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The Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is a small-size innovative university founded in 1996 with a strong interdisciplinary and intercultural component. Being the only Italian speaking university outside Italian borders, USI also serves as a bridge between the northern Italian region Lombardy and the rest of the country, with the goal of defending and preserving the language and culture of Italian speaking Switzerland. The university now has roughly 3000 students in four faculties (architecture, economics, communication sciences and informatics) and has developed a number of high-level research areas in domains like organizational theory, health communication, linguistics, informatics and computational sciences, thanks to support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, European Union Framework Programs and private sponsors.)