This article addresses the issue of R&D in Italy, the institutions that finance it, its operational tools, spin-offs and start-ups, put in place to ensure that the R&D can be transformed into productive innovation, both of the process and the product. The question that is addressed concerns the funding streams for the launch and development of the operational instruments. The picture that emerges is extremely diverse and irregular between sources of income from the European Union, national Government, national research bodies and agencies, both public and private, the Italian regions and local entities (EELL) directly and through their subsidiary companies. It leads to the question that this article attempts to answer: is the assertion that insufficient resources are devoted to R&D true? With regard to this, there are numerous legitimate doubts, and there is reason to believe that the fact there are so many channels for dispersing the resources devoted to R&D is primarily related to the excessive number of sources of funding, not to mention the evaluative procedures and timing for allocating funds. This is one aspect. The main issue is the lack of a widely shared programming policy, based on the priorities of the national and local communities for responses to their human needs.