INGV was meant to gather all scientific and technical institutions operating in Geophysics and Volcanology and to create a permanent scientific forum in the Earth Sciences. INGV cooperates with universities and other national public and private institutions, as well as with many research agencies worldwide in the larger frame of several European and international programs. The new institution, currently the largest European body dealing with research in Geophysics and Volcanology, has its headquarter in Rome and large representatives in Milano, Bologna, Pisa, L’Aquila, Napoli, Catania and Palermo. The main mission of INGV is the monitoring of geophysical phenomena in both the solid and fluid components of the Earth. This fundamental task includes the development and maintenance of the necessary instrumentation and infrastructures as well as real time surveillance, early warning and forecast activities. In addition to being analysed for research purpose, the data and the observations supplied by numerous monitoring networks are regularly addressed to public institutions and the scientific community. INGV operates in close coordination and under the control of the Ministry of Education and of Scientific and Technological Research and with Civil Protection authorities, both national and local level. INGV also cooperates with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Defence in the frame of large research programs of national and supranational relevance. In cooperation with selected Italian universities INGV develops its own program of higher education such as doctoral courses and fellowships. Given the nature and social relevance of most of INGV activities, special attention is given also to public outreach through special publications, participation to scientific exhibitions and the Internet. INGV has been and is involved in many EC projects since early ’90, as coordinator or partner. Presently INGV is the coordinator of the preparatory phase of EPOS and EMSO, both ESFRI large-scale research infrastructures.