IAMAT PDF Print E-mail
 Wednesday, 26 December 2012 – Written by Giovanni Bert   

IAMAT/PIEMINV Project – Impact of the Athenaeums on the Metropolitan Area of Turin

The IAMAT/PIEMINV project has been undertaken by Fondazione Rosselli with financial support from the Turin Chamber of Commerce, Unicredit Group, Politecnico of Turin and University of Turin.


The aim of the project is to analyze the economic impact and spillovers created by Turin’s universities in the metropolitan area, as well as the impact of decentralized university campuses on the areas where they are based. The project was developed in two stages.


The first stage, which was completed in March 2009, focused on expenditure made by the universities’ personnel and students in order to measure their consumption and  its impact on the production and income of the Turin metropolitan area.


According to the estimate presented for the year 2007, the short-term economic effects (represented by both the direct and indirect components) of the universities on the Torino Metropolitan Area (TMA) amount to 1.67 [1.38 – 1.89] billions of Euros. In the long-term, as demand stabilizes, their effect on the local economy is estimated to amount to 1.92 [1.59 – 2,18] billions of Euros. In terms of employment, the impact is estimated to be equivalent to 10697 [9879-10785] FTE jobs in short-term and 10788 [9957-10894] FTE jobs in the long-term. Overall, in 2007, universities received funding from the national government, through the Fondo di Finanziamento Ordinario (FFO, 365.4 mil. €), from other national and regional public bodies (26.9 mil. €), and from tuition fees paid by families (90.6 mil €). In addition, they leveraged on state and family sponsorship to raise additional funding from other sources (international funding agencies, national and international firms and foundations, etc.). The rate of return of the sole FFO over the economy of the TMA is 368% in the sort run (439% in the long-run). The rate of return of the overall national (state and family) investment of the taxpayers is 252% in the short run (306% in the long-run). This estimate amounts at saying that, for each euro received from the state or the families, the Ateneo, directly and indirectly, generates 3.52 euros (4.06 euros in the long-run) in the local economy. Therefore, both on the short-term and long-term perspectives, the higher education sector in the TMA is the forth top-contributing industry (the economic multiplier effect is estimated to be 1.83 in the short-term and 2.1 in the long-term), in terms of the stimulus that it is capable of providing to the local industries, through its expenses and investments.


The second stage, which ended in spring 2011, was aimed at understanding the effects of the research activities conducted by the Politecnico and the University of Turin, on the innovativeness of local companies.


While previous research has gathered data on publications and university patents, and analyzed firms’ perceptions of the importance of university research, little attention has been paid to quantification of the direct and indirect effects of universities’ activities on innovation processes and firms’ performance, partly because of the problems involved in identifying clear and measurable evidence of the contribution made by universities. The second phase of the project used a survey to quantify and measure all aspects of the contribution made by academia to the invention process.


The PIEMINV survey is inventor-based: anyone whose name appears as  an author or co-author on at least one patent application to the European Patent Office (EPO) in the eight-year period 1998-2005 is considered to be an inventor.  40% of the surveyed inventors collaborate with a university. Most have experience of both institutional and personal contracts with university departments and researchers especially in the Politecnico of Turin. However, the percentage of each inventor’s inventions that benefits from university knowledge depends heavily on the most common technology class in the inventor’s patent portfolio. The technology influences the intensity of interaction. Also, being awarded a degree increases the probability of interaction with the same university. ‘Open’ channels of interaction, such as publications and conferences, are the most frequent and the most important, which is consistent with the university-industry literature; inventors seek to expand their knowledge in basic research and to keep abreast of cutting-edge research. However, inventors find contractual collaborations are most effective for the development of new products and finding solutions to applied research problems. According to these preliminary results, universities seem to play an important part in the innovation processes of a significant number of innovative firms in the Piedmont region, but are crucial only in a small number of cases. Company inventors benefit from university research through traditional ‘open science’ channels and through contractual relationships (institutional or personal) with the former being more relevant for the development of basic research and the latter more oriented to solving applied research problems.


The data derived from the Project is available for free by request. Please contact Aldo Geuna ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Claudio Fassio ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) in order to access the database.


To download the First Stage Report click here

To download the Second Stage, PIEMINV Report click here

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:54