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European Collaboration in Research and Development

Business Strategy and Public Policy

Edited by Yannis Caloghirou, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Stavros Ioannides

The contributions collected in this volume focus explicitly on cooperative R & D in Europe. The first part of the book offers empirical evidence on the extent, scope and direction of this collaboration and explores the motives and problems of the participating firms, as well as the perceived benefits they have enjoyed. The second part deals with the difficult policy issues that diverse national R & D regimes create for successful cooperative research and international convergence. The extensive survey results of European firms allow the authors to compare collaborative research policies in various EU countries and contrast the policy design that has emerged in the EU with that of the USA.
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Chapter 11: Italian Policy Regarding Cooperative R & D

Maria Rosa Battaggion and Patrizia Bussoli


11. Italian policy regarding cooperative R&D Maria Rosa Battaggion and Patrizia Bussoli Italy seems to lack an organic policy to promote cooperative research, in particular when Italian Science and Technology (IS&T) policies are compared to those of other European countries. This aspect becomes even more evident with regard to Research Joint Ventures (RJVs). Several weaknesses persist and prevent the Italian industry from becoming more competitive in high technological sectors: lack of advanced and original technological capabilities, a fragile technological infrastructure supporting innovation processes and unstable links between universities and industry. However, the Italian public research system is undergoing a process of reorganization. In recent years, a great effort has been made to support and promote innovative activities in general, with some efforts to encourage technological cooperation. Public policy favouring research was mainly focused on mature technologies and scale intensive sectors (chemical industry, steel-making industry and car manufacture) until 1980. A major reform was adopted in 1982 (Law 46), which provided new instruments to implement a policy for innovation and research. The new tools were either directed to applied research, or were to create prototypes at a precompetitive stage or to promote cooperation in both basic and applied research. In terms of policy for R&D cooperation, a coherent set of tools to support cooperation and joint ventures among firms, and between public research centres and firms, has not been set up yet. However, in the last decade Italian firms, universities and research centres have been actively...

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