The Italian Council of State rules that collaboration between public universities and private companies for awards of State contracts does not fall within the purview of EU State aid rules because research by universities cannot be considered an ’economic activity’ (Baldoni and others)

On 21 July 2015, the Council of State delivered Decision No. 3616 in which it rejected the appeal brought by a partnership between several private limited liability companies (“SCAI”) against Decision 1288/2013 of the Regional Administrative Court of Lombardy (“TAR Lombardy”). The TAR Lombardy decision had rejected SCAI’s request for annulment of a public procurement procedure. Background & facts of the case In July 2011, the Lombardy regional government issued a call for proposals concerning projects of industrial research and experimental development in certain strategic sectors for the Lombardy regional government and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. SCAI’s project ranked 11th amongst the proposed projects but was not eligible for funding because the

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