The study visit started with a series of presentations. Maria Grazia Zucchini from ART-ER welcomed all participants and described what to expect from the two-days full immersion in the Emilia-Romagna ecosystem.

The first presentation was about the S3 Forum initiative, moments of exchange and discussion organized by ART-ER, during which the regional innovation ecosystem representants are invited, given a picture of the state of the art in the implementation of the specialization strategy, to give a view of how is it going, and how it could be improved.

Then, the Agrifood Cluster Manager, Mr. Marco Foschini, presented the strategy behind the network of the regional Clust-ERs, with a special focus on the Agrifood one, its members and activities.

Two case studies were then presented by the Institute for the Bioeconomy and by the CRPA, Center for Animal Production.

So, the journey started from Bologna, the National Research Council, with a visit to CNR-IBE, the Institute of Bioeconomy that deals with the definition of strategies for the mitigation and adaptation to global changes effects, and studies sustainable systems of exploitation of natural resources for industrial purposes.


Then, the group moved to Budrio, near Bologna, so as to visit Aqua Campus, an innovative centre addressing innovation in the agriculture sector, namely concerning new irrigation technologies, where they could see the Demo Farm. Professor Stefano Anconelli from CER (Canale Emiliano Romagnolo) presented experimentation, technical assistance and dissemination activities they perform to help farmers optimyzing irrigation processes thanks to IRRINET, a special support system. Moreover he presented the results of the ALADIN project, and those expected from the POSITIVE project: they were both funded by ERDF regional funds.

The journey continued with a visit to Granarolo SpA, a big player of the dairy sector. There, Mr. Tommaso Simili presented Granarolo group policies and the activities they perform in other countries, where they run important productive plants.

Mr. Vittorio Zambrini described the AGRO FOOD BIC incubator, that group together important regional companies and can count on the support of ENEA, ART-ER and the University of Bologna.

The first part of the Study visit ended with a networking dinner in the very centre of Bologna.