Italy: Channelling Creativity into Competitiveness (Intellectual Assets and Innovation: The SME Dimension)

This chapter illustrates the opportunities and challenges for Italian SMEs in creating value from intellectual assets in "design-driven" manufacturing industries, typically targeted at high quality markets. In these industries, which are at the core of the "Made in Italy" system, firms build competitive advantage by combining intangibles with technology and manufacturing skills. Based on evidence on access to formal IP tools, experts' views and a range of SME cases across different industries, the chapter highlights key challenges that Italian SMEs in these sectors face in turning creativity into actual innovation and market value and in integrating intellectual property rights in their business models. The study provides a review of recent developments in the Italian IP landscape and comments on their relevance for SMEs. It concludes with policy recommendations for improving the capacity of SMEs to manage their intellectual assets strategically and build on them to increase international competitiveness.
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