Third Mission

Politecnico and its contribution to society

The University’s Third Mission consists in fostering the social, economic and cultural development of the territory of reference. This Mission works alongside the other two traditional ones: didactics and research. The actions of Politecnico di Milano supporting the Third Mission are structured according to the following lines of intervention:




Politecnico di Milano aims to play a driving role in research and innovation, combining cutting-edge technological contents with social issues. A flexible and interdisciplinary research that counts on structures of excellence and on the development of human capital, while successfully obtaining financing from European programmes. Among the main objectives: a consolidated relationship with enterprises, also by supporting start-ups and enterprise development.


Poli360 is the new investment fund – the only one of its kind in Italy – that hinges on the University’s research potentialities and fields of competence, as well as on the Technology Transfer Platform managed by the TTO and the incubator PoliHub. The investments support the development of high technology projects and start-ups – based on research and intellectual property – in the sectors of industrial manufacturing and automation, energy efficiency management, civil infrastructure and telecommunication, development of advanced materials and design.


Our University promotes entrepreneurship within its structures by establishing spin-offs, new high-tech enterprises aimed to transform the scientific and technological know-how into innovations that can be exploited from a commercial viewpoint through the realisation of products or services. The creation of the Poli360 fund allows to support entrepreneurial projects and stimulate the collaboration of corporate partners. The aim is to impart both internationality and scalability from the very outset of the spin-offs’ lifecycle, as such characteristics are at the basis of entrepreneurial success.
List of spin-offs


PoliHub is the Startup District & Incubator of Politecnico di Milano. It is the ideal place to enhance ideas, transforming them into an entrepreneurial project. PoliHub is addressed also to well-established high-tech firms, offering the possibility to share knowledge and to access the network of one of the best technological universities at European level for the launching of new entrepreneurs. It is managed by Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.



"Cantieri" for the city of Milan

The “Cantieri” are practical projects shared with the city of Milan: initiatives with and for the city aimed to make Milan increasingly appealing. They are open laboratories devoted to innovation and research involving the best realities of the territory (bodies, institutions, enterprises) relating specifically to relevant technological themes: industry 4.0 (competence centre with MISE); smart cities (5G with Vodafone and the Municipality of Milan); health (Human Technopole); frailty of the territories (projects for urban recovery with the municipality); cultural heritage (Fabbrica del Duomo).


Self-financing constitutes, alongside the Ordinary Financing Fund (FFO) and students’ taxes, one of the main forms of support of Politecnico di Milano. It is made up of research contracts, consultancy and didactics addressed to national and foreign private enterprises as well as Bodies. It also includes competitive financing mainly toward the European Union entered into principally by the University’s departmental Structures. These last years’ trend shows a constant growth: 99,447 k€ (2013), 97,795 k€ (2014), 98,788 k€ (2015), 104,390 k€ (2016), 111,226 k€ (2017).


Politecnico enhances inventions owing to a technology transfer process based on the scouting of scientific results, pre-seed financing and the technological development of projects. Specific paths are also envisaged such as the Switch2Product competition and Poli360, a venture capital fund devoted to supporting Politecnico’s innovative potential. The direct relationship with enterprises - strengthened owing to the promotion of new technologies via the Internet (Polilink) - is realised by granting patents to third parties or through other forms of collaboration with the entrepreneurial environment.
Patent Portfolio

Social responsibility

Politecnico di Milano is committed in helping its students and researchers to understand the complex relationship between science, innovation, technology and socio-economic systems, so that they may improve their ability to produce a positive impact on the community. Such aim requires to adopt a long-term view, a change of mentality, a new approach and a widespread knowledge sharing: important goals that can be achieved one step at a time.

Cantieri per la città di Milano

I “Cantieri” sono azioni progettuali condivise con la città di Milano: iniziative con e per la città, allo scopo di rendere Milano sempre più attrattiva. Sono laboratori aperti di innovazione e ricerca, partecipati dalle migliori realtà del territorio (enti, istituzioni, imprese) e dedicati a temi tecnologici di punta: industria 4.0 (competence center con MISE); smart cities  (5G con Vodafone e Comune di Milano); salute (Human Technopole); fragilità dei territori (progetti di recupero urbano con la municipalità); beni culturali (Fabbrica del Duomo).

Città Studi Sustainable Campus

Città Studi Sustainable Campus is a project promoted by Politecnico di Milano and Università degli Studi di Milano with the aim to transform the university district into a campus and a part of the city as points of reference for their exemplary quality of life and environmental sustainability through the active involvement of researchers, students and inhabitants. The goals: to renew the campus from a sustainable standpoint; to experiment the innovations produced by the University’s research projects; to rethink lifestyles and create more welcoming environments; to develop a better model of reference for the entire city to be applied first of all internally; to collaborate with international circuits relating to campuses and sustainable projects.


Polisocial is an academic social responsibility programme through which Politecnico di Milano intends to spur public commitment and cooperation within initiatives triggering development. Among such initiatives, an important role is played by the “Polisocial Award” aimed to support scientific research with a high social impact through the funds of 5x1000 Irpef. From 2013 to date, within the scope of the “Polisocial Award,” 183 projects have been submitted and 30 have been financed; the amount earmarked is equal to 2,970,666 € (2,043,000 € the amount paid out).


Owing to a close and fruitful network of relations and strategic alliances with cultural bodies and institutions, both national and international, Politecnico di Milano organises various cycles of cultural events open to the city, enhancing the University’s role as catalyst of free culture available to all. Shows, concerts, meetings, book presentations, conferences, laboratories, exhibitions, guided tours, film discussion groups, all ranging from science to technology, from architecture to design, from art to book trade … give life to a rich programme of events throughout the year. Free initiatives open to the city are organised in Politecnico’s classrooms and in the renovated piazza in front of the historical premises of the University, transforming these places into increasingly alive areas “lived” by citizens of all ages. The calendar of the appointments is available at:

Art and Science

Launched in 2017, the cycle of events "Art and Science" offers a series of meetings in which the personalities of the cultural, fashion, political, entertainment, sports, and philosophical environments dialogue with the professors of Politecnico di Milano. The aim is to highlight the close relationship between art and science, creativity and technology. 

Incontro con l'autore

"Incontro con l’autore" is the new cycle of cultural activities in which writers and well-known personalities of the cultural, political and entrepreneurial environments, authors of books and essays dialogue openly with students and citizens, personally telling their stories, sharing their ideas and proposals, also answering the audience’s questions.

Mantova Architettura

MantovArchitettura is an event organised every year (in the month of May) at the Mantova Campus of Politecnico di Milano, within the scope of the activities promoted by the UNESCO Chairs Programme in "Architectural Preservation and Planning in World Heritage Cities.” During the event, a series of exhibitions, lessons, workshops and conferences are organised inside the monumental buildings of Mantova.

Meet Me Tonight

An annual appointment connected to the European Researchers’ Night aimed to disseminate scientific culture and the knowledge of research professions among citizens of all ages, through events and initiatives: stands with experiments, scientific demonstrations, interactive laboratories, popular talks, meetings with researchers, role-playing games, guided tours, theatrical performances, concerts. With the participation and the contribution of universities, public and research bodies.


A cycle of exclusive bus tours around the city to view buildings and places in Milan designed or realised by Politecnico’s alumni and professors. Symbols of Milano Politecnica, not all of the places visited are always accessible. For the occasion, special guides – the University’s professors or former professors - reveal anecdotes, peculiarities and design secrets. The tours (from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) - free of charge and with short stops in the most significant places - are thought out and led by architects, designers, art critics and historians who offer personal keys of interpretation of Milano Politecnica.




Since 2016, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci - owing to a requalification project carried out through the precious collaboration between the Municipality of Milan and Politecnico – has become a garden open to the city, a theatre for events and initiatives, not only for the thousands of students that live the piazza every day but also for the citizens of the neighbourhood and the increasing number of curious visitors.
Polimifest, at its third edition, offers a rich programme of summer events.



Polimi International Film Festival

At its fourth edition, Polimi International Film Festival is the film festival devoted to the different cultures of the countries of origin of Politecnico di Milano’s international students. The cycle of films, free of charge and open to all, is organised on a monthly basis with screenings in original language and subtitles in English.


Polimiopenlabs offers the opportunity to live an amusing, educational and especially stimulating experience through guided tours at the research laboratories of Politecnico di Milano and through scientific-popular activities. The aim is to draw visitors of all ages closer to the scientific culture.


A cycle of events and conferences realised in accordance with the TED (Technology Entertainment Design) standards, a format of events created by an American no profit association. TEDxPolitecnicodiMilanoU combines live performances and videos from TED’s video-case with the aim to foster relationships and debates among participants.

Tutti all’università!

"Tutti all’università," at its eighth edition, is a cycle of lessons held by professors of Politecnico di Milano in the University’s classrooms, organised in collaboration with the magazine Focus Junior and devoted specifically to children and youngsters from 7 to 13 years of age.

The World at Polimi

A series of initiatives and events organised by Polimi’s international students devoted to their countries of origin: an opportunity for Politecnico’s community to discover different cultures, customs and traditions.
Among the activities: exhibitions, conferences, screenings, artistic performances, crafts, language laboratories, tastings.

Milano Arch Week

A week of meetings, performances, dialogues, readings and public debates devoted to architecture and urban transformation, with the participation of well-known international personalities in the field of architecture. It is held in the month of June and is promoted by the Municipality of Milan, Politecnico and Triennale, that collaborate in opening urban spaces, studios, editorial offices, buildings for the realisation of a widespread event that greatly highlights how Milan is a city of reference in architecture.

  • AlumniPolimi Alumni

    The Alumni Polimi Association is the Association of Politecnico di Milano’s graduates greatly wanted by the University’s Governance. The Association is led by a Board of 9 Alumni, it counts more than 1,000 Supporting Members and is provided with a specially devoted Office. Its two aims are to develop solid relationships among the Alumni and to maintain a continuous bond between the University and its former students.


    POK - Polimi Open Knowledge is the first Italian university MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) portal offering free on-line courses open to all. It is simply necessary to register on the portal in order to access videos, contents, activities and self-assessment tests. It is based on Open-edX, the open source platform issued by edX – an initiative originated from a joint venture between MIT and Harvard.