Institute of Management


MAIN: Management dell'Innovazione

MAIN (Management & Innovation) is a research area within the Istituto di Management at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.

In a globalised knowledge economy innovation is, more than ever, a crucial element of competitiveness and growth processes for firms, other organizations and territories. Private firms need to continuously adapt to new situations of demand and supply, and possibly influence them, and this also applies to public administrations and cities/regions.
Research carried out by the researchers at MAIN aims at describing, understanding, explaining and facilitating the management of innovation in private firms, public administrations and cities/regions. Innovation processes are here interpreted from a technological, managerial, cultural and institutional perspective.

MAIN builds upon a long tradition of business studies in Pisa under the leadership of Prof. Riccardo Varaldo. It has evolved from a collection of key projects, such as the Link National Project (1998-2001) which has led to the establishment of a new science and technology pole in Pontedera, near Pisa. In MAIN, a group of professors, researchers and PhD students combine their expertise in order to increase the opportunities for cross-fertilisation. Most MAIN members have a management background and their individual specialisations cover a wide range of topics, ranging from management of technology, to finance, from cost accounting to International relations, and they are united in their approach and overarching theme of research. Within this context, research carried out in MAIN is characterised by a multidisciplinary approach, by an empirical orientation and by a commitment to theory building.

Also, relevant elements of research at MAIN are:

  • an intense interaction with a number of International research centres, such as the Centre for Open Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley;
  • continuous interaction with small and large firms, which partecipate to both executive education programmes (Master and PhD courses) and provide idead and funds for research activities;
  • a fruitful collaboration with other Institutes at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, and in particolar with those in technological field, such as engineering and life sciences;
  • the active participation of MAIN professors and researchers in networks and organizations where scientific research and theory meets practice and policy making, such as regional government initiatives and national and international associations.