In accordance with the Lisbon Strategy and with the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union for research, technological development 2007-2013, Italy has committed to invest in research up to 2% of the GDP.
National Reform Programme is the Italian project for the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy The promotion of scientific research and technological innovation is one of the main objectives sanctioned.
National funds are also granted by Italian Ministries to promote public institutions (universities and public research bodies/organisations), businesses and other private bodies working on research programmes. Moreover, regions have their own funds and manage structural funds through regional innovation strategies.
Regions and Autonomous Provinces can collaborate with the government and agree upon objectives, fields and areas to focus on. These agreements are regulated by the Framework Programme Agreements (APQ) which sets out the work and access to finance to be granted.
Procedures for taking part in research programmes and financing schemes vary according to the nature of the projects and the bodies that propose them. SMEs can cooperate with research centres and universities.
The Ministry for Economic Developmnt has established the National Innovation Fund (NIF), which enables small and medium-sized enterprises to finance their innovative projects based on the exploitation of industrial designs.
National Research Programme aims at developing an economy in which research, its industrial use and other intellectual activities are encouraged.
The NRP 2011-2013 aims to support and promote human capital by providing a number of suitable tools to:
- Enhance individual projects;
- Allow Italians researchers abroad to exploit their skills in Italy;
- Strengthen research activities and increase the number of researchers capable of raising the standards of competence and motivation in companies.
- In accordance with such aims, a series of Flag projects (Progetti Bandiera) have been prepared, albeit in a limited number.
Research and Development Organisations
The Ministry for Education, Universities and Research is the body in charge of the administration of the educational system, universities, research and higher education in art and music.
National Research Council (CNR) is a national public organisation which promotes, distributes, transfers and evaluates research activities in the main development sectors.
ENEA, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, promotes technological research and innovation and the provision of services in the energy sectors (particularly the nuclear sector), and sustainable economic development.
Alongside R&D, innovation is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.
Intellectual property must be protected to encourage research.
There are various types of funds for supporting research programmes. These differ according to the type of research financed and the entity to be financed.
- Bilateral Agreements – MIUR
The National Operational Programme “Research and Competitiveness 2007-2013” co-finances actions in favour of the Italian regions. The aim is to strengthen the capacity for research and innovation and to support scientific education.
Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is the EU’s main instrument for the access to finance for research over the 2007-2013 period and for the promotion of national and private investments.
Eurostars programme, set up by the intergovernmental network EUREKA, aims at stimulating European entrepreneurship. It also aims to promote and support SME research and innovation and help them in research and development (R&D) projects.