ENEA - Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l’energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile

10/26/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/26/2023 05:42

Innovation: Italy scores low in EU ranking for research and development

Innovation: Italy scores low in EU ranking for research and development

26 October 2023 Last Updated: 26 October 2023

The new issue of the ENEA scientific magazine "Energia Ambiente e Innovazione"[1] (EAI), entitled "Innovators and Innovation"(in italian language) and dedicated to innovative tools, international best practices and new cultural approaches, is online, with contributions from Bombassei, Carrozza, De Santis, Metta, Prete, Profumo and Zarri.

In a global scenario oriented towards decarbonisation and ecological transition, innovation plays an increasingly key role. However, in our country there is still much to be done: the technological intensity of the production structure is lower than the European average and R&D expenses in relation to the GDP amount to around 0.9% compared to 1.4% in the EU (2021 data).

This issue, available in both paper and digital format, features several contributions, including that by president of the Cnr Maria Chiara Carrozza, president emeritus of Brembo Alberto Bombassei, vice president of Confindustria Francesco De Santis, scientific director of the Institute Italian technology expert Giorgio Metta, president of Unioncamere Andrea Prete, president of Area Science Park and member of the ENEA board of directors Caterina Petrillo, president of the Compagnia di San Paolo Francesco Profumo, director of ENI Technology, R&D & Digital Francesca Zarri.

The magazine highlights that Italy has an investment gap which represents one of its major critical issues on the innovation front. According to a survey by the EY global network, Venture Capital investment in Italy amounted to 35 euro per capita in 2022, compared to 149 in France and 153 in Germany, highlighting a delay of 5-7 years compared to the other main continental economies in the annual performance of this type of investment.

"The transition towards a sustainable economy requires fundamental changes in technology, industry, economy, finance and across society as a whole", pointed out ENEA president Gilberto Dialuce. "It will not be possible to achieve the set objectives exclusively with technological interventions. It is a demanding challenge which also represents a significant opportunity for economic and labour growth. Innovation is the cornerstone and the element that makes the difference", continued Dialuce.

"Innovators have an increasingly important role, as does investment in research and innovation which is paramount, and therefore requires a change of pace to bridge the gap with the more advanced economies, finding new tools and new cultural approaches, strengthening the dialogue among stakeholders and taking example from international best practices", said Dialuce.

"Research and innovation are destined to play a pivotal role in the transition towards sustainable development models. In this context and regarding the implementation of the PNRR, ENEA's activity is oriented not only to research, development, innovation and demonstration, but also to the technological transfer of results and products to the Italian industrial fabric and training of professional figures, to contribute to improve the competitiveness of our companies at a European and international level", pointed out ENEA general director Giorgio Graditi.

In recent years, ENEA has introduced new tools to strenghten dialogue with companies on innovation, like the Innovation Atlas, the Patent Bank, the Proof of concept Grant of 5.5 million euro over a three-year period and the Knowledge Exchange Program (KEP), all based on the assumption that investment in technology and knowledge transfer and the creation of partnerships between research and business are crucial.


[1] Energy Environment and Innovation