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The Winter School is designed for international students coming from different backgrounds at an advanced stage of their university-career (graduate students), young researchers in the field of law, social sciences, engineering, economics and management, who are interested in understanding the legal, ethical, social and economic issues raised by robotics and AI. Young professionals working for policy makers or industries investing in or developing robotic and AI products. The Winter School gets together high level students from all over the world and give them the possibility to enter into contact with worldwide leading experts in the field.

The course, at its second edition, aims at providing students with a broad understanding of all implications of robotics that are going to be increasingly relevant in the legal, political and social debate over the coming years.

According to a study carried out by McKinsey, robotics may have an impact on the market greater than 4.5 trillion per year by 2025. Developing a leading industry in this field, therefore, is strategic: all the world’s largest economies are heavily investing in its research.

At the same time new technologies as biorobotics (bionic limbs, exoskeletons, brain machine interfaces) are going to deeply challenge our understanding of human life and human limits; others, as expert systems and AI, promise to reshape the labor market. Every aspect of our societies is going to be involved and changed: mere technological research is not sufficient to drive new technologies toward a human oriented progress.

Social scientists – lawyers, political scientists, economists – as well as engineers researching these technologies need to get together, addressing the relevant issues raised by new technologies. In order to do so, they need to acquire a new and open interdisciplinary approach involving law, economics, engineering and ethics together.

The course will offer an overview:

  • of relevant European regulation, both existing and prospective, in fields such as civil and criminal liability, privacy and data protection, robot-testing, and product safety;
  • of the ethical debate triggered by some emerging technologies, including autonomous vehicles, AI and biorobotics products for human enhancement;
  • of the European approach to Responsible Research and Innovation;
  • of the economic challenges connected with innovation (startups and financing).

Moreover, it will introduce students to a highly interdisciplinary methodology – developed within the RoboLaw Project –  to analyze those relevant issues.

The Winter School allows students to engage with this emerging area, while being highly qualify to enter the market for consultancy services to businesses developing robotic products; undergo independent research in law and technology; understand the non-technological issues to take into account in the design and marketing of robotic products.


Provide students with a solid background and methodological approach to: (i) understand the non-technological issues to take into account in robotic products design, (ii) carry out independent research in the field of law and technology, (iii) provide qualified technical advice to interested parties to bring robotic technologies to the market, (iv) and carry out the same activity for national and supranational institutions interested in regulating these new products.

The Course lasts 6 days. Classes begin at 9.00 AM and end at 6.30 PM, with an hour and a half for lunch. Each class is 1.30 hours long, with a 30-minutes’ break. The classes will address the following topics:

•       The technical and the legal definition of robots and AI

•       The taxonomy of existing robotic devices

•       Criminal and liability rules, insurance and risk-management strategies in light of existing and emerging EU law

•       IP Law

•       Data protection

•       Design and social perception of robots

•       Ethical assessment of technological innovation

•       Responsible research and innovation

•       Bioethics and robo-ethics

•       Business modelling and innovation in high-tech markets

•       Technological impact on the labor market and economic growth

The teaching body includes a broad range of professors of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on the Regulation of Robotics and AI, coming from various fields such as law, engineering, philosophy, social robotics, management and innovation, providing an extremely interdisciplinary perspective. Most of the professors have actively participated in the Jean Monnet Module “Europe Regulates Robotics” and the previous RoboLaw project, funded by the European Commission (FP7), which developed the “Guidelines on Regulating Robotics” presented to the European Parliament and Commission in September 2014. Those guidelines triggered political debate and led to the establishment of a Commission of the European Parliament, currently discussing necessary legal reform and political action to ensure the development of a strong, yet responsible, European robotic industry, and manage the many ethical, social and economic issues that robotics brings about.

Dr. Bertolini is the Director and Scientific Coordinator of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on the Regulation of Robotics and AI, within which the Summer School is organized. His research on law and technology addresses a wide range of issues, from liability, insurance and risk-management of robotic devices, to human enhancement and robo-ethics. Since 2014, he has often advised both the European Parliament and Commission on the regulation of robotics and his research was covered by national and international press (including the Economist, BBC radio, The Times, Wired, Motherboard, Corriere della Sera, Sole24Ore).

The Course is open to a maximum of 30 participants and it will be activated with a minimum of 15.

Participants who have attended at least 90% of the classes, successfully passed the final examination and paid the tuition fee, will receive a Certificate of Attendance including University Credits acquired.