In a globalised world where competitiveness is a focal point of discussion on economic growth and welfare, fostering R&D activities is at the forefront of public policy agendas. This is not only because the innovation stemming from technology is seen as a crucial determinant of economic growth, but is also due to the consensus that public agencies should play a facilitator role in the complex patterns of national, regional, and sectoral systems of innovation.
Among the various policy instruments, direct R&D subsidies and fiscal incentives are the two best-known and most frequently employed mechanisms by policy-makers to tackle private sector under-investment on R&D.
Azione works closely with public agencies as they aim to be the cornerstones of high-tech industry and to play a key role in the evolution and transformation to science and technology based economies.
The key objectives of public support for industrial R&D are:
- Develop new technologies in high-priority industries
- Encourage technological entrepreneurship
- Develop the pool of human resources
- Deepen and widen a competitive R&D culture in industry
- Promote R&D cooperation on a national and international level
The most important reason for governmental intervention in R&D is the gap between social and private returns to R&D. The financing problem in R&D is unique, and is often a crucial condition for performing R&D. Azione works with public agencies to establish R&D, pre-seed, and seed funds.
Agencies must also continue to develop appropriate and available tools for the aid and support of industry to keep their economies at the forefront of technology. The changes inherent in a globalised economy demand a constant vigilance and rapid response to changing situations.
To this end, Azione partners agencies to support research institutes, where the agencies often sponsor research projects with a longer and less certain path to commercialisation.