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Agile Nations Network: collaborating internationally to foster innovation

On October 20th Italy participated in the Annual Plenary meeting to approve the work plan on agile regulation

Date 20 october 2021
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2 minutes

On October 20th the first Annual Plenary meeting was held virtually by the UK, current Chair of the Network. During the meeting, the Ministers and their representatives officially approved the Work Plan of the Agile Nations that was jointly developed by countries’ delegates throughout this year.

The Work Plan includes 10 multilateral and bilateral projects focusing on agile regulation approaches and deepening specific vertical sectors of global priority including data and communications, mobility, green tech, professional services and medical devices and treatments. The Plenary marks the first year of the Agile Nations Network and celebrates the innovative and collaborative approach undertaken by all parties. Members will explore new opportunities in areas relating to regulation and standards in line with the commitments they took by signing the Agile Nations Charter (December 2020).

Camilla Sebastiani, Chief of Policy, Cabinet of the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition represented Italy in the Plenary meeting.

The Agile Nations Network

First of its kind, the new intergovernmental network aims at promoting and scaling agile regulation initiatives, both at the national and international level, in order to remove unnecessary bureaucratic burdens for innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs. Italy joined the Agile Nations in December 2020 together with Canada, Denmark, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The initiative was promoted by the United Kingdom and is supported by the OECD and the World Economic Forum, acting as observers.

Italy’s contribution

Italy actively participates in the Experimental approaches project, led by Denmark, which aims at sharing knowledge on agile regulation tools and frameworks, with a focus on regulatory sandboxes and their implementation strategies. Regulatory sandboxes allow the experimentation of emerging technologies and innovative business models by means of derogations to existing hindering regulations.

In the long term, the Work Plan also envisages the opportunity of practical regulatory cooperation across borders to help innovators figuring out how new technologies and business models can be tested and developed  in the international regulatory environment.

Using regulatory sandboxes is now possible in Italy thanks to article 36 of the Decreto-legge 16 luglio 2020 n. 76. The initiative “Sperimentazione Italia” was presented by the Department for Digital Transformation, during the roundtable held by the World Economic Forum “Transforming Governance for disruption”.

The advantages are in favour of:

  • innovation - allowing experimentation of new technologies and of innovative business models, aimed at their development and application;
  • economic competitiveness - allowing companies and research institutes to achieve the technological innovation frontier through the experimentation in realistic and safe spaces;
  • regulatory process - better defining unclear or uncertain juridical situations; updating existing rules in order to catch up with the pace of innovation;