New scoreboard confirms Lombardy as Italy's most innovative region
An innovation scoreboard compiled by the Filas Observatory has revealed Lombardy to be the most innovative of the 20 Italian regions. The Filas Observatory, a new non-profit organisation supporting institutions and micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the Latium region, used the EU's innovation scoreboard and the regional innovation scoreboard as a starting point, but updated statistics and included additional indicators. The 14 indicators used cover education, employment, public and private research investment, patent applications, Internet access and expenditure, and GDP. While Lombardy is the clear leader, the scoreboard also shows the regions of Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Latium to be performing particularly well with regard to innovation. Lombardy is not, however, the most successful region in all areas covered by the scoreboard. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is by far the leader in terms of the availability of high-tech venture capital, scoring 18 times the Italian average, and 15 times the EU average. Emilia Romagna also does particularly well with patent applications, again attaining a score above the EU average, and over three times the Italian average. Observers may be disappointed by the statistics on employment in research and development (R&D). While the overall number of people working in the field increased very slightly from 2.5 to 2.6 per 1000 inhabitants between 1995 and 2000, the figure has declined in four regions, and stayed the same in three. The Filas Observatory notes strong correlations between a number of factors, including patents and employment in medium-high tech manufacturing, and patents and Internet access. The scoreboard is just one activity of the Observatory, which has set itself the task of providing information on the present and the future, and creating an interactive forum where stakeholders in the Latium region can record their experiences and comments on innovative activities. The initiative is described as 'an 'eye' that watches the innovation reality, records its evolution and identifies future scenarios.'