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Research in Italy

Research Organizations

Research and technological development activities are carried out on national level by different players both from public and private sector. Key actors are universities, public research institutes, profit and non-profit companies. For a full description please visit researchitaly website.  Priorities and areas of intervention are determined at government level and listed in the National Research Programme (PNR) drawn up every three years. 

Research in Italy is carried out by national research centres, higher education institutions, private sector and no profit organization.

Research in Italy is supported mainly from public funds allocated by the Ministry for Universities and Research (MIUR) as well as from other central bodies, e.g. the Ministry of Health, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, etc.  Public funding may derive from nationalexpenditure and regional sources (funding comes from regional balance sheets to the development and innovation process in local production systems). European funds and grants contribute largely to research and innovation activities. In Italy private investment may come from business and from leading national associations. 

Evaluation and assessment of research activities are carried out  at national level by the National Committee of Guarantors for Research – CNGR (Comitato Nazionale dei Garanti per la Ricerca) and the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems - ANVUR (Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del sistema Universitario e della Ricerca).

For more information on research in Italy (overview, funding, main actors, etc.) please visit To know more about internationalisation, agreements, etc. please visit


The Italian Higher Education System

Italian higher education has a binary system and consists of two main sectors:

  • the university sector, that is made up of more than 90 universities
  • the non-university sector, that includes 4 education typologies: higher schools of Arts, higher education in language mediation, higher integrated education - FIS (e.g. higher technical education, etc.) and specific fields (e.g. diplomatic, archiving, restoration, military studies, etc.)


Network & Clusters

The following development models have been identified in Italy to enhance relations among different actors involved in the research sector and to strengthen partnership and cooperation between public and private bodies and among training, research and innovation.

National Technology Clusters have been set up by the Ministry of University and Research (MUR) in 2012 according with the priorities of Horizon2020 programme. These networks include public and private bodies operating throughout the country. Each cluster focuses its activity on a specific technology and application area of strategic interest to the national industry that are: aerospace; agrifood; green chemistry; smart factory; transport and mobility systems of land and ocean surface; life sciences; technologies for living environment; technologies for Smart Communities.

For more information visit Research in Italy