A budget of 50 million euro has been allocated for 2022 for the Italian Fund for Applied Sciences (FISA in the Italian acronym) that aims to promote the competitiveness of the national production system by promoting industrial research and experimental development. The Decree (in Italian) of the Minister of University and Research (MUR), Maria Cristina Messa, adopted in agreement with the Minister of Economic Development (MISE), Giancarlo Giorgetti, defining the criteria and procedures for the allocation of resources, was published on 29 March 2022. These resources will be activated through public calls defining areas of intervention, evaluation criteria and allocated resources.
The measure aims to promote the most relevant innovative ideas proposed by individuals (Principal Investigators – PIs) from the national research system, both public and private, enabling them to develop innovative project proposals at their home institutions or at different host institutions. The decree specifies that the project activities eligible for funding are industrial research and experimental development activities. The decree aims to allocate resources to proposals that will clearly demonstrate the effects and impacts, including industrial effects, of the intended results in terms of new products or services that can contribute to the solution of important social issues and that introduce significant and competitive product or process innovations in the socio-economic and industrial context of reference.
The scientific evaluation of the proposals will be carried out by technical-scientific experts identified by the National Committee for Research Evaluation and appointed by the Ministry of University and Research. The Italian Fund for Applied Sciences, established by the Budget Law 2022, complements the Italian Fund for Science, dedicated to fundamental research.
“The Italian Fund for Applied Sciences, entirely financed by national resources thanks to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Daniele Franco, is an important step towards raising Italy’s level of attractiveness, competitiveness and innovation,” said Minister Messa. “The aim is to increase the capacity to do research in our country, to provide more and more opportunities, especially for young people, and to transform the results achieved into activities providing sustainable and long term economic benefits, thanks to a strong and healthy interaction between the public and private sectors.”
“By investing in industrial research, we intend to strengthen the capacity to develop innovative ideas and projects that, when transferred to businesses, can increase their competitiveness in the markets,” said Minister Giorgetti. “The Fund for Applied Sciences is another tool made available by the Government with the aim of enhancing the wealth of knowledge and skills of young Italian researchers, making it more easily accessible to industrial supply chains, reversing the brain drain of researchers that has impoverished Italy’s economic and social fabric in recent years.”