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Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Established1923; 101 years ago (1923)
PresidentMaria Chiara Carrozza
Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
, ,

The National Research Council (Italian: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR) is the largest research council in Italy. As a public organisation, its remit is to support scientific and technological research. Its headquarters are in Rome.


CNR headquarters in Rome

The institution was founded in 1923. The first president was Vito Volterra, succeeded by Guglielmo Marconi. The process of improvement of the national scientific research, through the use of specific laws, (see Law 59/1997), affects many research organisations, and amongst them is CNR, whose "primary function is to carry on, through its own organs, advanced basic and applied research, both to develop and maintain its own scientific competitiveness, and to be ready to take part effectively in a timely manner in the strategic fields defined by the national planning system".

On 23 December 1987, CNR registered the first Italian internet domain:


With the issuing of the legislative decree of 30 January 1999, n. 19, which defines "The reorganisation of the National Research Council" the central role of CNR in the Italian research system was confirmed.

In particular CNR is defined (see Article 1 of the above-mentioned decree 19/1999) as a "national research organisation, with general scientific competence and with scientific research institutes distributed across Italy, which carries out activities of primary interest for the promotion of science and the progress of the country".[1]

CNR has the legal status of a public organisation, and defines for itself autonomous rules and regulations, in accordance with the existing laws and the Civil Code.


The new CNR has the following mission and activities:

For the execution of these activities and any other activity related to them, CNR can stipulate agreements and contracts, establish or participate in consortia, foundations or societies with private or public parties, Italian or foreign.

In addition, through agreements or participation, CNR can implement programs, directives and regulations for Regional government or other Public Administration, aimed to disseminate research results into the economic system; it can also contribute to the realisation of the conditions needed for the establishment of highly innovative enterprises.

Finally, CNR can participate in international research centres, in collaboration with analogous scientific institutions in other Countries.

Departments and research institutes

CNR is organised in seven departments and 106 research institutes:


Research areas

The "research areas" of CNR are regional centres aggregating institutions where some services are managed in a centralised manner. Conceived in 1979, the implementation phase began in the mid-eighties with the creation of the first four areas; Montelibretti, Milan, Genoa and Potenza.

Notable members

See also


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