Researchers and scholars from the RISIS project recently made significant contributions to the esteemed Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy, hosted by Georgia Tech. Among the participants, Antonio Zinilli from CNR IRCRES, who presented groundbreaking research focused on the intricate connection between research funding policies and sustainable development goals (SDGs).


Zinilli presented the outputs of the coauthored paper (Emanuela Reale, Andrea Orazio Spinello, and Emaunela Varinetti, CNR IRCrES) during the conference. Their study utilized the cutting-edge EFIL dataset, which is a comprehensive collection of public R&D funding instruments in Europe. This unique dataset aims to provide valuable insights into the landscape of public R&D funding, specifically at the level of project funding instruments and Research Funding Organizations (RFO).


The research team’s study revolved around exploring the interplay between diversification and specialization of government research funding instruments, employing a complexity approach. By delving into a portion of the research public arena, specifically the project funding instruments designed and managed by national RFOs, the researchers examined the diversification and specialization strategies adopted by ten European countries with regards to SDGs during the period from 2016 to 2021.


The study’s findings shed light on distinct disparities among agencies and countries. Notably, Norway displayed a higher level of diversification in its instrument orientation towards SDGs, with minimal overlap between the specific goals. This divergence in instrument orientation and policy objectives became apparent even within agencies operating within the same country. Additionally, certain countries demonstrated volatility in their complexity rating, indicating fluctuations in their approach to SDGs over time, while others exhibited more stable patterns. The presentation at the Atlanta Conference provided valuable insights into the intricate relationship between research funding policies and societal priorities.