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Italy's MIT Grows, And So Does Controversy Over It

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Science  19 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5934, pp. 1502
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1502

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Six years ago, the Italian government launched the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) with the grand goal of using scientific and engineering research to boost the country's struggling economy. Last month, IIT released its second 3-year strategic plan, noting that almost 400 peer-reviewed articles have been credited to IIT and boasting that IIT has fulfilled all its promises. Not so, say the institute's critics. IIT was expected to partner with Italian industry, but not a single Italian company has funded research with it so far. And although there has been a string of positive evaluations by IIT's own scientific committee, the Italian government has declined to release a recent independent assessment of IIT that, according to its authors, is highly critical.