The Scientific Park: a Response to the Problems of Technolog

Written by  Pietro Dalpiaz

A bridge between science and technology to make the economy of Ferrara grow.

No one can deny that the citizens of developed countries are living in an age of technological revolution, the most obvious aspects of which are a dramatic increase in average life expectancy and a markedly improved quality of life.

But the future of the technological revolution depends on the "feedback" between science and technology. What does this really mean? Well, the invention of the locomotive, for example, not only represents a concrete expression of the laws of mechanics formulated in previous centuries by great minds such as Galileo and Newton but also illustrates how science and technology can interact with each other to produce something entirely revolutionary.

To turn to modern Italy, we can see that the factors that once encouraged its economic development have now become problems. Low-tech products - once a mainstay - can now be manufactured more cheaply in developing countries where technological development has reached a level comparable to that of Italy thirty years ago and where labour costs are much lower.
Italy's future can only be guaranteed by offering products that such countries cannot match. But this requires an efficient instrument able to manage the throughput of information from universities and research centres to industry and thus stimulate more innovative production.

Although Italy possesses the right kind of infrastructure it must be admitted that it has yet to develop such an instrument, known to some as a "scientific park", and already a reality in other industrialized countries.

Ferrara can boast its Consorzio Ferrara-Ricerche, an embryonic scientific park run by the private sector and untrammelled by bureaucratic hindrances.
Largely funded by its own activities, the Consorzio uses efficient low-cost systems ("incubators") aimed at stimulating entrepreneurs to generate new businesses. A country with Italy's strong industrial structure and considerable research potential would be foolish to ignore such systems.