The Italian agricultural research system (Public sector)
Italian agricultural research should be considered in its broadest sense: sustainable production, diet and nutrition, food safety, ecology, rural development, landscape management, socio-economics.
The system for agricultural research is mainly under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, but also related to other Ministries: Education, University and Research; Health; Economic Development; Environment, Land and Sea protection; Foreign Affairs.
Regions are also involved in defining needs and priorities for research in agriculture through an inter-regional network operating with temporary groups having specific competences (e.g., organic food and farming). The decisions taken by the network become the basis to launch common research calls, addressed to inter-regional consortia.
Regions and Provinces (23 institutions) can also autonomously define research programmes and fund research projects.
The higher education in agricultural sciences is under responsibility of the Universities
Planning and funding of the Italian research, including agricultural research
The planning and funding of the Italian research, including agricultural research, is co-ordinated at a national level according to the regulations of the national law 204/98 (reorganization of the whole public research system) and the three-year National Research Programme (PNR). PNR, developed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) after a large consultation with the other ministries, the regional and local governments, universities, research institutions and stakeholders, represents the national research framework which all the specific programmes and projects refer to and has a global vision taking into account the research needs from the local to the European and international point of view. It also provides financial instruments allowing national bodies to launch research programmes through public calls, also jointly supported by different funding bodies.
PNR also states that the research bodies have to define a three-years programme activity as framework to carry out the research which has to be approved by the controlling Administration (MIPAAF for the Research and experimentation Council for Agriculture; MIUR for the National Research Council, etc.).
The amount of the resources for research, including agricultural research, is yearly defined in the national financial law.
Other financial instruments, provided by different laws and managed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research but co-financed by different ministries, are:
a) FISR (Special fund for strategic research, D.L.vo 204/98)
b) Strategic programmes (National law n. 449 27/12/99)
c) Industrial research (Law 297/99)
d) PON (National operative Programme 2007-2013)
e) POR (Regional Operative Programmes 2007/2013)
These programmes finance all the research sectors, including agriculture.
Ministries in charge of the agricultural research system
– Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies: www.politicheagricole.it
– Education, University and Research: www.miur.it
The Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) is the other ministry in charge of financing agricultural research through Universities and the National Research Council (CNR).
– Health: www.salute.gov.it
– Economic Development: www.attivitaproduttive.gov.it
– Environment, Land and Sea protection: www.minambiente.it
– Foreign Affairs : www.esteri.it
Regions and Provinces
At local level, 20 Italian Regions and 2 autonomous Provinces (Bolzano and Trento) fund agricultural research either directly with their own research structures or indirectly with own research programs implemented through national research structures (Universities and other public institutions) located on their own territory; in addition some “Interregional Programmes” concerted between national and regional governments are financed.
Institutes mainly devoted to agricultural research (under the surveillance of Ministry of Agriculture and forestry policies)
– CRA: www.entecra.it
Most of the MIPAAF research centres (30 different Institutions) have been reformed in compliance with the law n° 454 of 29/10/1999 and gathered under a national research body, the Research and experimentation Council for Agriculture (CRA, http://sito.entecra.it
). CRA has institutional competence on different fields of agricultural research and is organized in 4 departments:
- Vegetal biology and production
- Animal biology and production
- Transformation and valorisation of agro-industrial products
- Agronomy, forestry and land use
• INRAN - National Research Insitute for food and human nutrition (www.inran.it )
• ENSE - National body for selected seeds, recently incorporated into INRAN (D.L.vo n° 78, 31/5/2010) (www.ense.it
• INEA - National Institute of agricultural economy ( www.inea.it)
• ISMEA - Institute for study of agricultural market (www.ismea.it )
• “Lazzaro Spallanzani” Institute : animal reproduction and selection research institute (www.istitutospallanzani.it
• Centre for education in agricultural economy and rural development policy - www.centroportici.unina.it/centro/dipartimento.htm
Other research Institutes
– CNR (www.cnr.it) National Research Council
National research body under the control of the Ministry of Education University and Research, organized in departments, the Agro-food Department with its 20 Institutes carrying out research related to the whole agro-food chain.
• IZS: 10 Institutes involved in veterinary fields; each one has its own site. Links to the different sites can be found on www.politicheagricole.it
• SSI: 6 Institutes involved in agro-industry; each one has its own site; www.ssica.it
• ICRAM: fishery and acquaculture (www.icram.it
• ENEA (National Body for New Technologies, Energy and Environment): Research Centre related to Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea protection (http://www.enea.it
• IAMB (Institute for Mediterrranean Agronomy of Bari): International Centre related to Ministry for Foreign Affairs (http://www.iamb.it
• IAO: (www.iao.florence.it). The technical and scientific branch of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
• ISS: (www.iss.it
). The technical and scientific branch of the Ministry of Health.
Other research Institutions under the surveillance of Regional or local administration
Hereby some examples:
1) Laimburg Research Centre for agriculture and forestry (Bolzano Province, http://www.laimburg.it
2) Agricultural Institute in San Michele all’Adige (Trento Province http://www.ismaa.it
3) Research Centre for Fruit and Vegetable production - CRPV (Emilia Romagna Region http://www.crpv.it
4) Research Centre for Animal Production - CRPA (Emilia Romagna Region) http://www.crpa.it/home/it
Higher Education and research
Conferenza dei rettori delle Univerisità italiane (CRUI) : http://www.crui.it