariati estesi alle università, ai centri di ricerca, alle aziende per il finanziamento di progetti di ricerca di base” – nell’ambito del Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, Missione 4 “Istruzione e ricerca” – Componente 2 “Dalla ricerca all’impresa” – Investimento 1.3, finanziato dall’Unione europea – NextGenerationEU
Main ERC field: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Unict role: 
Duration (months): 
Start date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2023
End date: 
Wednesday, December 31, 2025
Total cost: 
€ 118.357.057,50
Unict cost: 
€ 9.540.179,77
Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"
Principal investigator in Unict: 
Prof. Sergio Palazzo
University department involved: 
Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
  • CNR
  • Politecnico di Bari
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • Politecnico di Torino
  • Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa
  • Università degli Studi di Bologna
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II"
  • Università degli Studi di Padova
  • Università degli Studi di Reggio Calabria
  • Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
  • Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le TLC
  • Fondazione Ugo Bordoni
  • Open Fiber
  • TIM
  • Vodafone
  • Ericsson
  • Prysmian
  • Athonet


The research and development program RESTART has been funded by European Union – NextGenerationEU with 116 million euros, making it the most important public R&D program ever implemented in the Telecommunications sector in Italy. The program has a duration of 3 years, starting from January 2023.

RESTART has the ambitious goal of contributing to shaping the evolution of Telecommunications in Italy, restarting a sector that possesses world-class expertise and experience. It focuses on the main topics of Telecommunications science and technology, including all types of related systems and networks for both human and non-human users. For example: high-capacity fixed networks; 5G/6G cellular networks; local area networks; satellite networks; the Internet; applications, and services in various sectors such as agriculture, commerce, energy, finance, industry, media, health, security, and transportation. RESTART will leverage and contribute to technologies such as distributed cloud, artificial intelligence, programmable hardware architectures, integrated optics and optical computing, optoelectronics, and sensing.

The activities of the RESTART program are structured into seven “missions”: 1) Research; 2) Laboratories, Proof of Concept, and Demonstrators; 3) Innovation and Technology Transfer; 4) Support for Start-ups and Spin-offs; 5) Education and Training; 6) Research Doctorates; 7) Communication, Standardization, and Open Source Solutions. In turn, the “Research” mission consists of 32 projects divided in 14 large-scale so-called “structural projects”, accompanied by 18 “focused projects”, each related to one of the structural projects. RESTART involves 25 partners and a structure organized into Hubs and Spokes, where the Hub represented by the “RESTART Foundation” manages and coordinates 8 Spokes related to eight major scientific themes that carry out the activities to achieve the goals.

RESTART provides enabling factors that set in motion virtuous cycles and aims to deliver concrete results at the end of the program, including: structural improvement of research in the sector; the ability to use telecommunications in various sectors; specific initiatives targeting industrial districts and the southern regions of Italy; digital transformation of industries and administrations; creation of new companies and an increase in the average size of companies; an increase in the number of students, researchers, and telecommunications professionals; overall social and economic impact that justifies the investments made.

RESTART also intends to highlight the role of telecommunications in our society: telecommunications must be perceived by the general public for what they are—an essential resource, strategically important for national interests, which must be managed with appropriate policies and a long-term vision. Otherwise, not only will we lack sovereignty and independence in the telecommunications sector in Italy, but we will also lose the ability to contribute to the development of telecommunications in other countries, and even jeopardize our understanding of the technology, relegating ourselves to the role of unwitting purchasers of products from other countries. Therefore, RESTART is a critical and strategically valuable initiative for Italy.