Dante Gatteschi's Role
We have Dante Gatteschi to thank for the Consortium's birth – a man of vision and great initiative, and one of the first to recognise that the scientific community and its needs were changing. That said, the creation of an organisation as complex as the INSTM could never have been achieved single handed. Indeed, when Gatteschi shared his vision with a number of colleagues in September 1992, it was picked up and driven forward by a handful of Universities who saw its immense value. Here, in the universities of Cagliari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Padua, Perugia, Pisa, Turin and Rome's "La Sapienza", the young Gatteschi, despite his age, was seen as the ideal leader, the primus inter pares in a group of particularly visionary university colleagues. So who is Dante Gatteschi? Full Professor of General Chemistry at Florence University and INSTM's founder, he is also a significant global player in the sphere of scientific research. He has published over 550 papers in international journals (source: ISI Web) and is one of Italy's most quoted scientific researchers (H-index=77). He is also the winner of numerous international awards such as the Agilent Technologies Europhysics Prize (2002), and a member of the prestigious Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and Academia Europaea.
Gatteschi took his first steps in Florence University under the auspices of Luigi Sacconi, a highly talented scientist who, in the early 70s, brought together the most promising young students, including Ivano Bertini, to found the Florentine School of Inorganic Chemistry. It was a fertile environment indeed, one in which Gatteschi first studied coordination chemistry and EPR spectroscopy. He followed this with his outstanding and pioneering work in the field of molecular magnetism, the results of which have recently been recognised by the authoritative scientific journal Nature as being important milestones in the history of spin physics.
Then in 1992 came the Consortium, of which Gatteschi first became Director and then President, and through which he personally coordinated numerous projects and supported a Network of Excellence under the auspices of the European Community's 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programmes (FP). Since its inception, the INSTM has been extremely successful in developing its scope within Italy, broadening its membership to include the universities of Ancona, Bari, Basilicata, Bergamo, Bologna, Brescia, Calabria, Cassino, Catanzaro, Ferrara, Insubria, L'Aquila, Lecce, Messina, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Palermo, Parma, Pavia, Eastern Piedmont, Reggio Calabria, Salerno, Sassari, Siena, Trento, Trieste, Udine, Urbino, Venice and Verona, Milan's Bicocca University and its Polytechnic, Naples' Federico II, Phartenope and Seconda Universities, Rome's Tor Vergata, and TRE Universities and Turin Polytechnic. Today, the Consortium counts 48 affiliated universities and over 2000 individuals among its membership.