The Italian Ministry of Research co-finances research programmes of national relevance proposed by the universities. In the past there was an instrument with the short name "40%" where the Ministry funded 40% of the costs of projects proposed by universities. Today the "40%" instrument has been superseded by PRIN with similar objectives and funding arrangements.
The objective is to support excellence in research activities, on subjects decided autonomously by the proponents, in the interests of scientific development of the country and to achieve knowledge breakthroughs.
There is one call every year. This programme form relates to the calls of 2006 and 2007. Calls of previous years are in a separate form.
The proponents are universities. For the call 2007 also research institutes under the surveillance of the Ministry of Research outside universities can participate with a maximum of one unit per project. Every project has a national co-ordinator who carries out management and co-ordination activities and as many local scientific responsible as the research units. The national co-ordinator is also engaged in research as local scientific responsible.
There are different disciplinary areas. Transport projects fall mainly in the following three: Area 08 Civil Engineering and Architecture, Area 09 Industrial and Information Engineering, Area 13 Economics and Statistics.
Projects typically have two year duration.
The projects are co-funded by the Ministry of Research, the universities have to cover at least 30% of the project costs with their own funds.