Title: Challenges for R&I policy-making in Italy
- The low level of business R&I activities and unfavourable framework conditions: business R&I activities have remained low, far below EU averages. The Italian economy is characterised by an overwhelming majority of small and micro enterprises active in industries with a low R&D intensity. The tight lending conditions and the small scale of the venture capital market are also hampering innovation activities, especially for new, small, innovative companies
- The public sector funding of R&I: preserving the activities of the public research system and of Italy's universities is a serious challenge, in particular after the budget cuts affecting R&D expenditure and university staff; limited job opportunities are currently available for researchers in the public sector; and outward migration of researchers and Italians with tertiary education is increasing.
- Governance and management of the R&I system and policies: the Italian R&I system has been characterised by a number of issues affecting the management of R&I policies: fragmentation of strategies, with many initiatives at both national and regional levels; delays in the implementation of measures; and instability regarding budget availability and allocations. For universities and PROs evaluation activities have expanded and are used as the basis for merit-based funding.
- Addressing territorial disparities: Italy has long suffered from large divergences between the North and the South with respect to economic structures, technological activities, incomes, unemployment, female participation, etc. The impact of the recession has been more severe in the South and several policies – including the allocation of university funds – have reduced available resources for the South.