2003, 4 (4)   p. 371-388



The role innovation can play to make enterprises more dynamic and competitive is surely well known. For rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) this can become a critical issue because they often need financial and technical incentives and support from public and private research institutions in order to make innovation accessible to them. Yet bridging research and productive dimensions is not always an easy task The cooperation between researchers and rural entrepreneurs can become a rather demoralizing experience for both parties due to the action of a large number of inadequacies caused not only by financial, technical or organizational factors but also by cultural diversities and different approaches. This paper proposes some considerations matured by the authors while cooperating with some rural SMEs of agro-industrial and agrobusiness sectors in Central Italy to implement actions of innovation and know how transfer. The experiences reported have been made within the framework of article 15 of the Ministerial Decree (Ministry of University and Research) n. 593/2000 which allows temporary deployment of personnel from research institutions in SMEs. In this paper the authors outline some methodological guidelines developed and adopted to analyze and meet the innovation demand from SMEs involved in innovation transfer processes.


innovation, rural development, innovation transfer, rural smes


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