Research - Andrea Piccaluga

Research interests

In the field of R&D management in industrial firms I have written a book in Italian titled "Impresa e sistema dell'innovazione tecnologica" ("The firm and the system of technological innovation") (Guerini Editore, 1996), which has been followed by specific pieces of work about R&D management, human resource management in R&D, the localisation of R&D laboratories. Towards the end of the Eighties several collaborations with industrial R&D labs were started, especially with Fiat Research Centre, Cselt-Telecom Italia Lab and StMicroelectronics, and with some foreign universities (Manchester Business School, University of Twente, Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya, University of Gent, ecc.). On these topics I have published articles on national and international journals. I have also organized in Pisa, at Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, in 1995 (and later in 2005), the International R&D Management conference, event linked to the R&D Management Journal, with about 250 people from all over the world. At present, I am involved in projects about human resource management in R&D and about the management of Intellectual Property in multinational firms, in collaboration with some foreign research groups and, in Italy, with Milan Polytechnic.

About the territorial dimension of innovation I have worked on the connections which exist between technological innovation and the characteristics of local and regional systems. Starting from the early Nineties, I have studied several territorial contexts, starting from the case of Pisa, trying to emphasise the role of the university as engine of local development, also in collaboration with economic geographers and regional economists. This research stream has later become rather important, at international level, with the emergence of the so called "knowledge economy". The studies I have carried out have determined intense collaborations with local authorities in Tuscany and in the rest of Italy, with some foreign universities, and with the European Union. Within an Alfa European Project I have edited a book ("Knowledge Flows in National Systems of Innovation: A Comparative Analysis of Sociotechnical Constituencies in Europe and Latin America", Edward Elgar, Cheltenham) with Prof. Lopez-Martinez (Unam, Mexico City). Also, within an intense collaboration with Prof. Phil Cooke (Cardiff University) two co-edited books have been written. Within a collaboration with Prof. Phil Shapira (Georgia Tech) the CyberGeorgia project was started, in which it was possibile to compare the area of Pisa with others in Europe and the US. In all these activities, particular attention has been given to technological districts, with collaborations with the Italian Ministry of Industry and the Ceris-Cnr Institute in Turin. With Ceris-Cnr a specific project on technological district ( was started.

The third research field, about R&D management in public research organizations, is probably the one which has most characterised my research activities since the mid Nineties. In particular, the analysis of the evolution of the role of universities has produced studies about the valorisation of public research, especially with detailed studies about the creation and growth of research spin-off firms and on the management of intellectual property rights in public research centres. These topics were dealt with through empirical surveys and starting international collaborations. From this stream, the book "La valorizzazione della ricerca scientifica" ("The valorisation of scientific research") (Franco Angeli, Milano, 1999) was written. It has been very useful for me to work in the Italian University Network for the Valorisation of Research ( I have directly contributed to the establishment of such a network, together with scholars from Milan Polytechnic, and through it I have been able to intensify collaborations with single universities, with the European Proton network and with Crui, the Italian Association of Universities. Within the Network I write every year a national report about technology transfer in Italian universities. In this field I have published several contributions in Italian and international journals, I have been invited as speaker in different kind of conferences, and I have also had more managerial responsibilities, espcially with regard to patent activities, at the University of Lecce and at Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies.