Trust-IT Services: an international SME at the University of Pisa: Understanding novel opportunities for the next generation of ICT students in the EU research & innovation market

Trust-IT Services: an international SME at the University of Pisa: Understanding novel opportunities for the next generation of ICT students in the EU research & innovation market

14 Sep 2020


The University of Pisa is one of the top 10 Italian universities and also one of the best in the world for its research results and the quality of its educational services and post-graduate programmes according to the QS World University Rankings 2020. One of the university’s priorities is instilling knowledge and capacity building both in terms of core theoretical concepts and “practical real-work scenarios” with hands-on training. To achieve this goal, the university has recently started a new initiative with 9 organisations in Tuscany, with an agreement to deliver lectures to its master degree students starting in October 2020, Trust-IT has been selected as one of these 9 companies that have demonstrated an international breadth in its Research and innovation activity. 


Trust-IT Services value added for the master’s degree students

Key differentiators in selecting Trust-IT Services include its international reach and clientele, its vast work experience in IT and digital marketing it can give master students to increase their practical knowledge, highlighting the challenges and methodologies required to succeed in the complex European Research sector. Most importantly, Trust-IT Services will increase career opportunities through the acquisition of specific skills and practical know-how, turning them into valuable assets required by organisations hiring post-graduated and young professionals. 


Methodologies and Challenges of the European Research Sector: The main take-aways for students

Trust-IT operates in the sector of EU Research and Innovation, which has the following 3 main policy goals for:

  • Open Innovation: Including more people in the innovation process to allow knowledge to circulate more freely;
  • Open Science: Fostering scientific and technological innovation by spreading knowledge;
  • Open to the world: Promoting international cooperation in the research community to access the latest knowledge worldwide. 

Despite the excellent research community in Europe, Research & Innovation projects typically struggle not only with reaching their target stakeholders but also conveying their innovations in a way that arouses interest and helps drive uptake in the marketplace. 
Projects need to go that extra mile when it comes to recruiting stakeholders to their communities, using effective tools and formats to engage with them. They also need to spend extra effort in communicating their main technical results, their contribution to the policy priorities, economic and societal impacts. Results are all too often hidden away in technical reports. The key challenge lies in translating results into compelling results with clear benefits for the end-users targeted, as well as creating synergies with complementary initiatives nationally, across Europe and globally with a view to maximising impacts with the resources available.

This is where Trust-IT makes a real difference, and where it will bring tangible benefits in its collaboration with the University of Pisa, guiding its students towards measurable impacts in terms of: 

  1. Stakeholder Analysis and Mapping: Matching stakeholder groups, sectors and communities with the innovations coming from ground-breaking discoveries, new or enhanced products and services developed by European Researchers;
  2. Turning complex and highly technical IT concepts into user-friendly messages: Getting the message right is fundamental. Target stakeholders, from industry, policy, public sector and science, need to quickly grasp key points they need to act on. Messages need to resonate with their IT pain points or research goals. Policy makers, at EU and national level, need to clearly see economic and societal impacts, including relevance to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) so they can justify their investments in research and tick their policy priorities accordingly and define future work programmes;
  3. Engagement and communication: Synergies with complementary research initiatives at a national and European level are key to boosting common impacts and optimising the use of their human and financial resources, drawing on excellent third-party communication and marketing skills to convey core messages, create enticing promotional material and visuals and using pay-per-click advertising campaigns. 
  4. Project Management: European Research Projects are expected to achieve specific and measurable results. This requires excellent Project Management skills to deliver on the work plan, meeting all the set deadlines and reporting on achievements as effectively as possible. Essential management skills span multi-dimensional positioning analysis, market research, knowledge creation and IPR management, KPI definition, business model development, dissemination, exploitation and sustainability strategies. 


Trust-IT initiatives for the University of Pisa: 2 initiatives in the pipeline this Autumn 2020

Trust-IT kicks off its collaboration with the University of Pisa with a lecture to the Marketing and Market Research master’s degree students at the Department of Economics and Management, where Silvana Muscella, CEO & founder of Trust-IT will provide a deep dive into the main challenges and effective marketing strategies to apply to European research initiatives, and what flexible approaches it has introduced with different marketing methods during the time of COVID.

The second initiative Trust-It has been invited to assist to is a seminar on the “Economics of cybersecurity”, covering practical and financial aspects from a business-centric and SME perspective in a highly complex and dynamic cybersecurity landscape. Key insights will come from Paolo Lombardi, Director and Shareholder at Trust-IT Services and founder of COMMpla. The seminar is for cybersecurity master students at the Department of Computer Science Engineering. 

Figure 1 - Economics of Cybersecurity Poster

Trust-IT’s contribution to both initiatives aim to train students on core skills, concepts, perspectives and methodologies they need to succeed in today’s complex and fast-changing digital economy, with a special focus on European research. Trust-IT’s inputs will zoom in on specific real-world examples of how student skill sets need to become valuable assets for the marketplace, today and in the years to come.


How to be flexible and adaptable in new circumstances: The impact of COVID-19

At the end of the initiative with all the selected companies, master degree students will produce a thesis on “Marketing and Covid-19”.
To support their efforts, Trust-IT Services will share its experiences and lessons learned in managing and adapting its activities during the pandemic.

In the past few months, Trust-IT Services has turned all physical conferences into virtual events, including a physical event with 600 attendees already registered. This is just one example of how the outbreak of COVID-19 is calling for new ways and tools to engage audiences, such as Mentimeter, and podcasts. 

Trust-IT Services will stress how important it is in today’s rapidly evolving business environment to become extremely flexible and creative in maintaining high standards and driving excellence in the day-to-day running of any organisation. 


Trust-IT Services: A tangible opportunity to kickstart your international marketing career

Trust-IT is thrilled to be working with the University of Pisa and helping to create real and tangible opportunities for its graduate and post-graduate students.

The collaboration with the university will be a launchpad for Trust-IT Services to welcome ambitious students wishing to do an internship and pursue a career in an international environment.