THE NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR RESEARCH & COMPETITIVENESS
The First Target
Support for Structural Changes
Includes incentives for scientific networks and firms, with the aim of promoting substantial changes in the business sectors of the Convergence regions, by starting and/or consolidating science and technology-based businesses. The target areas of activity include the following:
Science/technology parks focused on production systems and the promotion of new business initiatives.
Technology/production parks focused on enhancing competitiveness in the system.
Networks focused on strengthening the scientific and technological potential of the Convergence regions.
Upgrading of facilities and equipment in science and technology.
Cooperation in the fields of science and production.
To achieve these objectives, Law no. 297/ 99 offers grants to companies that invest in a variety of industrial research projects aimed at improving or developing products, production processes or services. Assistance is also available for programmes supporting infrastructure and services in the industrial research sector. A new Investment Fund for Research and Technological Development (‘FIRST’) is awaiting activation.
The Second Target
is to increase investment in innovation and development, increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of the Convergence regions, and strengthen the ability of companies to adapt their strategies to ever-changing business scenarios. It includes the following objectives:
Strengthening of the production system
Improvement of the capital market
Streamlined measures for sustainable business development and information technology.
Industria 2015 is the plan that sets out the action necessary to develop the national production system and enhance its competitiveness. It includes the following: Industrial Innovation Projects, Enterprise Networks, and the Business Financing Fund.
Industrial Innovation Projects:
Measures that encourage the development of specific and highly innovative types of products and services in areas that are considered strategic to the development of the country, such as energy saving, sustainable mobility, new life technologies, new technologies for ‘Made in Italy’, and innovative technologies to manage, preserve and exploit Italy’s cultural heritage. Firms are able to choose the type and form of financial support that best suits their programmes.
Contractual forms of cooperation between enterprises, and especially SMEs, aiming to increase their critical mass and achieve greater bargaining power without the need to merge or come under the control of a third party.
Business Financing Fund:
Its purpose is to facilitate the access of companies, especially SMEs, to credit and capital. The Fund participates in transactions proposed by banks and/or financial intermediaries to mitigate credit risk.