Life sciences and information and communication technology, but also electronics and innovation systems, are the sectors that will pull Tuscany’s high-tech industry in 2014. High-tech companies – that is to say, those that are dedicated to innovative activities and that satisfy specific parameters in research activities – have a significant impact on regional economy and, above all, show a strong vitality both in terms of turnover and employment, as well as in terms of investments and research and development activities. In 2013 – based on the statistics [provided] by the Observatory on high-tech businesses created by Unioncamere Toscana and the Scuola superiore S. Anna di Pisa – the high tech universe could count on more than 1,500 businesses and 17 billion Euros in comprehensive turnover: Florence is the province with the strongest high-tech vocation, and ICT prevails among the divisions, accounting for 40% of businesses. The sector comprehensively employs 45,000 workers.
After a 2013 in which the entire sector’s turnover grew by 0.7% and employment by 1.4%,, 2014 appears positive and full of confidence for businesses at the technological vanguard. The comprehensive turnover for the sector is expected to grow by 2.6%: the push will come primarily from medium-large businesses (those with more than 50 employees) and the best performances will come from life sciences (+4.9%) and ICT (+4.1%), without forgetting the mechanical sector’s +1.9% and electronics’ +3%.
Generally, the climate of confidence has changed: the research&development expenditures will experience a 1.6% increase this year, due primarily to ICT and mechanics. On average, every Tuscan high-tech business invests approximately 22% of its turnover in R&D, and nearly 40% on its employees. In the same manner, the forecasts for investments seem much brighter than the previous two-year period: more than 70% of Tuscan high-tech businesses have programmed investments for the three-year period from 2014 to 2016. In this case, the electronics and pharmaceutical sectors are those who will increase [the amount of] resources committed to the realization of forecasted growth programs.
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