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The objectives of the activities carried out by SMAArt are the following: promoting cooperation between social and physical sciences; offering to academic and research institutions an integrated set of resources and skills, both in the historical-artistic field and in the technical-scientific one; creating through research new highly qualified professional figures, having a knowledge of cultural heritage also from the point of view of material properties; developing new research methods and portable tools for studies to be carried out in situ with non-invasive approaches; coordinating and developing international and national research projects, and interdisciplinary higher education programs; supporting the implementation of productive activities in the field of study, conservation and restoration of historical, artistic and archaeological heritage in the awareness of the important role of cultural heritage.

The Centre has been founded in 2001 thanks to a specific co-financing of the Ministry of the University and Research, within the three-year university development plan 1998-2000 (D.M. 313/99). The plan provided for the creation, in national Universities, of Research Centers of Excellence, intended as an essential moment for the support and development of inter and multi-disciplinary research based on network lab systems. The  policy was top-down oriented, that is based on the identification of research areas deemed to be strategic and which financing calls referred to. The proposal of the setting up of the SMAArt Centre at the University of Perugia has proved to be successful (year 2001), in the following strategic area: Tecnologie innovative applicate alle scienze umane. [Innovative Technologies applied to Human Sciences]