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Science, technology and innovation

An overview


In 2014 intra-mural R&D expenditure by enterprises, public institutions, non-profit private institutions and universities was nearly 22.3 billion euros; the percentage of R&D spending on Gdp increased for the third year in a row and reached 1.38 percent.


The number of patents per million inhabitants continued to decrease for the second year in a row.


Internet use has reached saturation nearly all over Europe. In 2016 over nine out of ten Italian enterprises with at least 10 persons employed accessed the Internet using fixed broadband connections.

31.9 percent of enterprises (as against 35.5 percent in the two-year period 2010-2012) was directly involved in activities aiming at process/product innovations. Industry was again the most innovative branch.

In 2014 R&D personnel (measured in terms of full-time equivalent units) amounted to 249,467 units, with an overall increase  of 1.1 percent compared to 2013.


In 2013 the number of S&T graduates aged 20-29 further increased and reached 13.6 S&T graduates per thousand residents aged 20-29 years. The increase was registered for both components.

63.2 percent of individuals aged 6 and over access the Internet. Over 9 out of 10 young people aged between 15 and 24 access the Internet; however, the share of users progressively decreases with increasing age.

Since 2006 the share of households using a fast internet connection has remarkably increased, with nearly 68.0 percent of households using a broadband connection in 2016.