Italy: a very innovative country.

Since the Renaissance, Italy has been renowned worldwide for its creativity and style, distinctive qualities still shaping its reputation at a global level. 

First in the world for UNESCO Heritage World Sites, Italy is much more than a cultural superpower. It is home to widely appreciated fashion brands and exquisite food. It is a world leader in several industrial sectors, such as machinery, wood industry, infrastructure and mobility, industrial design, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and aerospace technologies. Italy holds a prominent role worldwide also in the fields of renewable energies, recycling, circular economy and sustainability. 

Italy draws its strength from the very essence of the “Made in Italy”, capable of creating economic value from intangible assets such as design, innovation and quality. The unique combination of tradition and innovation, search for quality and excellence, care for human relations and respect for the environment allows our country to succeed in many complex challenges. 

Italy’s excellence spread over many fields and productive sectors, sometimes unknown or underestimated. Italy is the world’s second most competitive country in the manufacturing sectors according to the Trade Performance Index (2019) and ranks fourth among G20 countries for its trade surplus (2020). Among the TOP100 luxury goods companies in the world, 24 are based in Italy. Italy is the leader in Europe for its efficient use of resources in the manufacturing processes, for its rate of circular economy and for the share of renewable energy in its gross domestic consumption. Italy has the most sustainable agricultural industry in the world and is a leader in food quality certification. Italy is also the second healthiest country in the world according to the Bloomberg Global Health Index 2021 and is a leader in the EU for the production and export of pharmaceutical products. 

According to the International Federation of Robotics, Italy ranks 8th among the most automated countries in the world, with 185 robots every 10 thousand employees. In 2018 Italy ranked 7th for the number of robots produced annually with 8,300 units. 

Italy was the second country in the world launching a civil satellite into orbit and is the third contributing country to the European Space Agency (2019 ESA Budget). Italy contributes to more than 40% of the International Space Station’s budget through the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) and companies from the private sector. The Italian artificial satellite Prisma is the most advanced ever built for its instrumental features. The Italian radar Marsis identified a large saltwater lake 1.5 km underneath the red planet’s the South Pole, the first discovery of water ever found on the Red Planet.

The Italian innovation performance is underpinned by our dynamic university, innovation and research sector. Italy is a well-established centre of absolute excellence for advanced studies and quality teaching. Fourth in Europe for its public university system and fifth in the world for most quoted academic publications. 36 Italian universities rank among the top 1,000 world universities (2020). Italy is the 7th most represented country in the world and 3rd in Europe according to the QS World University Rankings. 
The post-COVID economic recovery is offering a unique opportunity to further develop our innovation agenda, by combining the need to provide a powerful stimulus to recover from the shocks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and structurally reorient public and private investments towards climate-neutral human development. The Next Generation EU programme, coupled with the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, is a clear example of a recovery instrument designed to cope with short term coronavirus impacts and prepare the ground for a greener, more digital and innovative Europe. In this framework, the Italian Government is ramping up investments and designing new policies to create the new markets that will drive this economic transformation. About Euro 200 billion are ready to be invested in the next 6 years to support structural reforms aimed at improving equity, efficiency and competitiveness and push further our innovation agenda.