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Together with the two core missions focused on education (first mission, which is based on interaction with the students) and on scientific research (second mission, mainly in interaction with scientific communities or peers), the IMT School pursues its objectives within the scope of the Third Mission, through specific cultural and professional activities aimed at consolidating the role which the School plays as a knowledge diffuser and cultural actorin a network of collaborations between the academic world, the civil society and the business world. The Third Mission in fact, refers to all the activities with which universities enter into direct interaction with society and with subjects and social groups other than those consolidated, making itself available to interaction modes characterized by highly variable and context-dependent content and forms.

There are many ways in which the Third Mission is actualized. A basic distinction exists between the Third Mission focused on the economic exploitation of knowledge and the Third Mission focused on cultural and social aspects. In the first case, the Third Mission aims to stimulate economic growth through the transformation of knowledge produced by research, into knowledge useful for productive purposes. This includes the management of intellectual property, the creation of businesses, research carried out for third parties, in particular resulting from research-industry relationships, and the management of intermediary and support structures, generally on a territorial scale. The second case involves the production of public goods, which increase the well-being of society. Such goods may contain cultural content (events and cultural heritage, scientific dissemination), social content (public health, activities benefitting the community, technical/professional consulting provided in teams), education content (adult education, life long learning, continuing education) or civil awareness content (public debates, scientific expertise).

In line with the guidelines promoted by ANVUR (Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes), the Third Mission includes the activities that the school implements in order to contribute to the socio-economic and cultural development of society.