Innovation Impact – Effects, Impact and Future of Technological Innovation, the study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Rome Chamber of Commerce, was presented on October 13. Conducted on a sample of 4,000 people, in Italy, France, Germany and the United States, the research analysed the impact of new technologies in different areas through the participants’ perceptions. According to the data that emerged, presented ahead of Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition, the vast majority of Italians believe that technological innovation represents an indispensable support for business activity, capable of improving production efficiency and optimising resources.
“Even in a context in which there are still some perplexities related to the use of data and the risk of relational isolation, Italians give a fundamentally positive judgement on innovation,” commented Lorenzo Tagliavanti, President of the Rome Chamber of Commerce, according to whom technological innovation has been, and will continue to be, “a great driver of transformation.”
Technological innovation and society
The first part of the Ipsos study looked at the impact of technology on citizens and society in general, analysing respondents’ self-perception of digital skills, the feelings caused by the use of technology, the transformations seen in the last 5 to 10 years, and the impact of innovation on everyday life and social inclusion.
According to the data, Italy is the country that rates its digital skills most positively, with an average score of 6.7 out of 10. It is followed by Germany, France and the United States.
Regarding the repercussions on the individual, 70 percent of the overall sample said that technology has made their lives easier, “but also lighter, stressful and more intense.” Italians show more trust in digital technologies, although 39 percent say they perceive a dependent attachment and 24 percent a sense of expectation. The most valued aspects, in terms of impact on everyday life, concern the ability to easily access information and knowledge. According to European respondents, however, technological innovation has amplified the economic differences between rich and poor countries, the gap between young and old, the social distance between the middle and working classes, and the disparity between men and women.
Technological innovation and business
The second phase of the research contracted on the perceived impact of technological innovation on industry. For 88 percent of the Italian sample, technological innovation has contributed, and contributes, decisively to the development of business activity, both in multinationals and in small and medium-sized enterprises. Among the most valued innovations are IoT, Big Data and Analytics, Robotics, additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence. According to the majority of respondents, new technologies result in better work organisation, more efficient production processes and lower production costs. A positive impact is also noted on the environment, albeit minimal, especially in terms of food sustainability and renewable energy sources.
Limitations include substantial inadequacy of facilities, poor digital culture of management, and difficulty on the part of employees to acquire the new digital skills required by the market. This negative perception translates into terms of concern for the future. A large part of the sample, in fact, expresses the fear that the inevitable digital transformation may be accompanied by phenomena such as the closure of traditional businesses, the loss of jobs and the difficulty of workers with obsolete skills to retrain.
Virtuous examples: the pharmaceutical industry
Distrust is a phenomenon that has always been associated with processes of transition and transformation. However, in our country there are virtuous examples that concretely show how technological innovation represents a valuable opportunity, capable of facilitating sustainable development, generating skilled employment and reducing gender inequality. Today, the Italian pharmaceutical industry is composed of 90 percent innovative companies, with nearly 70,000 employees in 2022. Between 2016 and 2022, female employment increased by 15 percent: women hold 44 percent of positions, with significant representation even in senior roles.
Prominent among companies in the sector are the Pontine pharmaceutical packaging companies, among the most competitive in Europe. In recent years, Lazio has proven to be an important innovation hub, where the development of new ideas and skills converge with the needs of Industry 4.0 (not by chance, the 11th edition of Maker Faire was held in Rome, a candidate to host Expo 2030 as well). The need, on the part of pharmaceutical packaging companies, to find profiles capable of working in the field of digitization and automation translates into hiring opportunities and career possibilities, which will also increase in the coming years thanks to the growing applications of AI.