Author: N. Redi, A. Di Minin, C. De Marco
Date: 21 July 2015
Type: Policy Brief
This document presents a set of proposals aimed at relaunching competitiveness of the Italian industrial economic system in the global context, through the development of research-intensive enterprises.
Innovation is one of the fundamental competitive factors for enterprises in a global economy. Big multinationals are the main actors in this context; they are responsible of the majority of foreign direct investments, aimed at attracting the best market and technological skills which are essential to innovate and compete. Furthermore, the innovation model has radically changed in the last fifteen years, shifting from a closed model to an open one, where the main actors are local networks composed of enterprises, research education and training institutions, finance, public sector and consumers, often called “ecosystems of innovation”.
Innovation goes beyond simple scientific and technological progress. The role of research and development is still at the core of the economic development of every country. There is still the need to undertake research activities within ecosystems of innovation, which are local network of actors cooperating for the development and the introduction of innovations in the market.
The purpose of the measures and models nowadays adopted in different international contexts are is to create and support these ecosystems of innovation and their processes: they are the centre of the final recommendations of the European High Level Group for Innovation Policy Management that in the final part of its mandate cooperated with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
In Italy the system is underdeveloped due to high fragmentation of the entrepreneurial system, difficult technological transfer from research institutions and limited investment in R&I by enterprises (especially small and medium enterprises), measures of public financial support to innovation processes and lack of risk capital to support both the early stages and the next development phases (seed and venture capital). Italy can relaunch its ecosystems of innovation drawing inspiration by some best practices available in the country, with no need to mobilize new resources yet with a better allocation of the available ones that are to back up European instruments.
Our proposal is divided into three parts:
1. a new design of public policies to support R&D aimed at creating and developing ecosystems of innovation;
2. the creation on a National Fund of Seed Capital to foster the early stages of entrepreneurship and improve the current existing measures that support venture capital;
3. the creation of a national direction for innovation to monitor the consistency of the existing measures and produce a yearly national plan for innovation.
The paper is divided ad follows: (i) the role of innovation in the global competitive scenario; (ii) the importance of scientific and technological research; (iii) he ecosystems of innovation; (iv) the seed capital; (v) the current Italian context and its best practices; (vi) a comparison with international policies and models (v) our policy making proposals.
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