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RESEARCH IN ITALY - Innova

RESEARCH IN ITALY - Innova

06GovernmentStrategies,Policies, Programs& InvestmentIncreasingly aware of the importance of shoring up researchactivities, Italian government institutions, both regionaland national, have been implementing a series of programsaimed at supporting innovation.6.1 IntroductionWhen analyzing two of the most importantdocuments available today on InnovationPolicy in Italy 19 20 , it is clear that the Italiangovernment is working to face and solve threemain challenges:1. Shortage of innovation financing -especiallyventure capital;2. Talents - researchers, scientists, highskilledhuman capital - brain-drain;3. Improvement of technology transfer mechanisms.Regarding the challenges concerning innovation,R&D policy objectives at nationallevel are formally outlined in a “National ResearchPlan” (NPR) 21 . The NPR sets scientificresearch and technological innovationtogether with reinforcement of education andtraining as major priorities. In particular, theNPR highlights the importance of technologytransfer and the need for strengthening networksand co-operation between public andprivate sectors - consortia of universities, laboratoriesand enterprises - as the main toolsfor achieving a long term economic growth.The next NPR (2009-2013) is planned to bereleased in the next months by the Ministry.6.2 Action linesThe main action-lines implemented by thecurrent Italian government can be summarizedas follows: Modernization and digitalizationof the public administration, implementedthrough e-gov 2012. “e-government2012” was launched in January 2009 with theobjective to recover the accumulated delayin the implementation of the Lisbon strategythrough the modernization of the public administration.This plan is expected to generateimportant savings –a round €40 billionin the next 4-5 years - by increasing productivityin the public sector; to reduce the P.A.’s19 INNO-Policy Trend Chart – Innovation Policy ProgressReport Italy, 2009: soon available online20 ERAWATCH Country Report 2008: An assessment ofresearch system and policies, Italy21 The National Research Plan for the years 2005-2007was oriented towards 3 main action lines:1. Reinforcement of the scientific nationallevel, attention to excellence, meritocracy, internationalization,economic growth and valorization of the humancapital.2. Strengthening the technological level ofthe national productive system to maintain competitiveness,focusing on 10 strategic industrial research programsthat imply the participation of universities andresearch centers.3. Support active participation in EU programsand international agreements.The new National Research Plan should be finalized andpublished by autumn 2009.24

06«Through the program Industria 2015,the Italian government is seeking tore-launch Italy’s competitiveness, byfocusing on increasing public–privatepartnerships, among other actions »administrative burden; and to have a boostereffect on growth.Creation of public-private partnerships:Industria 2015. The Italian government’sflagship program to increase the competitivenessof the industrial system is Industria 2015,promoted by the Ministry of Economic Development,and launched in 2006. The strategyseeks: to take advantage of the opportunitiesarising from the growth of private demand ofhighly innovative goods; to improve the capacityof the productive system to effectivelyfit the new needs characterizing an advancedsociety; to improve the competitiveness oftraditional sectors by developing new synergiesbetween technology producers andconsumer goods producers. Among the mainactions planned are the Industrial InnovationProjects – IIPs -, which aim to stimulateand promote the development of innovativeproducts and services in five strategic areas,namely Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Mobility,Life Sciences and Biotechnology, NewTechnologies for SME’s Development, and InnovativeTechnologies for the Enhancementof Cultural Heritage. Once a strategic planis devised for each IIP and priority areas offunding are clearly defined, the Ministry willissue requests for bids through which entitiescan submit project proposals and be consideredfor funding. Proposals must: be detailedand represent innovative and technical scientificprogress, while matching the technologicalobjectives established in the strategic planof the relevant IIP; lead to the concrete implementationof an innovative product or serviceprototype that has a positive impact on the industry;be the result of cooperation betweenresearch organizations and entrepreneurialcompanies; and be competitive in economicterms. Although the program is aimed at financingItalian companies and researchcenters, foreign entities are eligible to obtainfunds when submitting proposals in partnershipwith Italian counterparts. Nonetheless,if the project is eligible to obtain funds, theamount the foreign entity will receive cannotexceed 15% of the total project amount.Creation of clusters in order to reach criticalmass, specially at regional level, taking advantageof the existing regional competences and“excellences” (e.g. technological districts, hightechnology poles, centres of competence).Re-launching of R&D investments in theenergy sector. Research Plan in the energysector (2009- 2011). The plan launched bythe Ministry of Economic Development inMarch 2009 foresees the allocation of funds- €210 Million - to boost research and innovationin the energy sector. The resources willbe allocated to research centers and universitiesin order to strengthen research in thefields of production, electricity consumptionoptimization, nuclear energy and environmentprotection.6.3 National support measures recentlyimplementedData from the annual report on “Instrumentsfor the support of economic and productiveactivities” carried out by the Ministry of EconomicDevelopment 22 shows that the amount22 Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico: Relazione sugliincentivi di sostegno alle attività economiche e produttive(Giugno 2009)25

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