Pirelli has renewed their partnership with the University of Milan with a new three-year research agreement. Originally, the Joint Labs agreement was created in 2011 with the aim of developing innovative tire technology for the future.
Pirelli and the University of Milan will research the use of nano charges to produce tires with low environmental impact and mathematical modeling studies to support the Cyber Tire program, as well as development of innovative materials that can protect tires from aging. These projects represent key pillars of the joint mission between these two Italian institutions over the next three years.
The collaboration between the University of Milan and Pirelli dates back to 1870 when Giovanni Battista Pirelli graduated from the University and was advised by one of his lecturers, Giuseppe Colombo, to pursue chemical engineering and specifically rubber manufacturing. Giovanni Battista Pirelli then became the first man to introduce this industry to Italy, founding Pirelli & C. in 1872.
“The collaboration between Pirelli and our University is solid, confirming that the worlds of research and innovation, academia and business, march forward at the same pace and can together welcome the challenges ahead of us,” said Ferruccio Resta, Rector of the Politecnico University of Milan. “Among these, a key element is mobility: which calls us to redesign not only our technical horizons but also entire urban contexts.”
The partnership has also yielded important results when it comes to tire performance, as well as safety and sustainability, thanks to the use of advanced materials. In particular, 15 research projects have been assigned to young graduates in the field of materials chemistry, and two doctorates have been completed as a result of the association with Pirelli.
Research over the last three years has concentrated mainly on production and functionality of carbon charges (from graphene to carbon black nanotubes), preparation of modified silicon fiber, and studies on alternative sources of natural rubber, as well as the creation of innovative polymers and self-repairing materials.
“We are experiencing a period of unprecedented transformation where automation and connectivity are king,” said Marco Tronchetti Provera, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Pirelli. “In such a dynamic context, it’s essential to work very closely with research bodies and the most advanced universities in the world; the University of Milan is certainly one of those.”