The Institute

Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) is a research and innovation centre operating in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) domain. Founded in 2000 by Compagnia di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino, today ISMB relies on the technological and process competences of around 150 researchers working in close cooperation with companies, academia and public administration. ISMB operates according to the knowledge management model: this means that it plays an active role not only in devising innovative solutions, but also in their implementation and consequent developments. This approach represents a step forward with respect to technology transfer, and in this sense the evolutionary lines of European research are taken into account.

ISMB is organised in Research Areas focused on some core sectors of ICT: computing infrastructure based on technologies of cloud computing solutions and electromagnetic simulation (Advanced Computing & Electromagnetics), optical communications and optoelectronics (Applied Photonics), use of ICT as a strategic tool for the promotion of sustainable development (Innovation Development), mobile solutions and data management (Mobile Solutions), wireless systems for the effective delivery of Internet services under mobility (Multi-Layer Wireless Solutions), technologies and systems related to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Navigation Technologies), wireless sensor networks and technologies enabling the paradigm of the Internet of Things (Pervasive Technologies).

Since 2011 ISMB has extended its activities to process innovation, orienting its focus on priority themes of the European agenda. Such an evolution aims at exploiting excellences and results obtained by Research Areas into Strategic Programs that are interdisciplinary by nature. Smart Energy, Smart City and Smart Health are the strategic programs tackled by ISMB, representing the first step of a broader action aimed at high-value social projects. Consistently with process innovation goals, the Institute has developed a strong competence in new business models that are a necessary component for the economic sustainability of innovative solutions. Moreover, the Institute is involved in several industrial cooperation activities with both large enterprises and SMEs, as well as in various higher-education initiatives in partnership with academic institutions.

The organisation structure of ISMB was recently updated to achieve three primary objectives: consolidate its Research Areas through the unification and focusing of skills; further develop the Strategic Programs strengthen and value relationship with stakeholders, both internally and externally to the Institute, by means of the Functions. The Functions support the Research Areas and the Strategic Programs, by focusing on: emerging trend and research opportunities analysis (Emerging Trends & Opportunities); elaboration of innovative models for post-university and professional education able to value the technological competences of the Institute, (Higher & Professional Education); the relationships with enterprises and public administrations to create opportunities for the dissemination of research activities carried out by the Institute (Partners & Front-End); management of institutional processes and communication (Research Support & Secretariat).


1999 Compagnia di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino sign a mutual cooperation agreement for the development of the ICT field in Turin. Compagnia di San Paolo then opens a financing line for 42 billion lire to Politecnico; 8 billion are allocated to establish a Higher Institute on Information & Communication Technologies.

2000 The association “Istituto Superiore Mario Boella sulle Tecnologie dell’Informazione e delle Telecomunicazioni” is set up, with Compagnia di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino as founding members.

2001 Cerved, Motorola, STMicroelectronics and Telecom Italia Lab (TILab, former CSELT) become ordinary partners of the Institute.

2002 ISMB takes part in Torino Wireless Foundation as founding partner supporting it with R&D and technological transfer activities.

2003 The Institute becomes “Operating Body” of Compagnia di San Paolo and moves to the new premises located in Via Pier Carlo Boggio. The new laboratories are inaugurated: Antennas & EMC, e-Security, Networking, Photonlab, Radio Technologies for Multimedia, Services & Applications.

2004 The NavSAS Group of Politecnico di Torino moves to the ISMB building, thus starting the cooperation between the two entities.

2005 SKF joins the industrial partners of the Institute. ISMB and Politecnico di Torino launch the “Master on Navigation and Related Applications”.

2006 For the first time the overall ISMB annual turnover surpasses 10 million euros.

2007 The Institute becomes a partner of Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC), which opens an office in the new Campus of Politecnico (Cittadella Politecnica).

2008 The e-Security Lab extends its activity on banking and insurance sectors, in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo.

2009 ISMB reinforces its research activity, by focusing also on higher education and training activities in close cooperation with Politecnico di Torino.

2010 The Institute signs an agreement with Microsoft Corporation to manage Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC).

2011 ISMB changes the structure of its research domain by defining seven Research Areas (Information Management, Information System Architectures and SW Technologies, Innovation Development, Multi-Layer Wireless Solutions, Navigation Technologies, Pervasive Technologies, and Photonics) and three Strategic Programs (Smart Energy, Smart City, and Smart Health).

2012 The Partnership Program is launched, with the aim of facilitating the collaboration between the Institute and enterprises.

2013 ISMB defines new Functions (Emerging Trends & Opportunities, Higher & Professional Education, Front-End, Marketing & Communications and Research Support & Secretariat) and consolidates its Research Areas to maximize results.