The National Research Programme 2005-2007 is a plan based on the Guidelines for the Scientific and Technological Policy issued by the Italian Government in 2002. These guidelines had identified priority sectors: for the economic development (instrumental goods and production systems, microelectronics, optoelectronics, agriculture and food), for the environmental protection and energy saving (energy, transport and climate) and for the protection of citizens’ health (biotechnologies).
The National Research Programme 2005-2007 defines the framework, the general objectives, the opportunities for the Italian research in the international context, and the range of possible actions. The National Research Programme 2005-2007 significantly enhances the depth of the analysis and the scope of the proposals compared with the previous National Research Programme.
The programme identifies the following strategic objectives:
- to strengthen the scientific basis of the country by supporting fundamental (mission-oriented) research and multi-disciplinarily;
- to develop human capital for the science, in particular within excellence research projects;
- to intensify the collaboration between the public research system and private firms;
- to enhance the technological level of the Italian production system also by promoting spin-off and start-up of new firms working in the high-technology sector.
The interventions foreseen in the National Research Programme 2005-2007 are characterised by the following keywords:
- growth and increase of the value of human capital,
- excellence and merit in research,
- concentration on strategic sectors,
- collaboration between private and public sectors,
- usage of a multiplicity of funds and funding channels,
- evaluation of research.
The National Research Programme 2005-2007 outlines a set of interventions which are structured according to the following action lines:
- Action line 1: aimed at strengthening the scientific basis of the country,
- Action line 2: aimed at enhancing the technological level of the Italian production system,
- Action line 3: aimed at supporting the Italian participation in the EU research programmes and in the international agreements.
Within Action Line 1 interventions include: increase of research funds to universities, launch of joint laboratories between the public and private sector, implementation of industrial liaison offices within the universities.
Within the Action Line 2 interventions include the launch of 10 programmes of industrial research, the strengthening of technological districts, the strengthening of research by SMEs.
The 10 industrial programmes are (3 in bold type are related to transport):
- Human heath,
- Pharmaceutical industry,
- Biomedical industry,
- Advanced manufacturing systems,
- Automotive industry,
- Shipbuilding, aeronautics, helicopter industry,
- Advanced materials for structural applications,
- Telecommunication systems,
- Agriculture products and food safety,
- Advanced transport and logistics, passenger and freight infomobility.
Within Action Line 3 interventions include: internalisation of PhD programmes, international joint research laboratories, and national technology platforms linked with the European platforms.
The financial resources for the research projects of the 10 industrial research programmes come from different sources, including funds for industrial and fundamental research (FAR and FIRB) and funds from a governmental decree aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the country (so-called "Decreto competitività").