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CNR: Alamanacco della Scienza

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N. 16 - 17 ott 2012
ISSN 2037-4801

International info   a cura di Cecilia Migali

Socio-economico

A knowledge map of Italy

According to a paper by Cnr-Institute for the Study of Regionalism, Federalism and Self-Government (Issirfa) and Istat published in Cnr-Issirfa web site, out of a total of the Italian 686 Local Labour Systems (Llss), a large majority of them, 78.3%, are involved in some inventive/innovative activity, i.e. R&D, scientific publications, patenting. However, the percentage of Llss where these three activities are simultaneously present is much lower (40.2%) and, if a minimum level of the three parameters is introduced (an expenditure on R&D higher than 10 million euro and more than 10 publications and patents), the percentage of 'highly knowledge intensive' Llss drops to 12.2%.

Statistical analyses of the knowledge potential at territorial level in Italy use traditionally the Region as the unit of observation. It is however well known that this potential is spatially concentrated at a sub-regional level where local factors provide competitive advantages in terms of access to services and potential for spillovers.

The authors highlight also that the concentration of knowledge across sectors, namely enterprises, university, public research agencies, private-non-profit institutions, is quite high: roughly 80% of R&D and publications is concentrated in the top 10 Llss. In particular, most of the small regions (i.e. Friuli Venezia Giulia, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Sardinia, which account for 7.9% of the total R&D expenditure) display a lower than average level of concentration for the three indicators; Veneto and Emilia Romagna, which are larger in terms of both area and population, show lower than average levels of concentration of 'knowledge creation' activities: this is an indicator that their 'knowledge creation system', which is based on a mixed network of universities and enterprises, is spread over the regional territory; Piedmont, Lombardy, Tuscany and Lazio (the best performing regions) concentrate their knowledge potential in the regional capital or in the largest urban areas.

Finally, the study shows that while Lombardy and Piedmont display a knowledge structure concentrated in large cities, Veneto and Emilia Romagna are characterized by a much more diffused regional system of innovation. The amount of resources devoted to knowledge activities is concentrated in the Llss where the largest Italian cities are located (Rome, Milan, Turin, Bologna, Florence, Padua, Naples, Genoa, etc.).

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Fonte: Giorgio Sirilli, Istituto di studi sui sistemi regionali federali e sulle autonomie "Massimo Severo Giannini", Roma, tel. 06 4993 7842, email giorgio.sirilli@cnr.it