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Science, technology and innovation

An overview

In 2016 total expenditure for research and development (R&D) was nearly 23.2 billion euros. The percentage of R&D spending on Gdp increased compared to 2015 and reached 1.37%.

In 2018 the share of Italian enterprises that used a website to present their activity remained substantially stable.


In the period between 2014 and 2016, 48.7% of enterprises in the industrial and service sector with at least 10 persons employed introduced or implemented some innovations. This figure is mostly due to the increased investments in product and process innovations. Success innovators are also increasing (i.e. enterprises that succeeded in introducing at least one product or process innovation onto the market or inside the enterprise itself). The propension to innovation is strongly increasing among small- and medium-sized enterprises; from a sectoral point of view, it is strenghtening in the industrial sector while it is still limited in the service sector.


In 2016 R&D personnel (measured in terms of full-time equivalent units) amounted to 290,039.5 units, with an overall increase compared to 2015.

The share of residents aged 20-29 that in 2016 achieved an S&T degree increased by 0.6 percentage points compared to 2015. The indicator increased by 1 percentage pont for the male component and by only 0.2 percentage points for the female component.


In 2018 68.5% of individuals aged 6 and over access the Internet. Men accounted for 72.5% of the total and women for 64.6%. 

The share of households using a broadband internet connection reached 73.7%.