Italy’s patents grow: 5.3% more inventions published in Europe

Economy - published on 07 January 2022
Source: Unioncamere press office
It is still too early to understand what happened with the pandemic, but one fact bodes well for the relaunch of the Italian economy: innovative Italy, the one that does research and produces
patents at European level, is growing. According to an analysis carried out by Unioncamere-Dintec, 4,465 Italian patent applications will be published by the European Patent Office (EPO) in
2020, 5.3% more than the previous year. Since 2008, almost 52,000 Italian inventions have been protected at European level, and almost 80% of these are due to subjects (companies, research bodies
and individuals) residing in northern regions.
The data on Italian patents in Europe,- emphasises the president of Unioncamere, Andrea Prete, – show that our country has an important capacity for innovation not only in
knowledge-intensive sectors but also in those typical of Italian style.
The fields of ‘human needs‘ and ‘industrial techniques and transport’ absorb more than half of the innovative capacity of Made in Italy. The former includes patents related to
different fields of activity: from agriculture to clothing, passing through tobacco and sports; the latter has to do, instead, with manufacturing and automotive technologies.
Compared to 2019, the biggest increases concern some sectors that make Italy famous worldwide: +53% for innovations in textiles and paper (from 75 to 114) and +10% for “human needs” (935 patents
published in 2019, 1,033 in 2020).
One in five of the patents published by the EPO in 2020 relates to KETs (Key Enabling Technologies), the technologies that the European Commission has defined as fully enabling.
Among the six KET categories (biotech, photonics, advanced materials, nano- and micro-electronics, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing), advanced manufacturing, i.e. automation and robots, is
making further progress: in 2020 there will be 53 more patent applications here, for a total of 670 published. Photonics, which is used to transmit data in optical fibres, is also doing well, with
25 more patents than the previous year and a total of 74 inventions published by the EPO in 2020.
With 1,506 patents, Lombardy is the region where Italy’s innovative capacity is most concentrated, followed by Emilia Romagna (with 703 patent applications), Veneto (with 596) and Piedmont
Milan, Turin, Bologna, Rome and Treviso are the provinces with the highest number of patent applications.

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