In early 2019 a Research Network for Digital Ecosystem, Economic Policy and INnovation (DEEP-IN) has been established and has started its activity. The DEEP-IN research network is an independent project, promoted and hosted by I-Com, the Institute for competitiveness.

Background and Motivation

The digital and ITC world is a complex, networked multi-layered ecosystem, whose backbones are very high capacity wired and wireless communications network infrastructures. Over the top of those physical networks and related services, contents and applications permeated the digital ecosystem, creating other networks, softer yet pervasive and self-nurturing, made of economic, social and operational interactions. This ecosystem is extremely complex, and it is populated, animated and influenced by a wide range of diverse actors. Moreover, this multidimensional complexity is not enclosed in a static framework, yet very fast-moving and not easy to anticipate. No surprise, public institutions often struggle to govern or simply understand such a complex system.

Mission, Activities and Research Themes

The general mission of the DEEP-IN RESEARCH NETWORK is to contribute at improving the awareness in Europe about the complexity of the public intervention within the Digital and ICT world, and its fundamental impact on the European Market and Society. Moreover, the Network will aim to become a concrete and useful advocacy tool, identifying and assessing existing best practices as well as developing new effective policy and regulatory solutions at national and EU level.

Our core activities


A dynamic and flexible network of scholars and practitioners affiliated to different applied research institutions, think tank and public bodies, pooling expertise and knowledge developed in different EU countries and taking advantage of specific centers of excellence and swiftly responding to market evolution with effective regulatory and policy proposals.


Applied Research

Theoretical sound analysis of the overall digital and ICT ecosystem, through a systemic and holistic approach, aimed to understand what impact digitalization and innovation processes have had onto the “old network’s world” and what efficient, effective and future-proof regulatory solutions and economic policies could be designed, planned and developed.


Fruitful dialogue among EU researchers, market actors and public bodies, involving supranational and global public institutions and organizations (i.e., OECD, ITU, World Bank).



An effective dissemination activity to inform and shape the public debate and thinking, both conveying high level results and ideas in a targeted and focused way towards policy makers and fertilizing by spreading out ideas to digital influencers and tomorrow policy leaders.


Each activity will approach the Digital and ICT Ecosystem complexity looking at a plurality of interrelated aspects, under different perspectives, with a focus on the following main themes:

– Digital and ICT ecosystem: law, economics, and society

– Innovation, competition and incentives: new IP frontiers for a right balance
A systemic policy for the 5G and the new Communications Infrastructures