The paper describes the innovation strategies of a representative sample of Italian firms participating to the Bank of Italy’s yearly survey. The evidence covers the 2008- 2010 period and highlights some stylized facts widely discussed in the economic literature. Results show that the activity of R&D is carried out within the firm, basically self-financed and it is more intense among bigger firms settled in central and northern Italy. On the other hand, public funding of R&D does not seem able to influence the firms’ decision of undertaking the innovation process. Even though R&D expenditure and innovation activity are highly correlated, managerial best practices tend to be positively associated with R&D expenditure but to a lesser extent with the firms’ ability to introduce an innovation. Moreover, exporting firms have a higher propensity both to invest in R&D and to patent their intellectual property. Finally, the survey shows that the most relevant obstacles for Italian firms to innovate are the high setup costs and the lack of skilled research personnel.
Keywords: Research and development, innovation
Jel Code: O31, O32, L25