Pisa University's observatory

The 2nd edition of the Observatory on Innovative SMEs Report was presented on the occasion of the awarding ceremony on 15 November.

Professor Giulio Greco, associate of the Department of economy and management of the University of Pisa presented the 2018 edition of the Observatory on Innovative SMEs Report, which analyses the demographic, economical, assets, organisational and strategic dynamics of innovative SMEs. These include 877 companies at 24 September 2018 (+35% compared to 30 September 2017).

While the 2017 report aimed at providing a first overview of the sector, the 2018 edition identifies its growth trends, analysing the 230 new SMEs included in the dedicated register. In 2017, 79% of SMEs were limited liability companies (s.r.l.), most operating in the services industry; 59% of them had a production value lower than 1 million Euro and only 7.6% exceeded 10 million. Moreover, 88% of businesses invested over 3% of their turnover in innovation.

This scenario was confirmed in 2018, as concerns specifically the composition and geographical distribution of SMEs, although their economics show a few concerns.

65% of the 230 businesses enrolled in the innovative SMEs register between 1 December 2017 and 30 September 2018 operate in the services industry, 28% in the industrial/manufacturing market and 6% in commerce. The average “age” of businesses is 8 years. This datum, together with that related to turnover (more than 25% of businesses have a turnover lower than 250,000 Euros), shows a slow growth, which contrasts with the innovative nature of these businesses, especially with regard to innovation of products, services or processes.

New innovative SMEs are located in Lombardy (29%), Piedmont (13%), Veneto (10%), Lazio, Emilia-Romagna and Marche (approximately 7% in each region).

If we look at innovative SMEs as a whole, we can see that turnover is growing on average by 28% y/y, compared to a growth by 66% registered in 2017. Moreover, 47% of innovative SMEs registered a turnover lower than 1 million Euros in 2017 (i.e. approximately 13% less compared to 60% in 2016). The average value of net equity of innovative SMEs exceeds 2.7 million Euros, but more than the half of those companies registering a deficit are those with a turnover lower than 500 thousand Euros.

Abstract Report 2018

Report Osservatorio 2018


The 2nd edition of the Observatory on innovative SMEs: realized by Bernoni Grant Thornton in collaboration with the University of Pisa

The Observatory on Innovative SMEs is a unique research panel on innovative SMEs which carries out its research activity at the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Pisa, with the support of Bernoni Grant Thornton.

Professor Giulio Greco is the scientific supervisor of the panel.

The aim of the research panel is to monitor and analyse innovative SMEs under an ongoing and long-term perspective, to identify their demographic, economic, organizational and strategic trends.

The results of the panel activities are disclosed through reports, conferences, articles and presentations.