Starting April 2014 ARTES began to work for the realisation of an advanced research cluster in Tunisia, and has already drafted the first agreements in collaboration with local firms, and research and development institutes. Lilia Infelise, President of ARTES, visited again the country from October 11 until 17 with the aim of tightening these collaborations and carry on the project. During the meetings further developments of the project Ginestra were discussed, along with the participation of the Tunisian partners to the other international projects that ARTES is leading in the framework of European-African cooperation.
ENISo Ecole National d’Ingenieurs de Sousse
The first meeting was with the ENISo team, working on the project for the new biorefinery plant for Ginestra and focused on some planning details and improvements of the final report redacted by the team on the preliminary study.
Later on Lilia Infelise had a meeting with Prof. Zoubeir Tourki, Director of ENISo. This meeting allowed both sides to express their willingness to continuing to cooperate and possibly to install a pilot plant in Tunisia. The Director also said he will present both the report and the idea for the pilot plant at the next Forum de Convergence, on December 2.
University of Monastir
The new Head of Research Hatem Dhaouadi, along with Farouk Mhenni, former Director of the Applied Chemistry and Environment of the Faculty of Science, welcomed Lilia Infelise and introduced her to some of the research team members. Then Lilia Infelise made a presentation about the State of Art of Ginestra for all the staff members.
Later on, in a private meeting with the top representatives of the University, Lilia discussed the possibility of a formal collaboration on the project Ginestra and the University expressed interest in joining the European-African KBBE agreement promoted by ARTES within its international network of universities, research centres and firms.
The first meeting with the Tunisian entrepreneurs was also held in Monastir, with Fadhel Gassab, Director of ETex, who expressed great interest in the possible cooperation with Italian firms involved with textile finishing and dyeing, as well as in supporting the technological cluster promoted by ARTES.
Afterwards, Rachid Zarrad, Director of International Relations for the entrepreneurial group SARTEX, welcomed Lilia Infelise and showed her around the company, while they discussed cooperation opportunities for the training of human resources and the firm’s social policies. With 3500 employees, SARTEX is the biggest Tunisian firm for jeans manufacturing and relies on an integrated process involving all the phases from the purchase of textiles to the finishing, up to the delivery of the labelled product to big Italian brands. The finishing and dyeing division is especially advanced, with high tech machinery and automated processes.