This topic reveals the great
attention of the Department not only to the relationship between innovation and
law, but also to technological and socio-economic challenges in a global
The researchers will analyze the themes of
innovation also in comparison with China. We leverage on the experience of the
China Center, an interdisciplinary research center funded by the Department and
which – over the years – has developed numerous lines of study also on the
topic of innovation.
China, with the XIII Five-Year Plan,
has defined a new path of economic development, focused on three key concepts:
“sustainability”, “internal growth” and
“innovation”. The country is moving towards a more qualitative
“growth model”, with the aim of becoming an innovative country by 2020 and
innovation leader by 2050. The China 2025
Plan, drawn up by the Government, identifies the main development lines.
In this scenario, the need for a
systematic confrontation between China and Europe becomes even more evident, in
the common intent to face the technological and social challenges that involve
these two great cultural and economic areas of the world.
In sum, the Department intends to carry out
scientific studies, research activities, training and outreach initiatives for
the civil society and the business system, connected to the concepts of social
challenges and innovation, in the perspective of cooperation and collaboration
between Europe and China.
Many lines of research
are carried on in this perspective.
Among these ones, there is the research focused
on the military use of Unmanned maritime systems (UMSs) (which implies unique
challenges for existing international law). The aim of this research is to
analyse the technological state of the art of UMS in Europe and China and how European
States and China justify the legitimate use of such systems in peacetime or in
the context of an armed conflict.
In the area of IP and Business Law,
there are two principal lines of research. The first one is strictly connected
to Intellectual Property Law studies and concerns legal frameworks of databases
protection. In Europe, the EC has published, on the 25th of April
2018, its second evaluation of the Database Directive (96/9/EC) and it is
discussed what kind of “sui generis right” modifications are required in the
digital age and in light of the recently approved Directive on Copyright in the
Digital Single Market (2019/790). The second one is related to the ambitious
process of digitalization of companies which EU has fostered – in the context
of Digital Single Market Strategy – with a Proposal for a Directive on the use
of digital tools and processes in company law [COM(2018) 239 final]. European
provisions about online registration and filing, disclosure and registers
suggest also a connection with a wider discussion – increasingly developing
worldwide – about digitalization of companies’ internal structures and
decision-making processes. Within both lines, the research will develop the
comparison with China, where the development and discussion on such issues is
having a substantial expansion.
Finally, the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is studied. The implications for local development, the connections with the Made in China 2025 plan, the opportunities for cooperation with China, as well as the growth model promoted by the Chinese government along the routes of the ancient maritime and land silk road, are explored. We consider both the perspective of institutions (of collaboration between states), and of companies, in light of the influence that the BRI can have on bilateral trade and investment flows.