IIT carries out activities of research, assessment, technological transfer and training in the field of Information and Communications Technologies and in the sector of computational sciences. In perfect harmony with the activities of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union, IIT very naturally and clearly has its sights set on the Internet of the future. The Institute has, in fact, consolidated its know-how in algorithmics and in areas of research and development, such as the “Internet of things” and “Internet of services”. These range from high speed, mobile and pervasive telematic networks, to issues of security and privacy, to innovative Web technologies, but which also include new ICT applications concerning the governance of the Future Internet.
Despite its recent establishment and the situation of uncertainty that has characterized the CNR in recent years, IIT has gained an important role within national and international research in the Internet sector through the following activities: scientific publications, the organization of important national and international events, the scientific coordination of national and international research projects, the organization of a post-graduate university course on Internet technologies and a PhD school "Pisa international school on next generation Internet". Both of them were organized in cooperation with the Information Engineering Department of the University of Pisa.
The research group on calculator networks, previously based at the CNUCE and now part of the IIT, has played an important role to reach this target. With this acquisition, IIT has developed its potential of action in the field of networks; it deals both with technological aspects for the development of network architectures at national and European level and with fundamental research, including computational aspects. These activities are carried out thanks to external funds, through the participation to EU and MIUR research programs, through the cooperation with the Tuscany region and other public bodies, and trough activities carried out for the private sector (internet service providers/maintainers)
In IIT, research and applications are integrated in perfect synergy: fundamental research results have an invaluable test bed in the applications and new hints for research come exactly from the management of the applications. This close interaction has allowed the development of Internet services which play a key role in the self-funding for the research carried out by the institute. Among these services, the management for the domain name for the country code TopLevelDomain .it and .eu is the most important. Research in the sector of logic security of information, with reference to "web-services", multicast protocols, m-commerce, privacy, trust and anonymity problems (so important for the topics of the Sixth Framework Programme) is an example of how a service can stimulate new research activities. This activity started within our Institute to meet the needs of safe transactions in ccTLD.it and later became an autonomous scientific activity.
The general aim was to set up a creative institute and for this reason IIT has included synergic and complementary skills. Activities related to wireless networks and to the World Wide Web technologies are a clear example of this synergy: results are usually obtained thanks to the cooperation of researchers skilled in computational mathematics and researchers skilled in information engineering. This activity was documented among the Focus of the CNR. Cooperation with other institutes is extremely important for the scientific and technological growth. This strategy is carried out through the participation to national and international associations as:
In the Internet sector, IIT represents the Italian Registry in charge with the registration and management of domain names within the country code top level domain "it" (ISO 3166). This role has been assigned by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) since 1987, and later on by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). There are more than 1.300.000 domain names registered in the ccTLD "it" which belong to natural and juridical persons coming from different EU member states. Due to this activity, IIT interacts with around 2500 italian and foreign provider/maintainer.
This activity presents peculiar aspects with respect to IIT research activities and therefore it requires specific skills in several fields (management, organization, technology, legal, administrative) in order to supply modern and reliable services at a national and international level.
IIT is a founding member of ASBL EURid, together with the Belgian and the Swedish Registries, which has been appointed by the European Union for the management of TLD .eu.
IIT has a workforce of 169 units made by staff employed by CNR, research grants , university researchers and temporary co-operators.
Institute presentation - December 2008 (PDF 2.1 MB)