Research macro-areas

Research themes of IRISS are the result of a selection process based on some essential criteria: a) performing excellent research at the frontier of knowledge; b) internationalization of research activities and, obviously, c) consistency with the challenges of Horizon 2020 and EU2020.

They are addressed with the double purpose of contributing to the advancement of scientific debate and helping/supporting in managing complexity, by suggesting adequate policy measures.

Research themes developed by the Institute are connected to three macro-areas: Innovation and competitive advantage; Place-based strategies and policies for local development; Migrations and development.

This research macro-area represents the Institute’s core research activity, absorbing most of the human and financial resources. The basic idea is that innovation has to be considered a strategic tool to systematically generate new ideas and to finalize them in an entrepreneurial context. In particular, for a country with a mature economy like Italy, with high prevalence of SMEs, under increasing pressure of emerging countries, innovation orientation has to be a strategic driver for development and competitiveness.
The main issues addressed include: Service Innovation and Management, as a strategic driver for competitiveness in Knowledge Society; Inter-organizational Collaboration as a propulsive factor for innovation and, lastly, Entrepreneurship between Social Challenges and Innovation, as a means to provide innovative solutions to unsolved social problems.Research is mostly focused on some key sectors for competitiveness of our country: Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Knowledge-Intensive Services (Knowledge-Intensive Business Services – KIBS), Agri-food, Transport and Logistics, Biotechnologies, Mechanical and Engineering Sector,Textile, Insurance, Health and Social Services.

The need to reverse the trend to the impoverishment of territorial resources is the background of this research area, which leads to interpret the orientations of planning also in a “smart growth” perspective. In this respect, local development is addressed, paying particular attention to recycling and repurposing of existing spaces; to spatial, social and economic regeneration of strategic urban areas as well as to the creation of spaces for cultural integration – also with a creative approach. In this field, the Institute focuses on the following issues:  a) Technological innovation and design of innovative urban services (smart city); b) Governance and strategic environmental and urbanistic assessment; c) Participatory model building and strategies for social engagement; d) Urban security and socio-environmental vulnerability; e) Preservation and enhancement of Cultural Heritage (tangible and intangible) and local identity; f) Juridical outlines of the concept of sustainable development, with particular reference to the social and environmental perspectives and which arise from these dimensions for territorial policies and development processes.

The underlying purpose of this research area, recently developed, is to investigate the current situation of migrations to provide methods, models and guidelines also, and in particular, to the Countries of origin of migrants, so that they themselves could benefit from the advantages arising from the generation of value (economic, social and cultural) connected with migratory phenomena. The premise is that in current societies, significantly characterized by globalization,  the pair “migrations and development” has to be analyzed in close connection with the mobility of tangible and intangible assets, consisting of capitals, goods, services, knowledge, ideas and values, in the awareness that migrants are vehicle for innovative ideas, technology transfer and dissemination of knowledge.