The health, social and economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare weaknesses in certain segments of our society and shown the failure of current development models. Rethinking the paradigms for environmental, health, social and cultural sustainability appears to have become a necessary choice. As shown in numerous studies, scientific research can give a key contribution to innovation and development. Increasing public and private-sector spending on research and development (R&D) to 3% of GDP to strengthen the economy of the European continent was one of the targets set out in the “Europe 2020” strategy to overcome the economic sluggishness following the 2008 recession. And yet, in 2018 average R&D spending in the EU was well below that target, as it accounted only for 2.15% of GDP. Italy continues to be one of the countries with the lowest spending as it allocated only 1.43% of GDP to R&D and recent data from ISTAT, Italy’s Office for National Statistics, showed that in 2018 R&S spending in Lombardy was even lower (1.33%) than the national figure. The need to promote R&D to strengthen our country’s growth is self-evident.
Supporting independent research to build multi-discipline knowledge that will yield benefits in terms of social and economic development of local communities and their wellbeing.