This is the  most extensive programme of incentives supporting research,  innovation  and business development in the  Convergence regions (Campania, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily) and  it is funded by the  European Union (the  total amount of allocated resources exceeds EUR 6 billion). The programme has two main targets.
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

Supporting Innovation 
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.

Enterprise Networks: 
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.