European research is fundamental for guaranteeing future competitiveness to our economies, as acknowledged by all EU member States that committed to reach investments in research and development equal to 3% of GDP. Up to date, however, the funds allocated by the 28 Countries of the Union remain below the 2% of GDP and on average do not exceed 0.7% (Fig. 1). Some Nations, however, are reversing their route.
Despite Italy investing so little in research, Italian researches are holding on, at least if we consider the number of cited publications at international level. What is critical, however, is the following step: from research to industrial applications, as shown from patents, start-ups and other indicators statistics. Yet, it is the combination of research, innovation, industrial dynamism and capability of winning new markets that can really “re-start” our Country, recovering employment and withstanding the more and more intense international competition.
According to Patrick Cunningham, professor of animal genetics and scientific consultant for the Irish Government, research needs to be rethought by remodelling its priorities. In an article published on October, 24, on Nature, Cunningham underlines that we are fully in economic recession and states that the only way out is by increasing, not diminishing, the investments in research and development.