Informations and abstract
The paper presents an analysis of the Italian scientific system compared with other industrialised countries. Specifically, the paper explores two main issues: 1) the productivity of Italian researchers and of R&D expenditure, measured by international scientific publications and patents filed to the European Patent Office, 2) the effectiveness of Italian research output as regards innovation and the technological development of the country. The main findings of this analysis are that: 1) productivity of researchers and of R&D expenditure has risen sharply during the Nineties. In 2000 it has been greater than the EU average measured by both publications and patents; 2) effectiveness, as measured by the international impact of scientific publications of the Italian universities and by the patent applications in strategic fields, is a much more controversial issue. According to the US National Science Foundation and the DSTI at OECD, the enabling technologies, i.e., biotechnology, nanotechnology, infotechnology, and neurosciences, will be the drivers of economic growth in the near future. The international impact of Italian publications is lower than the global average in the scientific fields related to the enabling technologies. Moreover, the relative production of patents regarding infotechnology and biotechnology has been decreasing during nineties. The main policy implication of this paper is that to improve the effectiveness of Italian scientific system one needs a deep integration of S&T policy with the others main public policies, i.e., industrial policy, competition policy, financial system policy, defence policy, and social policy.