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Scienze della Terra e del Mare

THE THIRD MISSION - (English Version)


Delegate of “The Third Mission”Prof. Gianluca Sarà


The Third Mission action at DiSTeM is consistent with the guidelines of the University of Palermo. DiSTeM plays an essential role in a territory characterized by complex dynamics from an environmental, social and economic point of view. Thus, on a daily basis, DiSTeM connects (and competes) with other important regional and national academic and institutional research institutions.

The Environment, its management and all possible actions for the achievement of the "Good Environmental Status" (GES) in all the habitats of the Sicily - terrestrial, freshwater (rivers and lakes) and marine - will be the main objectives of the research of the decade 2020-2030. DiSTeM scientists are aware that a crucial tile - among others - to achieve GES is the dissemination to transfer results of scientific research towards all social layers to make sustainable the human action on ecosystems.

DiSTeM involves the largest group of UNIPA scientists from the Earth Science and Life Science sectors who deal with the environment as well as many other skills that transversely touch all environmental issues. In DiSTeM, the study of the environment is therefore the fil rouge being expressed through all possible disciplines, from geophysics to geochemistry and mineralogy, from chemistry to biology, botany, zoology and ecology. The DiSTeM scientists promote dissemination actions of the scientific research, so that they contribute to the socio-economic development of the territory, involving external actors such as companies, associations, organizations as well as the decision-making of the territories where the University of Palermo is located.

Several activities are flagships of the Department and UNIPA and among these the “Collezione Mineralogica” (a museum collection with a large array of minerals) is an example. This museum collection - bringing visitors to a past world that has had a strong socio-economic-environmental impact on the Sicilian territory - shows both the strong ability of DiSTeM scientists to project towards the society and the great transfer capacity. DiSTeM scientists are indeed promoters of scientific conferences, seminars, cultural events, school orientation and alternating school-work and continuous training programs. “Knowledge”, perspectives and skills are also spread through institutional communication, Public Engagement (PE), start-ups, spin-offs, patents and consultancy.

The presence of the scientists of DiSTeM in a large number of regional, national and international scientific networks facilitates the dissemination which is essential to achieve the territorial acceptability of scientific research and the related innovative aspects. DiSTeM scientists represent a territorial reference point for many technicians and practitioners and having direct interactions through strong links with professional orders.

DiSTeM promotes actions with the aim to implement the scientific transfer to the industry and towards the territory and in so doing it concurs to the development and social growth of local societies. This activity is based on the strong inclination of DiSTeM scientists to carry out the Blue Sky Research that feeds the pre-industrial development phases (TRL 4-6) and in some cases also the application (TRL ≥ 7). In this context, DiSTeM is both promoter of spinoff academic entrepreneurship and provider of support, service and assistance in the fields of volcanology, geophysics, geomorphology, technical geology, marine geology, biology and ecology. Most research applications deal with maritime and terrestrial planning with the main aim to provide measures for risk mitigation and socio-ecological and economic conflict reduction at both land and sea making the human action more sustainable.

With the precise objective that derives from the education of its scientists, DiSTeM is unique in UNIPA as through their research directly concur to the achievement of GES. This makes DiSTeM the territorial reference point to inform Public (Region, Province, Departments, Reserves, Municipalities) decision-making and to support SMEs by offering consultancy services such as diagnostic and exploratory investigations, geochemical, geological, biological and ecological analyses, environmental impact analyses, studies, research and consultancy for the design and management of natural resources on land and at sea.