Project Ginestra enters the second phase – Activating Innovation

The Background

After almost 15 years at the lead of the project Ginestra and a patented bio-refinery process, ARTES and its international network of laboratories and universities are about to scale up to pilot production. Thanks to the funding from the Region of Calabria, the research is now heading towards the industrialisation of the already discovered enzymatic process and the extension of the same process to other Mediterranean shrubs besides the Spartium Juniceum. A part of the research will also focus on the possible extraction of biochemicals and biomaterials from the waste resulting from the main process, and their potential for other applications. This task is in the hands of ARTES’ Polish partners at the IBWCH – Institute of Biopolymers and Chemical Fibres in Lodz.

Among the protagonists of this second part of the project, and in charge of a fully automated biorefinery pilot plant, are ARTES’ Tunisian partners ENISo – Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Sousse and ATI ENGINEERING, whose representatives came to Italy last week for a Study Visit.

The Study Visit

The delegation was composed by:

The organisers Lilia Infelise and Sergio Tinelli, respectively President and Co-Founder of ARTES;

Ahmed KTARI, Dr.-Ing. in Materials engineering and Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering by ENISo

Sabrine IBRAHIM, Student in Mechatronics Engineering and Design of Mechatronic Systems

Omar CHAHATA, Mechanical Engineer at ATI ENGINEERING and former ENISo Student.

Marzo Maiocchi, Antonio Mauro, Enrico Lapadula representatives of ATI ENGINEERING.

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Program of the Visit


 Monday, May 11

ENISo and ATI ENGINEERING landed at Marconi Airport from Tunis and together with the ARTES team, they drove to the laboratories of Active Cells, inside the Centre for Advanced Biotechnologies of Genoa. Giancarlo Dondo, chair of Active Cells, and his team welcomed them and introduced the key activities of the laboratory and results achieved in the project. The ENISo team illustrated the pilot plant project, and the whole team discussed on key strategic decision about the technological solutions.

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Tuesday, May 12

The Tunisian Delegation and the ARTES team joined the Leader of the agronomic component of the project, Prof. Amaducci (UNICAT – Piacenza) and prof. Federico Preti (University of Florence) to discuss the five pilot experimental locations for the cultivation and harvesting of Ginestra in Italy. The meeting took place in the suggestive Park of Monte Sole, a historical site on the hills surrounding Bologna. After a brunch served in a lovely countryside atmosphere, the delegation visited the bio-refinery labs of the DICAM – UNIBO, accompanied by prof. Lorenzo Bertini from UNIBO.

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Wednesday, May 13

The delegation flew to Calabria, where it took some time to discuss the first days of work, plan the following, and met with local stakeholders.


Thursday, May 14

In the morning, the delegation visited the Experimental Demonstration Centre ARSAC -CDS in San Marco Argentano (CS), location of the first generation bio-refinery pilot plant patented in 2008. Later on, the delegation headed to the research centre of ENEA – TRISAIA and was welcomed by Giacobbe Braccio, head of the centre and accompanied by a team of technologists visited laboratories.

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