Scientific research: Italy calls Europe

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Introduction 

Who and how many are the protagonists of Italian research in Europe? Scienceonthenet aims at defining the geography of Italian research by analysing the data of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, available up-to-date. The database Italian Research Map (IRM) collects the data relative to FP7 projects to which more than 2,000 Italian contractors participated, up to Devember 2013. Possible limits and incompletenesses should be referred to the official source. 

ProgrammeTotal projects
Projects to which Italy participatesPercentage of participationCoordinated projects
(% on implemented projects) 
FP7-COH25416,025,0%
FP7-COORDINATION10.. %..%
FP7-ENERGY33115145,625,2%
FP7-ENVIRONMENT46925153,517,1%
FP7-EURATOM-FISSION1336145,911,5%
FP7-EURATOM-FUSION4250,0..%
FP7-GA25624,016,7%
FP7-HEALTH99546546,717,8%
FP7-ICT2205110950,326,6%
FP7-IDEAS-ERC38772376,189,9%
FP7-INCO1507046,712,9%
FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES33822265,719,4%
FP7-JTI54215027,739,3%
FP7-KBBE47729762,312,5%
FP7-NMP80548460,119,6%
FP7-PEOPLE96159189,561,2%
FP7-REGIONS793038,020,0%
FP7-REGPOT195147,250,0%
FP7-SECURITY24713956,324,5%
FP7-SIS1668953,625,8%
FP7-SME93639241,925,0%
FP7-SPACE21110147,922,8%
FP7-SSH21113162,119,1%
FP7-TRANSPORT61535157,118,5%
Totale22652567425,031,1

Limits and prospects of the study

The results we are presentig are still preliminary, based on the data provided by the European Commission . In this first release, we considered universities and research centres only, without looking in detail at departments and institutes.Besides, we did not considered for the moment the economic size of the projects, nor we normalised the amount of projects for every centre or university by the number of researchers or other parameters.These will be the next steps of the Italian Research Map project, that will be implemented by the portal Scienceonthenet by the end of this year, in order to provide a complete and accurate snapshot of the protagonists of  Italian research and their connections in Europe. The dataset has been published at http://irm.scienceonthenet.eu

European countries by comparison

The 173 Countries admitted to FP7 research programme hold more than 100,000 project partecipations altogether. Contractors at the first 20 places in the ranking boast more then 1,000 participations each and they are all UE Members except Israel, the only non-European Country in the top20, with 1,786 participations to FP7 projects. In this picture, the first relevant data for Italy is its position in respect to other bigs of European research. With 10,619 participations, about 10% of the total, Italy gains the 4th place after Germany, United Kingdom and France and before Spain. These five countries cover altogher almost 50% of the total amount of projects. Italy is then well positioned, even though among the lower places in the top ranking, and quite close to France.

Countries by amount of participations
CountryParticipations
Germania16.164
Regno Unito15.442
Francia11.181
Italia10.619
Spagna9833
Paesi Bassi7027
Belgio5124
Svezia4016
Svizzera3966
Grecia3335
Austria3068
Danimarca2438
Finlandia2300
Portogallo2038
Polonia2011
Norvegia1913
Israele1786
Irlanda1735
Ungheria1451
Rep. Ceca Rep.1290

 

Countries by amount of projects coordinated
CountryProjects coordinated
Regno Unito4.441
Germania2.828
Francia2.377
Spagna2.112
Italia1.767
Paesi Bassi1.440
Svizzera911
Belgio846
Israele702
Svezia656
Grecia623
Austria615
Danimarca441
Irlanda402
Finlandia321
Norvegia318
Portogallo300
Turchia263
Polonia223
Ungheria197
Rep. Ceca Rep.106

Nations’ weight by themes

Fourth in participation, Italy is however better positioned in regards to some of the 24 significant themes, such as ICT, Space and Environment, where it gains the third place behind Germany and United Kingdom, and Regions and JTI , where it is even first and second, respectively.

ProgrammeGermanyUKFranceItalySpain
FP7-COH4168610
FP7-COORDINATION10000
FP7-ENERGY506318311305327
FP7-ENVIRONMENT803779477508458
FP7-EURATOM-FISSION238166301133137
FP7-EURATOM-FUSION87655
FP7-GA17816823
FP7-HEALTH1.6471.6301.029910630
FP7-ICT3.4092.1231.9462.1181.708
FP7-IDEAS-ERC6441026549284240
FP7-INCO108331159463
FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES676591467416331
FP7-JTI390273300331246
FP7-KBBE755758592572569
FP7-NMP1.806103082310591005
FP7-PEOPLE1.98335051.7641.2881.526
FP7-REGIONS916263100100
FP7-REGPOT113181828
FP7-SECURITY307327335321254
FP7-SIS14318210512195
FP7-SME84412274317711251
FP7-SPACE267217272233150
FP7-SSH223290145190110
FP7-TRANSPORT1.2838711.108828567

Italian comparison

On about 2,300 Italian contractors admitted to FP7, the top ranking goes, as expected, to the most important universities and research centres, like CNR (National Research Council, at the first place), FIAT Research Centre, ENEA, Agency for the Promotion of Research in Europe (APRE), D'Appolonia, Italian Istitute for Technology Foundation, STMicroelectronics and National Institute for Nuclear Physics. Not far behind, also the National Institute for Astrophysics.

The first five positions in the ranking of Italian contractors cover the 10% of projects. CNR, in particular, participates to a large part of FP7 Italian projects. 

Italian organisations by amount of participations
OrganisationParticipations
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche631
Alma Mater Studiorum-universita Di Bologna226
Politecnico Di Milano221
Università Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza186
Centro Ricerche Fiat Scpa180
Politecnico Di Torino176
Università Degli Studi Di Padova172
Università Degli Studi Di Firenze134
Università Di Pisa130
Agenzia Nazionale Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, L'energia E Lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA)128
Università Degli Studi Di Milano128
D'Appolonia Spa108
Università Degli Studi Di Torino103
Università Degli Studi Di Genova101
Università Degli Studi Di Trento96
Università Degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II94
Agenzia Per La Promozione Della Ricerca Europea91
Ospedale e Università San Raffaele90
Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare85
Università Degli Studi Di Roma Tor Vergata84
Stmicroelectronics Srl81
Fondazione Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia80
Istituto Superiore Di Sanità75

It is also very interesting to examine the contractors with at least 10 projects, positioned in the middle of the ranking, and discover that small and big research centres are more numerous than universities, whilst below 10 projects it is interesting to observe the quantity of small-medium companies that managed to grab European projects: these data draw a significant map of Italian innovation and knowledge that, if adequately supported by the public administration, might aim at achieving even better results for Horizon 2020 (see list in the Appendix).

Ordering the European organisations by participations, CNR ranks at the fourth place among those with more than 200 participations each.

European organisations by amount of participations (at least 200)
OrganisationParticipations
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE1.401
FRAUNHOFER-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V1.042
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE650
CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE631
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD623
MAX PLANCK GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.617
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE585
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS583
COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES518
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON518
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN501
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE468
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUER LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV377
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE (INSERM)370
DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET361
NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK - TNO353
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH352
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT351
TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT348
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER343
KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET302
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON298
FUNDACION TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION291
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN289
LUNDS UNIVERSITET287
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE279
THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM279
JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION269
STICHTING DIENST LANDBOUWKUNDIG ONDERZOEK269
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD269
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL266
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM259
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS247
FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY HELLAS246
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON246
UNIVERSITEIT GENT246
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZURICH245
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE243
AARHUS UNIVERSITET241
CHALMERS TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLA AB240
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID240
EIDGENÖSSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZÜRICH233
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN233
UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT232
THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM.231
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM-UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA226
UPPSALA UNIVERSITET226
UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART222
POLITECNICO DI MILANO221
UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE220
RHEINISCH-WESTFAELISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE AACHEN218
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO215
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN215
UNIVERSITAET ZUERICH215
STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT214
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN INFORMATIQUE ET EN AUTOMATIQUE213
UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE213

Who participates? Which projects?

It is also interesting to estimate the most covered themes (see Appendix) by Italian contractors, such as ICT, People, Health, Transport, Environment (except Euratom-Fission, on nuclear fission, where our centres are tail-end).

ICT
For the ICT theme, CNR, Politecnico of Milan and Turin, other universities, STMicroelectronics, Telecom and FIAT Research Centre establish themselves very well. Besides, some non-academic contractors stand out too, such as Bruno Kessler Foundation, Txt, HP srl, Alcatel

OrganisationParticipations
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche127
Politecnico Di Milano74
Stmicroelectronics Srl59
Telecom Italia Spa52
Centro Ricerche Fiat Scpa50
Università Degli Studi Di Trento45
Politecnico Di Torino44
Alma Mater Studiorum-universita Di Bologna43
Scuola Superiore Di Studi Universitàri E Di Perfezionamento Sant'anna42
Fondazione Bruno Kessler42
Università Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza40
Engineering - Ingegneria Informatica Spa39
Università Di Pisa37
Fondazione Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia35
Università Degli Studi Di Padova30
Università Degli Studi Di Genova27
Create-net (center For Research And Telecommunication Experimentation For Networked Communities)26
Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario Per Le Telecomunicazioni23
Txt E-solutions Spa18

Health
In regards to the theme Health, research projects are mostly distributed in the cities of Northen Italy, with several universities, CNR and those institutes involved in medical research by nature and vocation: Italian National Heath Institute (Istituto superiore di sanità), San Raffaele, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Telethon Foundation. Bruno Kessler Foundation and Italian Institute for Technology are once again well positioned.

OrganisationParticipations
Ospedale e Università San Raffaele43
Istituto Superiore Di Sanità38
Università Degli Studi Di Torino25
Università Degli Studi Di Milano24
Università Degli Studi Di Padova21
Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore21
Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri21
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche21
Università Degli Studi Di Siena20
Università Degli Studi Di Firenze20
Università Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza18
Alma Mater Studiorum-universita Di Bologna17
Università Degli Studi Di Roma Tor Vergata14
Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu13
Fondazione Telethon13
Alta Ricerca E Sviluppo In Biotecnologie Srlu13
Università Degli Studi Di Verona12
Cf Consulting Finanziamenti Unione Europea Srl12

Environment
The picture slightly changes for the environmental sector of FP7 projects: besides CNR in first position, non-academic centres now gain the top positions for participations – linked to environmental and energetic themes – such as the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Changes, ENEA, Amra to which follow La Sapienza, Alma mater Bologna, Padova, Tuscia e Firenze as the best positioned universities.
In this case, besides the small and medium industry research, in the second part of the ranking we can find ARPA Agencies, council and provincial institutions, absent in other themes.

OrganisationParticipations
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche60
Centro Euro-mediterraneo Sui Cambiamenti Climatici Scarl20
Università Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza14
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei14
Alma Mater Studiorum-universita Di Bologna11
Università Degli Studi Di Padova10
Istituto Nazionale Di Geofisica E Vulcanologia10
Amra - Analisi E Monitoraggio Del R Ischio Ambientale Scarl10
Agenzia Nazionale Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, L'energia E Lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA)10
Università Degli Studi Di Firenze8

IDEAS-ERC
Italian participation is very low in the important programme IDEAS-ERC dedicaded to basic research.

OrganisationParticipations
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche23
Università Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza14
Università Degli Studi Di Roma Tor Vergata13
Università Degli Studi Di Padova12
Università Commerciale 'Luigi Bocconi'12
Università Degli Studi Di Trento10
Ospedale e Università San Raffaele10
Alma Mater Studiorum-Università Di Bologna10

 

Italian regions and cities

Let us now consider the regions to which contractors belong. For all themes, the regions with the highest presence in the top five positions are Lazio, Lombardy, Liguria, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. Lazio displays the highest number of top positions (more than 10 on 24 themes) also because CNR and other research centres have their legal residence in Rome, despite having numerous other institutes in other Italian Regions, which were not considered by the EU statistics. Puglia, Campania, Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige and Umbria follow and sometimes appear within the top regions (for example Campania for Transport and JTI; Puglia for Space and Environment). Despite the firm prevalence of Northen Regions, the presence of some virtuos regional cases is particularly clear for the themes Environment, Energy, Infrastructure, People, Region. It is therefore possible to hypothise that territitory characteristics might favour specific vocations in universities and research centres. For the theme Health, Lombardy overtakes Lazio, despite the bias previously discussed for this region.

 

Infrastructures: participations by region
RegionParticipation
Lazio232
Lombardia33
Friuli-Venezia Giulia28
Toscana25
Emilia-Romagna24
Liguria12
Piemonte11
Campania10
Veneto10
Sicilia7
Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol7

 

ICT: participations by region
RegionParticipations
Lazio455
Lombardia438
Piemonte234
Toscana229
Emilia-Romagna198
Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol139
Liguria118
Veneto99
Campania47
Friuli-Venezia Giulia41

 

Health: participations by region
RegionParticipations
Lombardia291
Lazio172
Toscana110
Veneto68
Emilia-Romagna55
Piemonte45
Liguria29
Campania27
Friuli-Venezia Giulia23
Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol17
Puglia15

Another interesting data concern concentrations by city: Rome and Milan have the highest participation rate.

CitiesParticipations
Roma2.533
Milano1.336
Torino602
Genova514
Bologna363
Pisa289
Firenze276
Padova234

The European Commission data allow to highlight the peculiarity of Milan that, despite having 1,000 less participations than Rome (due to the already mentioned presence of the legal residence of research centres), is among the ten European cities with the most projects, after Paris, London, almost equal to Berlin and just before Zurich – and without including the contribute of Milan branch of CNR and other national centres (for further discussions on Milan data please consult the first part of the IRM database).

ICT, Health, People, NMP, Transport are the first themes for Milan, exacly as for Berlin (with the same participation distribution) and Zurich, where on the other side the presence of IDEAS-ERC is stronger than Transport.
But also Munich has a particular connection with Italian research: on the whole German territory (Germany is the country where Italy has the highest number of partnerships, abour 8,000) the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich holds more than 500 participations with Italy, and the Max Plank Institute about 200.

 

IRM project's next steps

The projet Italian Research Map by Scienceonthenet aims at drawing a map of Italian research in Europe. The next steps will analyse single institutes and departments in detail, describe temporal trends, normalise the data by parameters that allow the correct performance-evaluation of the contractors, report in maps and data visualisation the European collaboration network for straightforward interpretations.

IRM’s ultimate goal is, from one side, to become the thermometer of Italian research internationalisation, allowing reinforcement strategies to be based upon solid knowledge of present situations and, from the other side, to offer valid guidance to Italian and foreigner contractors when choosing the right parner.

The portal scienceonthenet.eu, by Gruppo 2003 and Zadig, in collaboration with CNR and with the support of MIUR, aims at disseminating the results of Italian research at European level. Data analysis and visualisation of Italian research’s quality and quantity are among the principal characteristics of the project.

FP7 themes

  • ENERGYCOH (Support to the coherent development of research policies)
  • COORDINATION (Coordination of Research Activities)
  • Environment
  • EURATOM-FISSION
  • EURATOM-FUSION
  • HEALTHICT (Information and Communication Technologies)
  • IDEAS-ERC (European Research Council)INCO (International cooperation)
  • INFRASTRUCTURES
  • KBBE (European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy)
  • PEOPLE
  • REGIONS
  • SECURITY
  • SIS (Science in Society)
  • SME (Research for the benefit of SMEs)
  • SSH (Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities)
  • TRANSPORT

Analysis are based on CORDIS data, updated at December 2013. CORDIS dataset contains some imprecisions, which have been reduced with a further elaboration, although their absence cannot be excluded. Data correction is still ongoing, to inform about mistakes write to: [email protected]

irm.scienceonthenet.eu database is based on CORDIS data, updated at September 2013. A further update is planned during the course of 2014.

Data analysis
Francesco Aiello, Michele Bellone, Luca Carra, Sergio Cima, Marco Milano

Data visualisation

Emanuele Conti, Carlo Toccaceli Blasi

Developer www.irm.scienceonthenet.eu

Paolo Griselli

We thank the European Commission and the CORDIS database.

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