NRRP – Opportunities, expectations and results

What is the NRRP, the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan 

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) combines investments and reforms designed by the Italian government to overcome the economic and social effects of the pandemic crisis.  

The Plan hinges upon three strategic axes, shared across the EU:  

  • Digitisation and innovation 
  • Ecological transition 
  • Social inclusion  

The investments under the Plan are underpinned by three principles, also known as “cross priorities”: 

  • Youth: Guarantee access to childcare, improve the school system and reverse the country’s declining birth rate
  • Gender equality: Ensure women and men have equal social and economic opportunities
  • Reduce the gaps in standards of living: Realise the potential of the South and enhance local services to support the disabled and elderly. 

The Plan is structured around six main areas of intervention (known as “missions”), which correspond to the six pillars of Next Generation EU:

  • Mission 1 – Digitisation, innovation, competitiveness, culture and tourism
  • Mission 2 – Green revolution and ecological transition
  • Mission 3 – Infrastructure for sustainable mobility
  • Mission 4 – Education and research
  • Mission 5 – Inclusion and cohesion
  • Mission 6 – Health

In turn, each mission is structured around components, i.e. areas of intervention that tackle specific challenges, and the investments and reforms to implement them.

Why should everyone care 

Because of its impacts, recipients and topics, the NRRP concerns us all – from the student community to citizens in general, from businesses to public institutions.  

Each one of us can be directly or indirectly affected by the actions that these projects are taking forward across the country, which will continue in the upcoming years. 

Young generations are a key pillar of the Plan – hence its importance for the University. The NRRP strives to create opportunities in the present and open up future scenarios for them.

Thanks to the many synergies that have arisen and will arise across different organisations – institutions, businesses, universities – the Plan provides a unique opportunity and lays the foundation for a new way of designing joint strategies and collaborating as a network, a good practice that should be maintained in the future too. 

Likewise, the innovative management and organisation methods that are being tested could well become the new standard for public administrations.

Resources, monitoring and reporting 

The European Union has allocated € 191.5 billion for the Italian NRRP. An additional € 30.6 billion have been allocated by Italy under the Complementary National Plan (CNP), totalling € 222.1 billion available for digital transition, ecological transition and the recovery of the South.

All actions must be completed by the end of June 2026 and meet the Do Not Significant Harm (DNSH) principle, meaning that they must not cause significant damage to the environment. 

The Plan is centred on:  

  • Milestones, i.e. qualitative targets to be met through a given reform and/or investment, which identify the key stages for implementing them
  • Targets, i.e. the expected results of actions, quantified by specifically defined measurable indicators.

They describe the progress and results of the reforms and investments to be implemented, the achievement of which is a prerequisite for the disbursement of payments from the EU.

What is the University of Bologna doing 

NRRP What is the University of Bologna doing

The University of Bologna takes part in a number of initiatives across the various missions; as far as Mission 4 is concerned, we are the leading university in Italy for participation in the projects. 
The University of Bologna is involved in the missions both as a direct recipient, for the implementation of teaching, research and third mission activities, and in cooperation with other recipients, for the performance of specific activities.

Below are the details of the University of Bologna’s involvement in the NRRP missions. Missions are listed in descending order of contribution by the University.

The projects of Mission 4: Education and research

Mission 4 aims to improve the conditions for the development of a knowledge-intensive, competitive and resilient economy, starting from recognition of the criticalities of our education, training and research system.

It is structured around two components.

M4C1 – Strengthening the provision of education services: from nurseries to universities

M4C2 – From research to business

  • Extended partnerships (investment 1.3)
    Extended partnerships fund research projects on key themes for cultural, social, scientific, technological and medical development.
  • National champions (investment 1.4)
    National research and development centres (so-called “champions”) are capable of achieving significant capacity for innovation and research by partnering with other research centres, universities and businesses, on themes that are of strategic interest for the country’s development.
  • Innovation ecosystems (investment 1.5)
    Innovation ecosystems are networks of highly qualified and internationally renowned public and private entities, which aim to facilitate technology transfer and expedite the digital transformation of production processes, while keeping in mind economic and environmental sustainability and social impacts at a local level.
  • Research and technological innovation infrastructures (investment 3.1)
    The investment aims to finance the creation of research and technological innovation infrastructures capable of bridging academia and business.
  • Innovative PhD programmes in cooperation with businesses (investment 3.3)
    The action aims to strengthen high-profile skills, especially in the area of Key Enabling Technologies.
  • Research Projects of National Interest PRIN (investment 1.1)
    The investment aims to fund over 8,000 projects by 2026, with a view to promoting the national research system, strengthening collaboration between universities and research centres, and encouraging participation of Italy in the initiatives of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
  • Projects submitted by young researchers (investment 1.2)
    The investment covers measures for young researchers who have been awarded ERC Starting Grants, MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships and MSCA Individual Fellowships, as well as those who have obtained the Seal of Excellence after applying for MSCA Individual Fellowships and MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships, under the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe framework programmes.

The University as proposer presented the "DARE - Digital Lifelong Prevention" project funded by investment I.1 "Research initiatives for technologies and innovative paths in ​​the field of assistance and healthcare" under the National Complementary Plan (NCCP), with objectives complementary to Mission 4 - Component 2.

Research initiatives for technologies and innovative paths in ​​the field of assistance and healthcare (CNP investment I.1)

The projects of Mission 2: Green revolution and ecological transition

Mission 2 aims to bring about a profound change to implement the green, ecological and inclusive transition of the country, favouring circular economy, the development of renewable energy sources and a more sustainable agriculture.

The University of Bologna is involved in 2 of the 4 components around which the mission is structured.

M2C1 – Circular economy and sustainable agriculture

The University as co-proponent presented a project financed by investment H.1 "Logistic development for the agri-food, fishing and aquaculture sectors" of the National Complementary Plan (CNP) with objectives complementary to Mission 2 - Component 1. 

M2C2 – Renewable energy, hydrogen, grid and sustainable mobility

  • Hydrogen research and development (investment 3.5)
    The goal of the investment is to improve knowledge of hydrogen-related technology for the production, storage and distribution phases in order to increase competitiveness and gradually reduce costs. 

The projects of Mission 1: Digitisation, innovation, competitiveness, culture and tourism

Mission 1 aims to give a decisive boost to relaunching the country’s competitiveness and productivity, by acting on several key elements of our economic system: connectivity for citizens, businesses and public administrations; a modern Public Administration that is an ally of citizens and the production system; enhancing cultural heritage and tourism, also in terms of promoting the country’s image and brand.

Information on the participation of the University of Bologna in Mission 1 will be available soon.

The projects of Mission 6: Health

Mission 6 aims to an effective improvement of the National Health Service to make facilities more modern, digital and inclusive, guarantee fair access to treatment and strengthen prevention and local services, by promoting research.

The University of Bologna is involved in 1 of the 2 components around which the mission is structured.

M6C1 – Proximity networks, facilities and telemedicine for territorial healthcare assistance

The University as co-proponent presented a project entitled "Good use of green and blue spaces for the promotion of health and well-being" financed by investment E.1 "Health-Environment-Biodiversity-Climate" of the National Complementary Plan (NCCP) with objectives complementary to Mission 6 - Component 1.

Complementary National Plan - CNP projects

The Italian government supplements and enhances the contents of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan or NRRP (Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza or PNRR in Italian) through its Complementary National Plan (PNC). 

The complementarity of the PNC with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is expressed at the level of:

  • the project, with integration of resources for projects already planned under the NRRP (referred to as co-financed programmes and interventions);
  • the mission or mission component, with the provision of additional investments (referred to as Plan programmes and projects) contributing to the achievement of the purposes of the NRRP.

The University of Bologna participates in the following investments:


NRRP – Opportunities, expectations and results