About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3081-3089
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0803

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain


S. Palmieri, D. Amandolese

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
There is a widespread opinion that the Italian productive system has a presumed low capacity for innovation. Firms are too small to invest in research, there is little investment in R&D functions in relation to the GDP, and the presence of Italy in cutting edge sectors is low. Actually, perhaps all of this is a cliché.

Innovation of development is actually the daily commitment for thousands of small and medium enterprises. This has to be the starting point if we want to foster the encounter between the productive fabric and centres for innovation, but research policies very often pursue models of success that are not easily applicable to the Italian situation. The major universities in the English-speaking world, with close links to the world of business and supported by private funding, are certainly more sensitive to orienting research towards results for application. The effective encounter between universities and the centres for industrial production in Italy is not as linear.

For Italian firms, the stimulus for innovation mostly takes place locally, thanks to particularly efficient structures such as the hubs of networks and of the exchange of knowledge, but which are too marginally with respect to research poles.

In Italy, however, there are centres of excellence (like the Politecnico of Milan) of which the potential for research can be transformed into a multiplier of productive initiatives, on condition that firms recognize its effective value to improve and expand their business, with the injection of strong doses of innovation in the economic system as a whole. At the same time, researchers, whilst keeping their scientific autonomy, need to find more fertile ground to transform ideas into innovative industrial projects. That is, greater synergy between the two worlds is necessary to make dialogue possible, which to date is excessively fragmented. Research and innovation, central for local socio-economic growth, need initiatives aimed at fostering technological transfer to industry in order to facilitate the creation, development and competitiveness of firms, to retrain the human capital stimulating the employment of young people who intend embarking on an entrepreneurial path.

The paper presents a case-study of this synergy, with the aim of opening up new channels for the firm, but also for the University, for research and innovation.

Since 2013, the company Fluid-o-Tech, through its F-Lab research centre, has activated a number of collaborations with the Department of Design of the Politecnico of Milan. This is a strategic collaboration between company and university, where the tools of research have been put at the service of the company which thus experiments a new way to integrate design into its organizational structure. Design, understood as a planning mentality, as a strategic and managerial approach, plays a fundamental role in the company’s overall strategy. The competitiveness of companies is increasingly based on the use of new technologies and capacities of innovation; the designer is one of the professional figures most updated on technological evolution and in particular on its possible applications. This research is aimed at building up new scenarios, developing innovative concepts on the study of new materials and experimental technologies and the possible applications in its core business.
author = {Palmieri, S. and Amandolese, D.},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0803},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0803},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3081-3089}}
AU - S. Palmieri AU - D. Amandolese
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0803
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 3081
EP - 3089
ER -
S. Palmieri, D. Amandolese (2017) INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVENESS GO VIA UNIVERSITIES, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 3081-3089.