Analysing the operational and methodology facets of current technological innovation
Companies continuously face what is commonly referred to as “technological challenges”. The story is as old as time, yet very modern. Innovation, in other words, has always been around and throughout the centuries has both accelerated and decelerated. Today it is referred to as Industry 4.0. It is important to respond to all that is new. It is equally as important to analyse its meaning and scope. In doing so, we raise the question of development options and the changing culture of production. For this reason, it is interesting to read ‘Le nuove sfide tecnologiche e le principali risposte della politica industriale’ (New Challenges of Technology and the Main Responses of Industrial Policy), a study co-written by Marco Calabrò and Paolo Carnazza of the General Directorate for Industrial Policy, Competitiveness and SMEs – Ministry of Economic Development. The study was presented at the recent XVII Annual Workshop organised by the Italian Society of Industrial Economics and Policy (SIEPI).
The purpose of the study was to analyse the National Industry 4.0. Plan (Impresa 4.0), which the Minister of Economic Development introduced in September 2016. The objective was to: ‘Lay out the guidelines, goals and main measures that were undertaken in three successive budget laws, 2017-2019’. The article also provides ‘evaluations on the Plan’s impact from a macroeconomic perspective and in relation to opinions expressed by a sample of businesses based on a qualitative enquiry conducted by ISTAT’. Subsequently, from October 2017 to February 2018, other Impresa 4.0 results were studied through a survey implemented by MET on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development.
Everything serves to understand how the Italian industrial system is actually responding to the complex Impresa 4.0 intervention.
Calabrò and Carnazza have reached a variety of conclusions. Beyond the positive evaluation of the interventions undertaken, new aspects have also emerged in the relationship between the industrial system and innovation, calling for attentive study. In particular, five ‘critical’ themes emerge: cybersecurity, privacy, new ethical questions, new forms of alienation and the issue of inequality. Each theme invokes further study that goes hand in hand with what is possibly the most determining aspect of Impresa 4.0: the profoundly cultural meaning of what is happening.
Le nuove sfide tecnologiche e le principali risposte della politica industriale
Marco Calabrò, Paolo Carnazza
XVII Annual Workshop organised by Italian Society of Industrial Economics and Policy – SIEPI (Rome, 31 January/1 February 2019)