An assessment of research and innovation policy in the Marche region: the results of the EC Regional Innovation Monitor


research and innovation system
innovation policy
regional policy
structural and cohesion funds
smart specialisation strategy
europe 2020


The adaptation capacity of industrial clusters in the Marche region and the creativity of local SMEs have been sufficient to allow a satisfactory economic performance over a long period of time, most notably in the nineties and until the early two thousands. Subsequently, the loss of competitiveness caused by the introduction of the common currency and then by the international crisis exposed and magnified some regional weaknesses related to the research and innovation system as well as to wider framework conditions. The regional approach to innovation policy improved over time (e.g. more selectivity, greater focus on collaborative research). However, due to the crisis, some of the policy novelties were watered down under the urge to safeguard employment and keep afloat SMEs going through hard times. If the region had been less short-sighted during the boom years and had invested more significantly in strengthening an innovation friendly environment, the condition for competing in the global markets would already have been in place. In the next years, a focused effort is necessary to address the most important regional challenges: increasing R&D intensity and strengthening cooperation networks; enhancing the quality of human capital and facilitating its absorption; finding an optimal balance between traditional specialisations and a `smart diversification'. The new smart specialisation strategy and the operational programmes seem suited to fulfil these needs but further initiatives are recommended.