ICT in general, and Computer Science and Engineering in particular, are universally considered of strategic interest. According to the European Commission "ICT generates 25% of total business expenditure in (R&D), and investments in ICT account for 50% of all European productivity growth; [...] EU investments are due to increase by about 25% under Horizon 2020 compared to FP7." ICT is one of the strategic goals of Horizon 2020 (in Industrial Leadership).
In 2009, a group of experts from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (one of the best business schools in the world, consistently at the top of international rankings) identified the most important innovations in the last 30 years. Almost all of them are related to the information technology and the first four are the heart of Computer Engineering: Internet, PC, mobile phones, E-mail.
In 2013, one of the largest strategic consulting firms in the world has listed the 12 technologies that will have an economically disruptive impact in the next decade. The first 6 technologies are all closely related to information technology: Internet Mobile, Automation of knowledge work, the Internet of Things, cloud technology, Advanced Robotics, Autonomous vehicles.
In 2013, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda, said that in Europe there is a shortage of hundreds of thousands of ICT specialists.
Italy and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region are pursuing the "Go on Italy" and "Go on FVG" initiatives, related to the Digital Agenda, showing the strategic focus on computing culture and elevating the role of those who choose a university course on these disciplines.
The goal of the Computing Applications program is to train high-level professionals who may fulfill the needs of both the most advanced research and innovative enterprises. The pervasive nature of information technology requires professionals who are able to operate proficiently in different sectors. The fields of reference are those of planning, organisation, management and maintenance of complex or innovative IT systems (with specific regard to the requirements of reliability, performance and security). The areas of employment include, in general, all organisations that use complex information systems, including the industries operating in sectors such as automation, robotics, electronics and telecommunications.
The courses combine the methodological aspects and applications. Internships and thesis can be carried out externally, thanks to the dense network of contacts with enterprises and public and private organisations, which are active since many years, or in-house research laboratories, such as the Machine Learning Lab.