Report of steering committee n. 02/2015 – Report of study visit at the ‟Parco Tecnologico Padano” (PTP) Lodi (Mi)Post on December 9, 2015
|At||Name and Surname|
|ALSIA – CRMA||Francesco Cellini|
|ALSIA – CRMA||Maria Gallitelli|
|ALSIA – CRMA||Rina Iannacone|
|ALSIA – SSA||Felice Vizzielli|
|BIOIB||Pep Lluis Pons|
The project Biogreen has been realized under the Operational Programme European Regional Development Fund (PO ERDF 2007-2013). The aim of the project is the identification of good practices based on analysis of Italian and international clusters in order to develop and implement Best Practices for the definition of a ‟governance model” of the “Polo Biotech Green’’ in Basilicata. In this regard, a meeting of the Delegation of Basilicata with the second partner APSTI (Associazione Parchi Scientifici Tecnologici Italiani ), as legal agent of the regional cluster Agrofood Lombardo CAT.AL, took place as a study visit at the Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP) of Lodi.
Frist day – 16th November 2015
In the morning, the delegation of the steering committee was welcomed by Gianluca Carenzo, Director of PTP, and Cristina Tajani, Assessor of Labour Policy, at the Urban Center of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan where a press conference was held to launch the third edition of the Program ALIMENTA 2 Talent.
The new “Call for the Entrepreneurs of the Future”, a business accelerator programme developed by the “Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano” (PTP) with a co-funding by the Municipality of Milan, was launched under Alimenta2Talent. This programme, aimed to support business projects with high added value, it is intended to ensure through the setting up of successful enterprises, the development of new entrepreneurship in an innovation context such as the city of Milan.
The call, which is open to Italian and foreign startuppers, will select five entrepreneurial talents who will benefit from the acceleration programme developed by Alimenta, the PTP Science Park certified incubator. Applications must include a business idea in the field of agri-food and life sciences.
The speakers were Cristina Tajani, Assessor of Labor Policy, Economic Development, University and Research; Smart City at the City of Milan and Gianluca Carenzo, Director of PTP and President APSTI.
In the afternoon, the delegation went to the PTP, which is the mandatory subject of cluster CAT.AL. Andrea Vallan, PTP Business Incubator Project Developer, presented the cluster CAT.AL and the PTP. The PTP is the first technology park that operates in the Italian agrifood, bio-economy and life sciences sectors. Its activities are focused on Research, Business and Services. In addition to its research activity, the PTP offers services to more than 100 companies and sustains new startups with the Alimenta accelerator and incubator, which supports 40 new businesses. Research, Business and Services are the tools with which the PTP promotes sustainable innovation that starts from the enhancement of traditional Italian agrifood and industry. During the visit, Riccardo Gefter, PTP Project Manager, presented the project ‟Agriculture of Tomorrow: Demo Field for Sustainable Production Systems”. This project offers innovative solutions for efficient use of water, energy and land for food security and agricultural sustainability. Later, the delegation visited the Demo Field, which is an area of 12,000 m2. The field hosts the main trend of sustainable future of four of the most relevant crops at global level: rice, maize, soybean, sorghum, and five amongst the plants yielding high value food products: tomato, apple, strawberry, lupines and hop. The Demo Field shows the integration of innovative technologies for the targeted fertilization and the optimisation of the sustainable use of drip irrigation and exploiting the solar energy.
In the first part of the Demo Field, the hilly area was shown to the delegation, featuring marginal lands, which displayed how to integrate high yielding varieties adapted to water-limited conditions and innovative technologies of low pressure fertigation powered by solar pumps. It is feasible to sustainably cultivated rice, maize, soybean and sorghum in smallholder farming systems.
In the second part of the route, the innovative trends for the sustainable cultivation of tomato and lupines were shown to the visitors, that exemplify high nutritional value cultivated plant species. The relevance of the use of existing biodiversity and its integration with strategies of marker-assisted breeding targeted to grain quality traits was shown in the maize diversity demo plot. In the third part of the Demo Field, the most advanced technologies for the optimization of the cultivation of two perennial crops: apple and hop were shown. In the fourth part, the experience of the combination of state-of-the-art greenhouse were illustrated, which is out of soil cultivation, fertigation, use of high precision sensors and integrated pest management strategies of strawberry and tomato plants to guarantee the reduced environmental impact coupled with high yield and profitability.
Later, David Ederle, PTP Core Facilities Project Manager presented the Core Facility of the PTP to the delegation that allow a high technologic integration thanks to the presence of a Biobank, the accelerator, the kitchen academy culinary school and, the genomics and bioinformatics platform and business Incubator.
In particular, Fabrizio Trigila, PTP Business Incubator Project Manager presented the Incubator and Business Accelerator “Alimenta”.
The following are companies incubated in PTP and presented to the delegation.
Maria Rosaria Style, Principal Investigator presented AGROALIMENTARE SUD which was founded in 2008 by the merger of ISTA and Veneto companies. It is an Italian seed company, which conducts research, development, production, and marketing of products derived from genetic improvement and it is involved in the selection of some agricultural interest species. AGROALIMENTARE SUD is interested in improving production and quality crop of Mediterranean importance, particularly corn and straw cereals, forage crops such as ryegrass and medical, and industrial crops such as sunflower, rapeseed and soybean. AGROALIMENTARE SUD invests in research to improve the production and adaptability of different agricultural species through:
- Molecular Assisted Breeding
- Molecular Assisted Selection
- Analysis of the purity of the seeds
- Fingerprinting varietal
- Projects targeted search
Serena Frezza, Microbiology Lab Manager presented ALGAMUNDI – The Green Factory – an innovative startup working in the field of biotechnology and fine chemicals.
The company was formed in 2013 by a team of engineers, biologists, chemists and entrepreneurs convinced that the biotechnology can afford to meet the environmental challenges of the coming decades and ensure the future of man in harmony with this planet. The company develops innovative cultivation systems of micro-algae for large-scale installations, by designing the integration in the context of agricultural or industrial production cycles, in order to facilitate the recycling of significant amounts of CO2 emissions. The plant biomass obtained from micro-algae, rich in bioactive compounds, subsequently allows the production of molecules, natural additives and colorants to use in various sectors.
The company operates in the following two segments:
- Molecules, additives and natural dyes
Researches and production of plant biomass rich in natural molecules, additives and colorants for the food, agricultural and zootechnical sector. In particular, the algae producea natural astaxanthin, an extremely powerful antioxidant, more than 500 times stronger than vitamin E.
- Recycling and capturing CO2
Researches and development of solutions of biotechnological engineering aimed at reducing and recycling of CO2 emissions from the agricultural sector and industry, integrating existing production processes with advanced systems of micro-algae cultivation.
Roberto Verga, Chief Executive Officer, presented the BiCT company which is engaged in production of free and immobilized enzymes, and various kinds of natural antimicrobial secondary metabolites with the implementation and development of cost-effective and sustainable industrial processes for their production. The BiCT has a dual nature providing both products and services, thanks to a policy meaning synergy and networking with other companies or organizations.
The BiCT develops and produces free and immobilized enzymes and natural antimicrobial metabolites internally or in co-development with partners or customers, in addition to offering products and the development of industrial processes based on the various steps of chemical/biological nature, from molecular biology to the biotransformation and chemo-enzymatic synthesis. The BiCT can therefore offer a service to the customers, which includes the development of the process, the sale and assistance for the products use.
FlowMetric, Inc. is a leading provider of flow cytometry and cell sorting services. They serve partners in multiple fields including biotechnology, small and large cap pharmaceuticals, hospitals and academic institutions. FlowMetric was established in 2010 at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology center in Doylestown; it provides state-of-the-art flow cytometry techniques that combine proprietary assays with advanced analytics to support all stages of drug development including pre-clinical, non-clinical and clinical development. In the agrifood sector, the services ranging from ploidy analysis of plant species to identification of foodborne pathogens. FlowMetric Europe also provides complementary services in the field of genomic and bioinformatics through the PTP’s platform.
Silvia Salati, Facility Manager, presented the GRUPPO RICICLA. This spin-off of the University of Milan conducts research, analysis, development, consulting and training, related to several issues regarding the green economy as biomass, agro-energy, biological processes, agriculture and environment. It works on research/development projects, does public/private consultancy of innovative technologies/processes in the field of green-technologies. The GROUPPO RICICLA laboratories are dedicated to research topics in the field of green-technologies as Microbial Fuel Cells, Microbial Electrolysis Cells, microalgae cultures, new crops for energy and green chemistry.
Alessandro Vitale, Business Development Manager presented the company IPADLAB (International Plant Analysis and Diagnostics srl.). The IPADLAB originates from an entrepreneurial experience in services to agriculture and a long tradition of academic research in the field of plant protection. The IPADLAB is the first Italian biotechnology company focused on services and products of molecular phytodiagnostics at a global scale and is based at PTP of Lodi, the reference biotechnology incubator in the agro-food sector in Italy and Europe.
IPADLAB offers: services and products for the diagnosis of diseases of plants with major economic impact in agriculture by traditional techniques (eg. ELISA) or through the development of innovative methods based on molecular biology.
Marco Ceriani, Chief Executive Officer, presented the company ItalBUGS which is involved in research and development of new food matrices that are safe, sustainable and hypoallergenic, such as insects. The startup is interested in the innovation, development and implementation of new processes of sustainable industrial farming, aimed at the production of insects.
The ItalBUGS activities mainly concern the formulation and development of new raw materials and food from insects to animal and human feed.
Consuelo Attolico presented the project Profit for the Benefit Mommilk. Breast milk is a unique food with nutritional properties essential for physical, mental and intellectual development of the newborns. For many newborns, especially preterm infants, breast milk may not be available. The national guidelines say that breast milk is the food most appropriate to the nutritional needs of premature infants and hospitalized. To address this need is born the “La banca del latte umano donato’’ (BLUD).The Mommilk project is the first service for the pasteurization that uses an advanced technology of milk processing, censuring donated human milk of high nutritional and hygienic quality. The PTP has designed and developed an innovative system of pasteurization (High Temperature Short Time – HTST) connected to a system of aseptic bottling .Every batch is analyzed by an external testing that certifies the safety and suitability. A dedicated software allows to track every single donation of milk so that it can provide a remote instrument of traceability and create an archive for possible epidemiological follow-up and clinical investigation.
Second day – 17th November 2015
On November 17, the study visit of the delegation continued with a meeting at the offices of Finlombarda SpA, financial company of the Lombardy Region (RL). In this location, Paolo Lamperti, Senior Project Manager, responsible for the activities in support of cluster Lombard, welcomed the delegation. The Finlombarda meeting was attended: Simona Giacomazzi and Francesca De Candido, Senior Project Manager, who deal with open innovation, and logistical coordination between the region and cluster. Dr. Francesco Cellini – manager of ALSIA-CRMA, lead partner, gave a broad overview about the activities of ALSIA–Metapontum Agrobios Research Center and described the tasks of the project Biogreen. During the meeting, topics concerning the policies of RL were treated to support research and innovation, implementation of the S3 with examining the themes concerning the development and consolidation of Clusters Technological Lombardi (CTL). Information was provided on the funds allocated for the biennium 2014-2015 as a contribution to the growth and consolidation of functional CTL in a perspective of progressive self-sustainability. The Lombardy Region recognizes the CTL and provides technical assistance through the holding of a series of services: monitoring the activities of CTL and impact analysis, promotion of regional policy cluster, scouting and alerting specific opportunities, support cross-cluster collaboration, involvement in regional, national and international etc. CTLs are nine in total with 593 members who are divided into 416 companies, 35 universities, and 71 research institutions. The six dimensions of the performance dashboard were presented and subdivided into: stage of development, financial sustainability and to support research ‟innovation propensity” internationalization, governance and communication.
The objectives that the dashboard will pursue are: constant monitoring and comparison of performance as a support for CTL; benchmarking with other cluster competitors regional, national and European; objectification and dissemination of performance of CTL to all stakeholders; the suggestion to the policy-markers for programming tools and new measures to support the development and consolidation of CTL.
Later, Simona Giacomazzi introduced the collaborative platform for Open Innovation. The platform is a collaborative tool promoted by the Lombardy Region with the aim of encouraging and supporting the development of open innovation to respond to the strategic challenges for growth and competitiveness in the region. It is addressed to the actors of the innovation process in the enterprise, in research, at public operators of services, and intermediary entities. It is functional to the implementation of the strategy of regional specialization, in all its phases.
Finally, the main features of the platform were indicated:
- Tools for mapping the skills and networks of contacts
- Tools to support the community to facilitate understanding and dialogue among the participants
- Tools to facilitate the establishment of partnerships on concrete projects
- Interaction with other platforms and services
At the closure of the session, and following institutional greetings, as well as an exchange of intent for further cooperation between Finlombarda and Alsia-CRMA in the framework of the Open Innovation Platform, the delegation finally went for the second stage of the study visit, to ParcBIT in the Balearic Islands.