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Business incubators in Italy


  • Marta Auricchio

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Marco Cantamessa

    (Polytechnic of Turin)

  • Alessandra Colombelli

    (Polytechnic of Turin)

  • Roberto Cullino

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Andrea Orame

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Emilio Paolucci

    (Polytechnic of Turin)


The Italian economy has suffered from structural problems for the last fifteen years, which have weakened its competitiveness. The innovation gap, by international standards, is one of those problems. Business incubators are one of the solutions proposed in the economic literature and put into practice in many countries in order to increase the birth and survival rates of extremely innovative firms. With the help of an empirical survey of a highly representative sample of Italian business incubators and a significant subset of incubated start-ups, this paper draws an institutional and functional map of business incubators in Italy. Italian incubators are mostly small and heavily dependent on public funding. They mainly provide logistical services, less frequently higher value added ones like consulting and networking. According to the firms interviewed, the role played by incubators is on average useful but not essential for the success of the start-up.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Auricchio & Marco Cantamessa & Alessandra Colombelli & Roberto Cullino & Andrea Orame & Emilio Paolucci, 2014. "Business incubators in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 216, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_216_14

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandra Colombelli & Francesco Quatraro, 2019. "Green start-ups and local knowledge spillovers from clean and dirty technologies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 773-792, April.

    More about this item


    innovation; start-up; public policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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