Research and innovation are widely integrated into industrial processes with a long tradition of excellence in many fields of physics and engineering (e.g. robotics), life sciences (e.g. neurosciences), and social sciences and humanities (e.g. high-tech archaeological techniques).
Italian researchers, internationally recognized as highly productive in terms of articles and citations, actively participate and/or lead R&D European networks, such as the CERN physics laboratory, and top-level research infrastructures of transnational interest in sectors such as aerospace, systems biology, earth observation, nanobiotechnology, marine and maritime research, etc.
Italy also ranks 5th in the EU for the contribution of high-tech and medium-tech products to the trade balance as % of total exports & imports of products, and 6th for design applications (Eurostat, Research & Innovation Performance Survey, 2014).