Italy does not rank at the top of the countries carrying out research. Many reasons are possible: lack of culture and lack of sufficient and efficient financial and fiscal tools to support investments, incapacity for companies to work in collaboration with each other and with universities.
However, Italy presents also some very positive examples. Italy is at the forefront of the International Network of SMEs (INSME), the international network of SMES that aims at promoting technology transfer from University to Industry. Another example is the 5th and 6th FP that was launced by the EU to sustain research. Aleardo Furlani, CEO of INNOVA spA, notes that italian companies have been able to pick up some interesting opportunities. The number of projects coordinated by italian partners reached 332 on a total of 891 with a participation of 30% of SMEs. In FP6, Italian companies are on the front line.