Why the US Navy has chosen CNR

Reblogged from Science on the Net

The US Navy has been funding for many years a collaboration with CNR scientific research in the field of marine industry. On July 23, at the Marine Technology Research Institute (INSEAN) in Rome, the Admiral Matthew L. Klunder of the US Navy delegation has visited the Italian Institute in order to further strengthen this scientific collaboration.

To understand the reasons behind such cooperation, we have talked with Emilio Campana, the INSEAN director.

“CNR is in a very unique situation compared to other institutions in the world that deal with scientific research in the marine field because – and this concept must be highlighted – the collaboration between the Navy and INSEAN just relates to the field of scientific research. Which means studying how to build better ships that go faster, consume less and are able to better cope with the difficulties,” explains Campana.

“In other countries, there are two types of institutions dealing with marine research: on the one hand those that are under the complete control of military forces, as it happens in Spain and France, and on the other hand the commercial institutions, such those operating in Netherlands and Germany. Instead, CNR belongs to a third class: since we are a research institution, we do not obey neither to the dictates of the Italian Navy nor to the will of the market.”

“Most of all,” says Campana, “it is the Italian innovation that interests the American Navy. Using a metaphor, the research market is a bit like the meat market, your research must ‘smell fresh’ to attract customers. If the US Navy funds us, is because CNR is working on the forefront of this field.” The Italian research is an excellence in the field of marine industry and there are two main areas where CNR is providing its contribution.

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A help desk for small and medium enterprises in Horizon 2020

Reblogged from Science on the Net

As part of the European programme Horizon 2020, which has allocated € 70 billion for research and innovation, Sapienza Innovazione, a promoter of high tech companies born in 2006, and Management Innovation, a society founded in 2008 that works in innovation consulting, have recently set up a SME (Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises) help desk in support of SMEs that want to innovate. This help desk is called Sportello PMI, and it accepts the European definition of SME: it must be independent, engaged into economic activities, it must have less than 250 employees and have an annual turnover less than 50 million Euro or a balance sheet total under 43 million Euro.

Unlike previous programming, the European Commission has sought to promote Small and Medium Enterprises reserving these for as much as 20% of the total budget. Actually, there are two main sources of funding for SMEs. The first consists in a specific budget for all projects involved in Horizon 2020. SMEs can participate in collaborative projects with Corporations, Research Centers or Italian and European universities and Europe gives them the 13% of the budget. A second opportunity is given by the so-called SMEs Instrument, which allocates 7% of the entire budget of H2020 only to SMEs. It consists of 2.8 billion euros for SMEs in the 2014-20 programming, and enterprises can also submit proposals on their own and not necessarily in cooperation with other European SMEs.

However, even if European Commission encouraged SMEs innovators, a good idea is not enough. Projects, not ideas, make the difference. This is the reason why SMEs help desk was born: to led companies that want to innovate towards the realization of their project.

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