L'ideatorio is a unit of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) which was created to promote scientific culture and dialogue between science and society. L'ideatorio is also the local branch of the "Science et Cité Foundation" (www.science-et-cite.ch), which is a centre of expertise of the Swiss Academy of Sciences. Through a network of local partnerships, L'ideatorio fosters various forms of interaction of citizens with science. In particular, thanks to the established relationship with the School District of Lugano, it has developed a few enduring projects such as the House of Science in Castagnola (Lugano) and the science summer camps. Other projects include an itinerant astronomical planetarium, informal science educational laboratories, conferences and events, science fairs, research and surveys on the perception of science among the public, scientific communication projects with research centres, universities, or media (Internet, radio-tv broadcaster, etc.).
L'ideatorio is structured around three main activities: