In May Lecce hosted the third edition of the Energy Festival, a unique opportunity in our country of an open, secular and pragmatic on the complex issues that revolve around the world of energy, from geopolitical issues to climate conditions, from the delicate Italy's return to nuclear power the green economy and employment that is capable of generating. If it became clear that today we can not afford to give up any source, it became equally clear that only by encouraging research you can come to imagine and identify solutions.
How then fund the research? And how does it fit Italy from this point of view on the international scene? This was discussed in depth at the Festival in a meeting designed ad hoc, 'Research and innovation: what is the future of investing?' Which featured Stefano da Empoli, President of Vice-com, Joseph Campanella of Aifi, Paolo Anselmo Iban. An important opportunity to debate that has developed around to the latest report of the Observatory energy innovation developed by I-com, which analyzes precisely the trend in the industry at the international level.
According to the data I-com, which refer to 2008, the energy sector is one of those in which the investments were more intense, despite the crisis period. The investments in the sector in Italy, however, are still prevalent in a state, there are signs of a turnaround - Private investment grew by 45% in fact - but despite this remains below the European average. Most of the investments in our country focuses on efficiency and energy saving, an area in which Italy has historically high rankings. All this has pushed our country to some position in the international ranking for investment in the sector: we are now in seventh place, with a market share of 3%, after Japan, the United States, France, Germany, Korea and the UK.
The situation is similar also with respect to patents. In this case, in 2009 Italy is ranked in sixth place, with a percentage equal to 4% of the total number of patent applications filed in the energy sector. Particularly significant data I-com that assess the overall impact of the sector on the Italian economy: in 2008, the energy sector has contributed to the positive balance of payments Italian technology for 55 million euro. Importance for the energy is at the fifth place, after transport, the services to be sold and construction. A weigh negatively on the technological balance of the energy sector were the entries for the purchase and sale of patents and related utilization (17 million euro) and for the purchase and sale of drawings, models, trademarks and related utilization (5.6 million euro). By contrast, the main active voice is represented by research and development services, with assets of about 200 million euro.
A generally positive situation, but it still has room for improvement.
Stefano da Empoli and Franco D'Amore, curators of the research, suggest some policies which can be adopted for this purpose. First, you need to engage in a more understanding the business world: some resources already allocated to public sector could be used just as a lever to encourage private investment; goes maximized the ability of companies to intercept the Italian European sources of funding (you is about 5 billion Euros regarding the Seventh Framework Programme, for the period 2007-2013 and 58-71 billion euro with regard to the Set-Plan for the period 2009-2020), and should promote tools that enhance collaboration between large companies and SMEs, and between them and public research centers, and finally, you need to break down the barriers to patenting. Underlies all of this remains the problem of problems, the one that grips the Italian research per se, but may be especially harmful in the energy sector, namely the lack of ongoing relationships, long-lasting, profitable among universities, business and capital.
One of the difficulties of dialogue which is mostly given by a diversity of times and the lack of system and co-ordination, so that we are in the paradoxical situation where the money we have are not fully invested. In short, we waste, we do not use fully well what investors would be willing to put in the field, we do not seize the opportunities that are offered. The question is not ready. A support during the conference Lecce, Joseph Campanella is of Aifi, which also reaffirms our researchers is lacking as a basic economic training, sufficient to enable them to adequately present their project to a potential investor. Difficulties that could very well be obviated through a departmental cooperation that allows the creation of around a scientific and technological project, a team of joint working where basic skills are integrated with economic and financial sciences.
Some effort is also made by the banks, which are gradually equipping staff with appropriate skills to enter into the merits of scientific projects to assess their specificity, the potential and the potential impact on the industry and on the market for investors it is important to certify the rate of innovation and how this can be accepted in the market. A choice that pays guaranteed Enzo Colombo, Mediocredito Italian group, which has chosen to enter into organic shapes also unusual in a bank's engineers. It emphasizes the importance of placing the precise scientific and technological innovation in the context of reference Paolo Anselmo, President of Iban, who returns to bring the focus of debate the issue of time: for patients, investors must be able to imagine a return Financial within a maximum of six years.
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