CIRPS (Interuniversity Research Centre for Sustainable Development) is an Interuniversity Research Center that brings together experts in sustainable development and Sustainability Science CIRPS is constituted of 100 distinguished permanent members, including full Professors, outstanding researchers and professional technicians, representing 11 high-ranking Italian Universities who have signed the Centre’s Founding Convention. CIRPS also benefits from the scientific supports of 170 Associate Members, all of whom are either Professors of Aggregate Universities or are highly-specialized independent experts.


Institutional activities


CIRPS was established in April 1988 by a joint initiative of the University of Cassino, the University “Della Tuscia” of Viterbo and the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, with the name “Interuniversity Research Centre on Developing Countries”. In consideration of the evolution of the international situation (such as the birth of emerging countries and of countries of new industrialization; and great migrations) the name was then changed to the current “Interuniversity Research Centre for Sustainable Development”.

The Universities of Lecce, Macerata, Palermo, Perugia, Sassari and Turin and the University “Guglielmo Marconi” subsequently joined CIRPS. Further accessions and a few withdrawals have been registered over the last ten years. The current situation of the Universities participating to CIRPS is summarized in the following Table:


  • Università de L’Aquila
  • Università degli Studi eCAMPUS
  • Università di Firenze
  • Università di Lingue e Scienze della Comunicazione – IULM
  • Università del Molise
  • Università di Pisa
  • Università del Salento
  • Università “La Sapienza” di Roma
  • Università di Sassari
  • Università di Siena
  • Università Telematica “Guglielmo Marconi”
  • Università di Teramo


  • Politecnico di Milano
  • Università di Bolzano
  • Università di Cassino
  • Università di Catania
  • Università di Macerata
  • Università di Messina
  • Università di Napoli “Federico II”
  • Università di Palermo
  • Università di Perugia
  • Università di Roma 3
  • Università Telematica IUL
  • Università di Torino
  • Università della Tuscia – Viterbo

(*) The most recent amendments to the Statute of CIRPS were approved by the Scientific Council on 27/09/2016 and submitted to the Universities for confirmation of accession to the Convention. The list above will be updated according to the communications that the Universities will send. The universities that have already ratified the renewal are indicated in bold.


The official and legal headquarter of CIRPS is in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Valmontone (Rome). While waiting for the complete restoration of this palace – an activity already underway and in which some of its Members are directly involved – CIRPS is based in Rome, in via Giovanni Lanza 129/A.

The Centre has numerous other operational offices in Rome and, of course, in the Departments, Faculties and Laboratories of the adhering Universities.

CIRPS has operating offices – permanent and temporary – also abroad, in the context of international projects. CIRPS is also running projects in non-EU countries including: Albania, Argentina, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, SICA (Central American Integration System) countries, Uruguay and other MERCOSUR countries, Uganda; Uzbekistan


CIRPS is divided into Geographic Sections, which coincide with the branch offices of members Universities (*).

To ensure coordination and synergies, numerous Thematic Sections have been activated, multi and interdisciplinary, often divided into Operational Units.

Some of the main Thematic Areas in which CIRPS operates according to the principles of sustainability, are:

  • Agribusiness;
  • Energy, Environment and Appropriate Technologies;
  • Modeling of Energy and Environmental Systems;
  • Media, Culture and Communication;
  • Sustainability of intangible assets;
  • Population, Health and Geographic Information Systems;
  • Social Research and Development;
  • Policies for Women’s Empowerment;
  • Safety Energy and Environment (Cirps of Viterbo);
  • Industrial development.

The theme of Sustainability Science is the most recent strategic sector on which CIRPS is actively working on an international level.

The Scientific Council of the Center has decided to proceed with a profound review and restructuring of the Sections and Research Units, which will be implemented after the renewal of the offices of the Scientific Council and Board of Directors.


The activities of the Centre are aimed at researching, developing and disseminating scientific knowledge, technological solutions and working methods that enable sustainable development.

Since 1988, CIRPS disseminates those internationally recognized principles that are necessary for the realization of social, economic and technological development, capable of guaranteeing the increase of an equally distributed wellbeing without compromising the environment or any social group, geographical area or future generations.

CIRPS activities can be divided into three main categories:

More in detail, the CIRPS:

  • promotes, coordinates and/or directly carries out activities, conducted by the affiliated universities, also in collaboration with organizations and similar centers, universities, national and international organizations, in particular those of the developing countries and those of the European Union and the UN (Unesco, Unicef, Unitar, UNDP, etc.);
  • assists the Governmental and Non-Governmental Institutions and Organizations in the selection and analysis of feasibility of cooperation programs, in identification and implementation of the possible contributions that the Operative Units, the CIRPS Sections and the associated Universities can offer;
  • promotes initiatives of scientific divulgation and interdisciplinary collaborations (such as Forums, Workshops, etc.) and raises the issues of sustainable development within Degree Courses, Faculties, Institutes and Departments and Research Doctorates of the Italian Universities;
  • promotes the relationships among university operators and the non-academic world of development cooperation, also carrying out advisory actions for the parties involved in the individual programs and assistance in the analysis of feasibility and in evaluations, ex ante and / or ex post, of the programs themselves;
  • promotes the dissemination of information on cooperation activities, through the establishment of Databases, Documentation Centers and the publication of periodic newsletters;
  • promotes coordinated exchanges of university staff at international level;
  • promotes, coordinates and directly conducts interdisciplinary research and collaboration activities at international level, not only for developing countries but also for all other countries that deal with and are interested in development cooperation.

These activities are carried out through the joint contribution of the relevant Universities, to promote sustainable development, with regard not only to developing countries, but also to those of New Industrialization or Nearly New Industrialization, to Emerging Countries, in collaboration with industrialized countries and international organizations.

CIRPS is registered on the portal of the European Commission with the following identification numbers: