Programma Nazionale Di Ricerche in Antartide(PNRA)

Photo: PNRA

About Italy’s National Antarctic Program

COMNAP Representative (MNAP): Elena Campana, Head, ENEA Antarctic Technical Unit
(DMNAP): Gianluca Bianchi Fasani, Head of logistics

Italy started its National Antarctic Program in 1985 with the formation of the Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA) and the National Scientific Committee for Antarctica (CSNA) and Italy has had Antarctic Treaty Consultative State status since 1987.

Italy maintains two Antarctic research stations. The first one, built in 1986, is Mario Zucchelli Station at Terra Nova Bay, which is open only in the summer season. In 1993, Italy and France agreed to build a joint station at Dome C, named Concordia, which was inaugurated in 1997 and has operated as a year round station since 2005, accommodating 15 persons in the winter and 60 in the summer.

For shuttling to Antarctic stations and field camps, every year PNRA charters aircrafts, helicopters and, with an interannual schedule, also a cargo/research ship.

Concordia station in the polar night” courtesy of Erick Bondoux, IPEV
Mario Zucchelli station courtesy of Marco Maggiore (ASI), PNRA

Organizational structure of the PNRA

The PNRA is directed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) through three national bodies: the National Scientific Committee for Antarctica (CSNA) for long term objectives and strategies; the National Research Council (CNR) for the coordination of scientific research; the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) for the implementation of the Antarctic expeditions, for logistics and the maintenance of the two Antarctic stations, through its Antarctic Technical Unit ENEA-UTA.

The research projects supported at the joint station of Concordia are determined by the Italian-French Steering Committee of Project Concordia.

Annually MIUR defines a budget for the PNRA, and accordingly the CNR, with the collaboration of ENEA and following the guidelines from CSNA, prepares the Annual Executive Program (PEA) to be approved for execution by MIUR. PEA contains all the actions to be performed for the expedition and for the implementation of the granted research projects.

For the 2012-13 year the total budget for PNRA is Euro 22 million.

Our Science Program

Airplane operations at Mario Zucchelli station
courtesy of Alessandro Beltrame (AGB Studio Video), PNRA

Science projects carried out at Mario Zucchelli are in the fields of life sciences, earth sciences, atmospheric science and space, technology, and meteorology. See a copy of our science strategy at

Concordia is located in an ideal place for science with low snow fall rate, high elevation and clear skies. That leads to a strong focus on astronomy, astrophysics and atmospheric sciences. There are also projects on seismology, biology, medicine, climatology and glaciology. Scientists were able to obtain a 3270 m long ice core to study 800,000 years of paleoclimatology.

The PNRA works closely with many other National Antarctic Programs in collaboration efforts toward logistics and science.

Our Contact Details
Postal/Physical Address:
ENEA UTA-Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA)
Via Anguillarese, 301
00123 Rome – ITALY

Phone: +39 06 30484816
Fax: +39 06 30484893