R&D in Lombardy
The Regional Innovation System of Lombardy is, without doubt, an example of excellence in Italy.
Compared with the other regions, Lombardy’s position is more in line with the trends and objectives set at European level and, in particular, with the directions of the Lisbon European Council on the composition of industrial expenditure.
Around one-third of all Italian expenditure on R&D; comes from companies in Lombardy, and private expenditure amounts to approximately 85% of the total regional expenditure on R&D.; Furthermore, with 17.9% of the national total, Lombardy ranks second behind Lazio with regard to the number of R&D; employees. This figure also represents a significant level in terms of the proportion of the population. Lombardy has 3.2 employees per 1,000 inhabitants and is second only to Piedmont and Lazio. The large number of employees working in industry, high and medium technology and in services requiring a high degree of knowledge and technology represents 13.92% of the total workforce. In addition, the wide-ranging and well-developed university research system is one of the region’s main driving forces. It provides training courses and conducts future-oriented research, with special emphasis on life sciences.
The Regional Innovation System also features a widespread network of institutions and connections for technology transfer. To date, around 500 centres provide a varied range of innovation services for companies, of which approximately 200 are geared towards research and technology transfer. Although the scope and proliferation of the centres constitute an enormous wealth, they call for the development of processes aimed at creating higher-quality structures and progressive specialisation.
To benefit innovative development, the information society is being introduced, with a system of dorsal and telematic networks as well as relatively easy access to information and communication technology. In this regard, the dissemination of new technology is clearly more widespread at regional level compared with the national average, and is in line with that in the more developed European regions.