LIME - Laboratory of Innovation Management and Economics


Innovation and creativity within and across borders

The primary goal of the Laboratory of Innovation Management and Economics is furthering society's understanding of innovation and the processes that drive it through the development of novel data-centric approaches, capitalizing on the interdisciplinary synergies of the lab. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, understanding creativity and innovation is the critical driver of real and sustainable growth. On scales ranging from the smallest of start-ups or academic laboratories, to the largest corporations and market sectors, LIME attempts to uncover the innovation of the underlying principles. In the pursuit of this goal LIME draws upon the diverse disciplinary backgrounds of its members to produce unique insight. Competencies in the information sciences position LIME as not only a consumer of data, but also as a producer of novel datasets.
Data exploited include patents, academic publications, world-wide import/export trade flows, investments and collaborative agreements, high resolution R&D projects, and product and firm data. LIME combines its capacity in data handling and analysis with strengths in Economics, Econometrics, Analytics and additional related social sciences.
Through this combination it aims to develop unique analyses ranging from broad and exploratory to specific and hypothesis-driven. Beyond furthering the understanding of innovation through academic publications, LIME also aims to be of service to policy-makers and industry. Seeking dialogue with policy-makers on matters of outcome evaluation and innovation development and for industry producing sector-specific insight on the processes driving innovation.

Our research group is closely related to the:


Visiting Professors and Collaborators from other institutions:

Research Topics

  • Sources of innovation: radical and breakthrough innovation; science and innovation.
  • Locus of innovation: maps of knowledge; regional and local systems of innovations, smart specialization; global R&D networks.
  • Value of innovation: patent and market value, innovation diffusion, the value of failures in R&D.
  • Data-driven innovation: harnessing the potential of large amounts of data for problem solving in the public sector, manufacturing and services.
  • Scientific and technological creativity: analysis of the sources and consequences of scientific and technological creativity.
  • Scientific careers: team assembly and productivity, inventor mobility, division of innovative labor.


The research unit collaborates with several research teams worldwide including: Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University COSY, Aalto University Department MSI, K.U. Leuven OECD, Paris Department of Economics, University of Trento Politecnico of Turin.

Projects and Funding

European Commission

National funding (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research)
  • PRIN 2009 World Trade Networks - Empirical Analysis and Theoretical Models
  • MIUR "Progetto di interesse nazionale" Crisis Lab
    The focus of the Crisis lab is to develop models using empirical data to describe the vulnerabilities of diverse socio-technical systems which have a complex underlying dependency structure. The globalization of our planet requires state-of-the-art methodologies for better understanding the dependency structure of multi-level systems which can be vulnerable to catastrophic failure.
  • FIRB Futuro in Ricerca 2012 Linea 3 - ViWaN, The global virtual-water network: social, economic, and environmental implications: social, economic, and environmental implications.
    This project will analyze the largely unexplored implications of globalization of water inherent in the food trade. Are involved in the project: Politecnico di Torino, Francesco Laio, Associate professor in Water Engineering; IMT Lucca, Massimo Riccaboni, Associate prof. in Economy and Management; Università di Trento, Stefano Schiavo, Associate professor in Political Economics; Università di Firenze, Elisa Masi, Assistant professor in Agronomy.
Other grants:
  • Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO, Belgium), 2013: The Nature and Consequences of Firms' Involvement and Collaboration in Basic Research
    The aim of the research project is to examine the nature and consequences of firms' involvement in basic scientific research. Promoter: René Belderbos (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven); Co-promoters: Leten Bart (KU Leuven), Massimo Riccaboni (IMT Lucca), Kelchtermans Stijn (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel).

Seminars and Conferences

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Job Positions

There is currently no open faculty position but we are continuosly scouting for smart people to be involved in our research projects or in our Ph.D. Program. Do not hesitate to contact us to express your interest.
More info is available from the Faculty Job Opportunities section of IMT website.