IRCrES, the Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth of the National Research Council of Italy, was established on October 21st 2014 through the merger of CERIS and the ISEM UOSs of Turin and Genoa. 

 

CNR-CERIS Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth of the National Research Council

The Centre for Research and Documentation on Industry, which then became CERIS, was inaugurated in 1956 by professor Federico Maria Pacces. He managed it until 1972, when it became part of CNR.

The Centre begun its research, firstly studying the relationship between 132 companies and banks in the Piedmontese area to learn more about the connections between industry and finance. In 1961, it was tasked to research how Finance influenced the markets by the Parliamentary Committee investigating business competition limits. This was particularly important for its future evolution.

In the meanwhile, the University of Turin and CNR joined forces to study the economic and industrial growth in Italy and so CERIS was inaugurated. Its research dealt with “the financing of companies in Italy and auto-financing of the industry.” This was possible thanks to documents provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and financial statements/balance sheets, gathered by Assonime, Association Of Italian Joint Stock Companies. This led to the creation of the paper Archive of financial statements/balance sheets of Italian companies, which was constantly updated until 2010.

Studying these, the first team of researchers of professor Pacces, among whom there were Enrico Filippi and Giovanni Zanetti, further investigated the theme of economic growth. They published two volumes, “Finanza e sviluppo della grande industria in Italia,” and they made a list of the most important companies in Italy.

The Centre, financed by CNR, was given contracts to work on single research projects and in 1964, it was re-named CERIS- Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth. It continued its activities in the SAI, School of Industrial Management, directed by professor Pacces too, in Via Ventimiglia 115 in Turin, thanks to the agreement between the University of Turin and CNR.

In 1972, professor Gian Maria Gros-Pietro became the new CERIS director, which had become part of CNR, in the meanwhile.

In 1976, the Centre became a CNR lab and it continued its activities in a new, independent headquarters in via Avogadro 8, Turin, from April 1977.

In the 70s, CERIS collaborated more and more with the public administration. According to its statute, the organization is always ready to help the Government and public administration with its research and documents in different fields: Political Economy, Political Economy of industry, market regulation, promoting innovation, tariff definition. In those years, it constantly collaborated with CIP, Interministerial Price Committee, to analyse the costs of goods and services production in a context in which prices were controlled. CERIS also worked with the Minister of Industry to define the industrial politics of the country; the «Commissione Filippi», directed by the professor Filippi, to define politics in the insurance field; the old Ministry of State Holdings to deal with public companies problems. Its contribution was asked when the laws for the industrial reconversion and financial recovery of the most important companies were to be passed.

A unique data classification and management method was developed for the financial statements/balance sheets archive. From 1977 it was useful, during the first collaboration with the San Paolo bank, to manage a much greater archive of data. A few years later, the Centrale dei Bilanci was inaugurated in Turin thanks to ABI, Italian Banking Association, and the Bank of Italy and it adopted CERIS method.

In 1980, CERIS finally became an Institute of the National Research Council. Its research still focuses on the same fields in which it can now boast considerable experience. This is one of the factors which allowed such relatively small organization to maintain great recognition in the scientific field.

In the 80s, it took part in EU and CNR projects about Italian Economy, Mechanical Technologies, Computer Science, Energetics II, Internationalisation through which the Institute specialised even more in Industrial Economics and Innovation Economics.

In the 90s, CERIS collaborated on CNR Progetti Finalizzati about Robotics and various Progetti Strategici, which substitute them. During these researches, CERIS confirmed its leading position in the study of the Industrial Automation, considering both its offer and its economic and social consequences. At the same time, it started dealing with food industry (with P.F. RAISA) and local development through the study of industrial districts and regional politics in a plurennial collaboration with CNEL, the National Council for Economics and Labor.

CERIS collaborated more and more with universities and other research institutes both in Italy and abroad and thanks to this, it could organise two important conferences: in 1992, it hosted the XVII annual conference of the magazine “L’industria” in Turin; in 1998, it hosted the conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE).

In the 2000s, Italian politics of research changed and so did the institutional framework in which CERIS was working. Its research especially focused on ordinary projects, after all of the Progetti Strategici were closed except for “Governance.” Ceris interest in European projects increasingly grew because of their resources and collaborations.

In 2003, since some institutes closed due to the CNR reform, two groups of researchers from Rome and Milan joined CERIS. Two new operative units in these cities were founded and they started dealing with new issues, such as Environmental Economics in Milan and the institutions and politics of research in Rome.

In 2005, CERIS moved to its present headquarters in Collegio Carlo Alberto, Moncalieri.

In 2006, the “G. Colonnetti” Metrology Institute became part of the new INRIM, National Metrology Institute, but its IT department personnel asked to continue working for CERIS. They continued making sure CNR network properly functioned but they also greatly contributed to CERIS IT department.

On the fiftieth anniversary of CERIS inauguration they hosted the XXX annual conference of the magazine “L’Industria,” entitled “Per tornare allo sviluppo - Vecchi e nuovi protagonisti dell’industria italiana,” in Collegio Carlo Alberto, Moncalieri.

In the 2000s, CERIS especially focused on European collaborations and on financing some PhDs in Italy, in particular at the University of Bergamo, Chieti-Pescara and Sapienza, in Rome and actively collaborated on others (Varese, Genoa). It took part in the European network Gate2Growth and Prime, network of excellence of FP7, to help doctoral candidates’ mobility. This latter not only contributed to doctoral candidates’ and young researchers’ mobility but it also promoted the participation in European competition announcements about politics of research, on which the Roman team is still actively working. The Milanese headquarters stopped collaborating with ISPRA, Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, and it started directly collaborating with the European Environment Agency. They are still working together and the Institute is now involved in a variety of European projects.

The Institute organises also conferences and seminars. One of the most important is the XVI International Colloquium of GERPISA, International Network of the Automobile, in Moncalieri, in 2008. Rome Headquarters organised and hosted many international events, such as ENID Conference Science and Technology Indicators on Actors and networks in European Science in 2011, IWCEE International Workshop on Computational Economics and Econometrics and the 27th CHER Annual Conference Universities in transition: shifting institutional and organizational boundaries in 2014.

Over the years, researchers in different fields joined the organisation and its mission was rethought. More traditional areas of Industrial Economics and Innovation lost relevance and others (Local Development, Agribusiness, Environment and Culture) were explored. In 2014, CNR Board of Directors, after consulting CERIS and ISEM Advisory Committees and CNR Scientific Council, they decided to close CERIS and found the new Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth in Moncalieri with other sites in Milan, Rome and Genoa.

 

CNR-IDSE  Research Institute on the Dynamics of Economic Systems of the National Research Council

In the 80s, experts researching for various Progetti Finalizzati of CNR Committee for Economic, Statistical and Social sciences started thinking about founding an institute to promote studies from a macroeconomic perspective.

It was founded in 1987. IDSE was based on professor Alberto Quadrio Curzio’s project, developed years before for CNR. Its objective was to study economic systems in the long term and better understand the role of Economic sciences in the process of international development and integration of the research system.

The statute of the Research Institute on the Dynamics of Economic Systems identifies four main objectives for its studies:

(i) the dynamics of economic systems;

(ii) causes and effects of the technological change and innovation;

(iii) the process of international integration of economic systems;

(iv) the economic interdependence between developed and developing countries.

Each issue was studied integrating pure and applied research, and for the development of economic policies. IDSE focused on structural adjustment processes and the economic impact of the evolution of factors of production, such as human, natural and environmental resources, technology. In particular, the economic analysis of the technological change was always a very important issue for its researches.

IDSE was a very important institution for the study of the above-mentioned themes at both national and international level. It organised conferences and seminars, which gathered experts from various universities and scientific institutions.

In particular, IDSE worked on two important projects for CNR, between 1996 and 2004: “Disoccupazione e basso livello di attività in Italia” and  “L’Italia in Europa: governance e politiche per lo sviluppo economico e sociale.

The series “Dynamis - Quaderni IDSE” showed the results of its research, seminars and conferences held at the Institute. Reprints of particularly important researches for the Institute were also included in this series. “Dynamis - Quaderni IDSE” was a great success and can be easily found in the libraries of universities and research institutes.

One of the most important monographs by IDSE is “Trasformazioni strutturali e competitività dei sistemi locali di produzione. Rapporto sul cambiamento strutturale dell'economia italiana”. It was published by Franco Angeli in 2000. The researchers dealt with the peculiar evolutionary phase of the Italian economy, providing a variety of statistics and analysis. This report by CNR-IDSE examined local production systems from a quantitative perspective of structural dynamics, studying this Italian peculiarity in the international context to both contribute to the understanding of the ongoing changes and suggest different options in the field of structuralist economic policy.

During its activity the Institute had the following directors: Prof. Carlo Beretta, Prof. Gilberto Antonelli and Prof. Roberto Zoboli.

In 2001-2002, due to the CNR reform, IDSE, along with the ex ISRDS, Institute of studies on scientific research and documentation of Rome, became part of ISPRI, Institute of Socio-Economic Studies on Innovation and Research Policy. The ex IDSE became the ISPRI site in Milan.

Its mission had not changed. Its main objective was still to analyse the structural changes of economic systems. Although, it gradually started exploring new issues, such as the analysis of the human capital and natural, environmental resources, since they have been becoming increasingly relevant to the understanding of the ongoing structural changes in economic systems.

Since 2003, when ISPRI was closed and its personnel started working for CERIS, the Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth of Turin, these new fields of interest have become more and more central.

 

CNR-CSAE, Centre for the Study of Literatures and Cultures in Emerging Areas

CSAE, Centre for the Study of Literatures and Cultures in Emerging Areas, was founded by CNR, National Research Council, in Turin, in 1993. It dealt with non-European literary works written in English and French, exploring cultures of non-European countries in Africa, America, Australia and Asia. It adopted a multidisciplinary perspective, combining the study of literature with culture, ethnography and anthropology.

The mission of the Centre was to:

  1. Describe native cultural structures and their contribute to literary works written in European languages in non-European Countries;
  2. Describe the Europeancultural impact on non-European societies from a historical/geographicalperspective;
  3. Analyse the synthetic products of the encounter between the non-European and European cultures and the new characteristics gained by each area;
  4. Individuate the unique characteristics in the development of national literatures in the emerging countries considered.
  5. individuazione delle specificità nella formazione delle letterature nazionali dei Paesi emergenti presi in considerazione.

Alongside with the University of Turin, it worked on three main projects:

-The origins and development of the collective imagination in the literatures of emerging countries;

-Archives of the oral productions and old and recent products of the multiethnic synthesis;

-Negritude, Indigenism and Spiralism: ways and functions of artistic movements in emerging countries.

Collaborating with national and international institutions, universities, experts and writers, CSAE coordinated researches, promoting the publication of books, critical essays and bilingual works for the series “Tracce,” “Centro per lo Studio delle Letterature e delle Culture delle Aree Emergenti,” “Progetto Strategico sulla Traduzione.” It also published the series of critical essays, communications and interviews “Africa America Asia Australia” by the Study Group on Literary Cultures in Anglophone, Francophone and Hinerophone Countries. CSAE contributed to the editing of the magazine of Caribbean studies “Caribana,” directed by Luigi Sampietro (University of Milan) too. Finally, its audiovisual department filmed various documentaries and interviews.

In 2001, CSAE joined the new ISEM-CNR, Institute of History of Mediterranean Europe, and its activities were rethought.

 

CSST-CNR, Centre for the Study of the History of Technology

CSST, Centre for the Study of the History of Technology of the National Research Council, was founded in 1970 in affiliation with the University of Genoa to start researching in the fields of Economic and Social History in particular, but also in the History of Science and more recently in the Environmental History, with particular attention to the History of Agriculture and Industry.

CSST actively participated in both national and international scientific scenes, contributing to making Italian intellectuals’ more interested in such themes. It published the report “Le Macchine” and the periodical “Studi & Notizie” which provided information about their ongoing research projects. They were followed by the monograph “Quaderni,” which introduced various themes linked to the History of Technology, its methods and purposes and links with the History of Science. Their main objective was to promote and organise the studies in the History of Technology in Italy in the more general Mediterranean and European contexts. CSST identified and collected data from various sources related to such field of knowledge contributing to the creation of a database of traditional material sources. Its projects dealt with tools, elementary mechanisms, machines, instruments; agriculture; the transformation of various materials-wood, metals, textiles; rural and industrial areas; communication, transport and trade services; work and production organisation; art of warfare. CSST organised a unique library in Italy specialised in the History of Science and Technology. It contained about 20.000 books with some ancient and rare volumes too.

CSST focused on proceedings and techniques used before the Industrial Revolution, their evolution and transmission over time, their connections to sciences, the history of modest workers and economic and social practices strictly related to technology. 

In particular, CSST dealt with a) preindustrial manufacturing, fundamental for the Italian industrialisation, and its various aspects, b) numerous issues related to the History of Material Culture through the study of archaeological remains not only industrial, c) XIV-XIX Mediterranean Maritime History, focusing on nautical constructions and sciences. In particular, they considered the Ligurian area and, thanks to maritime archaeology too, they could explore the role of technicians in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, starting with their nautical constructions and the art of dyeing. They also contributed to the creation of a database with information about the apprenticeship in Genoa between the XV and XVI centuries, d) the history of the evolution of technology from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age, considering it alone and in relation to sciences, e) mathematic sciences- Leonardo Fibonacci, Piero della Francesca, Luca Pacioli, f) scientific instruments, g) both theoretical and applied Earth sciences- Giovanni Arduino, Benedetto Nicolis of Robilant and Wolfgang Goethe. 

In 2001, CSST became part of ISEM, the Institute of Mediterranean Europe History, and its activities were rethought.. 

 

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