The LINKS Foundation – Leading Innovation & Knowledge for Society is a no-profit private Foundation founded in 2016 with the aim to boost the interaction between research and the business world towards the internationalization of the local socio economic system. LINKS promotes, conducts, and strengthens innovation and research projects processes, improving products implementation as well as the study of new approaches and models. LINKS is the result of the merger of two distinguished research and innovation institutions: ISMB (Istituto superiore Mario Boella), focusing on ICT, and SiTI (Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l’Innovazione), focusing on Territorial Systems and Smart Cities. Similarly, to ISMB and SITI, the LINKS Foundation has been founded by Compagnia di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino.
LINKS relies on technological and process competences of around 160 researchers working in close cooperation with companies, academia and Public Administration. LINKS is organized in Research Areas focused on core sectors of ICT that are capable of managing the whole value chain, from basic technology up to its practical implementation (proof-of-concept). Additionally, LINKS extends its activities to process innovation, employing excellences and results of Research Areas into Strategic Programs that are interdisciplinary by nature and are aligned with the priority themes of the European agenda. Smart Energy, Smart City and Smart Health are the strategic programs tackled by LINKS and they represent the first step of a broader action aimed at high-value social projects. A third dimension of LINKS is represented by Functions operating across Research Areas and Strategic Programs to tackle broader issues such as Emerging Trends and Opportunities, Higher and Professional Education and Marketing and Front End.
The Foundation 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.
LINKS will contribute to FLEXGRID with skilled and experienced personnel whom were earlier part of the ISMB Emerging Trends and Opportunities function, Pervasive Technologies (PerT) research area and Smart Energy Program. The PerT Research Area studies and develops technologies enabling the emerging paradigm of IoT. Pert is organized into three units: IoT Objects and Platforms Unit (in charge of technologies and platforms that turn physical objects in IoT nodes), Pervasive Secure Networks Unit (that studies communication paradigms that ensure flexibility, scalability, security and robustness to communications among IoT objects) and IoT Service Management Unit (developing distributed and cooperative algorithms at the service level of the IoT).
The main function of the Smart Energy program is to support LINKS in new research activities on the use of the ICT applied to the Energy domain. These research activities are carried on through LINKS’ research areas and particular attention is, at the present, devoted to how ICT may bring new ways of managing energy distribution through smart grids, how to support efficient active demand methodologies, to study user profile loads clustering, algorithms for distributed constrained energy optimization, etc.).