In 2012-2014, 44.6% of Italian enterprises with at least ten persons employed undertook innovation activity. As compared to the previous period 2008-2010, the propensity to innovate decreased greatly, from 51.9 to 44.6% (-7.3 percentage points). The decrease was largely explained from the reduction of investments in organizational and marketing innovations.
The innovation propensity decreased largely among small enterprises (41.3%, -8 percentage points compared with the previous period) compared with the medium-sized ones (64.9%, -3.9 percentage points). On the other hand it rose slightly among large enterprises (83.3%, +0.8), for which innovation can be considered a structural characteristic.
Industry was still the most innovative sector: 50.5% of enterprises with innovation activities, followed by Services with 42.2% and Construction with 30.5%.
31.9% of enterprises (against 35.5% per of period 2010-2012) was involved in product-process innovation activities (innovative enterprises strictly-speaking).
3.4% of enterprises declared they were still performing or had abandoned innovation projects at the end of 2014.
Adopting integrated innovations practices was confirmed as a tendency: 45.6% of innovative enterprises was involved in developing new products-processes and at the same time introduced organization or marketing innovations: 46.5% of innovative enterprises strictly speaking innovated both products and productive processes.
In 2014 Italian enterprises expenditure for product-process innovative activities was 23.2 billion euro, 4.3% less than in 2012. R&D was nearly half of the overall expenditure.
In 2012, innovation expenditure of the Italian enterprises was estimated to be around 24 billion of euros. The major contribution (about 50%) was given by research and development (R&D) expenditure.
Innovation expenditure per person employed (measured taking into account just the product-process innovative enterprises) was about 6,200 euros, a slight decrease compare to 2012 (6,300 euros). Highest values were registered in industry (8,000 euros), particularly the in large-sized industries (9,000 euros).
23.6% of product-process innovation active enterprises received a public funding for innovation (it was 20.7% in the previous period).
The capacity to innovate through cooperation with other enterprise was still low even though the growth was quickly rising, and it regarded 19.8% of enterprises (were 12.5% in the previous period).
Innovation was still highly concentrated at the territorial level. Two-thirds of innovation enterprises were based in five regions: Lombardia, Piemonte, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna e Lazio. These five accounted for three-fourths of national innovation expenditure.