Mission and principles

The Alma Mater Research Center for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence is an interdisciplinary hub that aims at aggregating and boosting the AI-based research activities that are present in many Departments of the University of Bologna, positioning the University of Bologna in AI research, education, innovation and societal impact at an international level, and approaching AI research from different complementary perspectives.

Its overarching principles are:

  • Research Excellence
  • Multi-disciplinarity
  • International Reputation
  • EU, national and regional impact
  • Recruitment of outstanding researchers
  • Strategic public private partnerships


ALMA HUMAN-AI at UniBo, Bologna and Emilia Romagna

The Centre has been created at UniBo because this is a top-ranked “large generalist university” in IT. Indeed, it has 26 Departments with several active researchers in AI related topics. In this field, it also collaborates with a Joint Research Unit of the Social Science and Humanities Department within the Italian National Research Council (CNR). Another Joint Research Unit with the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) is currently under definition.

Moreover, the city of Bologna is a world-class HPC and Big-data Hub. 70% of supercomputing power in Italy is located in Bologna at INFN and CINECA, the largest Italian computing centre and one of the most important worldwide. UniBo and CINECA cooperate on HPC for AI co-design, CINECA being the host site of pre-Exascale EuroHPC machine. On the other hand, the Data centre of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) will be hosted in Bologna as from 2020.

Bologna has a strong and innovation-intensive industry pushing for AI, since its hosts one of the 8 national Industry 4.0 competence centres, which is led by UniBo. Also, the region Emilia Romagna has launched a call for establishing a Foundation on “Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for human development”, which opens up new possibilities for the  Alma Mater Research Centre for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

Alma Human AI in numbers

  • 26 departments involved
  • 300+ researchers
  • 7 ERC 
  • 180+ projects and contracts in the last 6 years (2014-2019) for a total 49M funding