Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe officially known as the Italian Republic. Rome is the capital and its largest city. It is the fourth most populous EU member state with 61 million inhabitants. Italy was the founding member of both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, and is a member of the Group of Eight.
Italy is located in southern Europe in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, covering an area of 301,338 square kilometers of which 294,020 square kilometers is land and 7,210 square kilometers is water. It is having France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City as its neighboring countries and is roughly delimited by the Alpine watershed, enclosing the Po Valley and the Venetian Plain. The country is situated at the meeting point of the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, leading to considerable seismic and volcanic activity having 14 volcanoes in the territory. It is referred to in Italy as ‘The Boot’ due to its geographical shape. It has highly diverse temperate seasonal climate ranging from humid subtropical to humid continental and oceanic with harsh winters and hot summers.
Germany has been now considered as third largest economy in the Eurozone, the world's eighth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), as well as the twelfth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). The country is a founding member of the G7, G8, the Eurozone and the OECD with its influential and high-quality automobile, machinery, food, and fashion industry. It is the world’s largest wine producer and having the best renowned food industries. It has produced great scientific discoveries that marked the history.
Research in Italy is supported mainly by European, National and Regional committee programs. Italy's gross domestic expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) was 20.5 billion euro with an expenditure on R&D (BERD) increased by 2.6%, accounting for 54.2% of total R&D. Organizations and foundations like The Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), Joint and Open Research Programs (JOREP), The National Research Council of Italy, Universities and Research (MIUR), etc. encourage research in the various fields of sciences, life sciences, food sciences