NODES Spoke 6 kick off

Spoke 6 Riccaggio
The transformation of the agro-industry requires investments in innovation to develop new models of production and consumption to the benefit society
NODES Spoke 6: Technological Innovation and Sustainability in the Transformation of Primary Agro-industry

On November 29, 2022, the activities of Spoke 6 "Primary Agro-industry" within the three-year project "NODES" were presented at the Fondazione Riccagioia. The project is funded by the Ministry of University and Research through investments provided by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). Spoke 6, led by the University of Pavia, aims to support innovation in high-potential technological trajectories. 


The main objective is to develop new products and processes in existing SMEs, create "Deep Tech" start-ups and spin-offs in the local agro-industry, and increase the competitiveness of the involved companies at the international level. 


The project promotes collaboration, training, and innovation tools to enable the relationship between large companies, SMEs, start-ups, and the research community in a context of cross-contamination and open innovation. The focus will also be on talent development and redefining the role of doctoral research from an industrial perspective. Large companies will support the ecosystem by identifying industrial development trajectories, hiring highly qualified personnel, and facilitating the absorption of developed innovations. 


The implementing bodies of NODES are public universities, including Politecnico di Torino, University of Turin, University of Eastern Piedmont, University of Insubria, University of Pavia, University of Valle D'Aosta, and University of Gastronomic Sciences. They will collaborate with affiliated entities to carry out research activities within their expertise, including the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, six innovation hubs, five reference research centres, three incubators, one accelerator, and one competence centre. 


Several representatives attended the presentation meeting, including Roberto Orofino (Ersaf), Paolo Gay (Department of Forestry and Food Sciences, University of Turin), Graziano Rossi (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia), Hermes Giberti (Department of Industrial and Information Engineering, University of Pavia), and Antonio Gallo (Department of Animal Sciences, Nutrition and Food, University of Piacenza). 


Spoke 6 "Primary Agro-industry" focuses on the transformation of the agro-industry due to globalization, population growth, and climate change. The goal is to invest in innovation to make new technologies accessible to agro-industrial enterprises and identify new models of sustainable production and consumption. Research areas include the development of sensors and communication systems, data collection and processing to develop innovative services for the sector. 


The NODES project aims to attract young researchers and students to ensure the introduction of new technologies in production processes and raise awareness of digital and socio-environmental sustainability issues. 


Two flagship projects that receive significant research activities are the integrated forage, livestock, and biogas supply chain, aimed at developing a resilient, circular, and diversified agro-livestock sector, ensuring food security and sustainability in dairy food chains. The other project focuses on vineyard management for grape and wine production, where expertise in Big Data is applied and production and consumption models based on the principles of agro-industry and precision agriculture are developed. 


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