Abdus Salam ICTP Training Research Infrastructures on all Applicable Fields


Full name
Claudio Tuniz
Name of your institution
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Institutions’s country
Institution’s address
Strada Costiera 11, 34014 Trieste, Italy
Your position in the institution
  • Research Infrastructures Operator (scientific/technical)
Your telephone number
Your email address
Institution's website address


Research infrastrcture website

Main scientificdomain: Physics and Astronomy

Category: Other Physics and Astronomy RI

Other scientific and technological domains served by RI
  • Life Sciences
  • Environmental, Marine and Earth Sciences
  • Energy
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Information and Communication Technologies, Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Material Sciences, Chemistry and Nanotechnologies
RI type
  • Single-sited
Short description


Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) operates under a tripartite agreement between the Government of Italy and two UN agencies, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Mission of ICTP Foster the growth of advanced studies and research in physics and mathematics, especially among researchers from developing countries. ICTP provide an international forum for the exchange of information and ideas among scientists across the Europe. Maintain excellent research facilities for visitors, associates and fellows, principally from developing countries, who participate in the Centre's research and training activities.


In recent years, about 6,000 scientists per year from almost all nations have visited ICTP to participate in the Centre's research and training activities. Approximately half of the scientists have come from the developing world. The main researchers are coming from USA, China, India, Germany, Brasil, Iran etc. The Centre sponsors a number of initiatives, including an Associates Programme, to provide research and training opportunities in physical sciences. Researchers from WBC are also active participants in these initiatives.

In 2007 there were visits of researchers from the following WBC countries: Albania (5), Croatia (39), FYR Macedonia (4), Montenegro (1), Serbia (19). ICTP is targeting also new groups of researchers in particular partners that can develop local research infrastructures and that can support regional research and education activities. ICTP is planning to create similar regional centres in Western Balkan countries. They also have plans for the development of joint projects with EU funding, together with WBC.

Aim is also to use WBC RI and networks to support other developing countries in specific areas (environment, agriculture, marine life, energy). Each year around 6000 users visit their institution and work on the infrastructure they are providing.


Years in operation
  • More than 25 years
Comment on cooperation
Bilateral co-operation with other research infrastructures/organisations/institutions Multilateral co-operation with other research infrastructures/organisations/institutions Participation in EC-funded projects Participation in international programmes/projects extending beyond Europe Participation in other non EC funded European programmes/projects


Approximately number of permanent scientific/engineering staff operating the RI
  • 51 – 100
Average number of individual external users per year
  • 501 – 1000
External users, estimated number of individual virtual users
  • 101 – 500
External users: estimated percentage of individual users from other countries than the country where the RI is hosted
  • 50% and more
External users: estimated percentage of individual users from private sector or industry or organisations serving industry
  • 26% - 50%
Short description of access policy and procedures for users of this research infrastructure
Submission of proposals for consideration by relevant international committees. Follow application procedures for participation in various ICTP programmes. (as described in our website).


Total cumulative investment for initial construction/setting up of this RI
  • 20 – 50M EUR
Yearly operational costs
  • 2M and more
Main sources of funding for setting up RI or important equipment
Main sources of funding for operational costs


Most important publications or conference proceedings, technical reports or patents highlighting the research carried out through your research infrastructure (please list up to 10 examples from the last 5 years)
US patent no. 7036720 "Method and apparatus for resoluton of problems using constrained discrete variables", R. Zecchina and M. Mézard Nature 441 588 2006 K.R. Sreenivasan et al "Superfluid helium: Visualisation of quantized vortices" Physical Review Letters 97 128701 2006 R. Zecchina et al "Statistical mechanics of combinatorial auctions" Nature 441 857 2006 S. Scandolo et al. "Amorphous silica-like carbon dioxide" Nature Materials 3 882 2004 E. Tosatti "Sealing is at the origin of rubber slipping on wet roads" Science 297 812 2002 R. Zecchina et al "Analytic and Algorithmic Solution of Random Satisfiability Problems"
Main international structured co-operation research projects. Please highlighting the recognition of this Research Infrastructure at international level (give up to 5 examples from the last 5 years)
EVERGROW Integrated Project; - NEST Research Networks; - ENSEMBLES (through the Met Office (Exeter, UK); - EC Sixth Framework Programme - Mathematical models and earthquake prediction: Project E2-C2 “Extreme Events: Causes and Consequences”; - EGRID (funded by Italian Ministry of Research): collaboration between ICTP, University of California-Los Angeles and the Italian Institute for the Physics of Matter (INFM) to explore the use of computational GRIDs for financial research and complex systems simulation
Please explain why you consider your research infrastructure or facility with research equipment significant for your scientific community or users
ICTP operates under a tripartite agreement among the Italian Government and two United Nations Agencies, UNESCO and IAEA, which was ratified in 1995. Most of the Centre's funding comes from the Government of Italy, with smaller contributions coming from IAEA and UNESCO. For more than 40 years, the Centre has worked to build scientific capacity in developing countries and to minimise the irreversible migration of scientists to industrialised countries. In 2005, there were 5600 visitors, representing 122 countries. In addition to its permanent scientific staff of 25, in 2005, the Centre had 63 postdocs, 13 staff associates, 25 scientific consultants, 817 associates, 70 STEP students, 34 diploma students and 112 TRIL Fellows. 79 activities were organised at the Centre, 29 of which were hosted. In addition, the Centre financially supported 115 external activities held in developing countries. 395 papers were published in reputed international scientific journals.


Research services provided to users and researchers
ICTP is offering visiting researchers modern communication networks, databases, aeronomy and radiopropagation Laboratory, Microprocessors Laboratory, Library, lecture rooms and guesthouses. The High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (HECAP) section studies some of the most exciting areas in physics today, from string theory to physics at large energy colliders, from neutrino phenomenology to alternative cosmologies. The High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (HECAP) section studies some of the most exciting areas in physics today, from string theory to physics at large energy colliders, from neutrino phenomenology to alternative cosmologies. The Mathematics section is mainly oriented towards geometry and analysis. It has played an important role in fostering mathematics research and education in developing countries. Research is carried out throughout the year in various fields of Mathematics, and each year a field of emphasis is chosen. The Earth System Physics (ESP) section studies a wide spectrum of the Earth system, from its fluid components (oceans and the atmosphere) to the planet’s interior. The ESP section maintains a range of models and datasets and coordinates the Regional Climate research NETwork (RegCNET), encompassing over 600 participants worldwide. ICTP’s diverse Applied Physics section encompasses areas of research that respond to the most critical needs of the ICTP scientific community. The areas are, in fact, among the activities for which the demand in developing countries is enormous and growing, and ones that make more direct contact with the outside world.

Entry created by Elke Dall on February 17, 2010
Modified on September 27, 2013