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Agrobiotech

 

The biotechnological development in the agro-alimentary and agro-industrial sector is going through a phase of rapid growth and it is a source of innovation for raw materials and manufacturing process.

 

The Basilicata productive vocation - the agro-alimentary and agro-industrial sector is competitive and dynamic with its first-class products - as well as public and private regional centres for advanced research on agro-biotechnology are the bases for an agro-biotechnology pole to be located in the Metaponto area. This pole, which represents one of the main interventions in the field of new research strategy in Basilicata, aims at coordinating agro-biotechnological research steering it towards the creation of new high-tech companies and also towards the supply of innovative services.

 

As far as "green" biotechnologies are concerned Basilicata can count on research centres which are prestigious on a national level such as:

 

  1. ENEA which has recently created the Agrobiopolis pole - the largest southern integrated centre for innovative research - situated in the Trisaia Research Centre (MT), near Metaponto. This new centre, which is a point of reference for the agro-alimentary sector, consists of three functional areas including the Multifunctional Plant Complex, the Specialized Laboratories and the Demo Centre.

  2. The Metapontum Agrobios which is a society for biotechnological research and development 100% shared by the Basilicata Regional Authority. This centre is equipped with modern agro-biotechnological and chemical laboratories, and has also greenhouses for research and fields for experiments. Agrobios plays an important and original role from an agro-biotechnological point of view. It carries on activities aiming at improving the industrial and food agricultural cultivation qualitatively and productively - even in advanced sectors such as medicine and nutraceutical production.

  3. The National Council for Research (CNR) which has a Centre for research on the Mediterranean Biodiversity situated in the Pantanello Institute - Institute of general genetics (IGV) - near Policoro (MT). It carries on research into the vegetable field for the pharmaceutical, chemical and food sector. The Centre is equipped with cells, laboratories for the conservation of the germo-plasma and the genetic-biochemical study of the plant diversity and has also fields for experiments.

  4. The Council for research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA) which is in Metaponto, in the Pantanello Experimental Farm. The Unit for Research on vegetable genomics and post-genomics (recently settled) hosts some units of Metapontum Agrobios. This centre will carry on projects in the cereal genomic field (hard wheat and agro-energy plants). CRA is also in Metaponto where there is a Unit for Research on the Cultivation System Study. There are fields for experiments and a farm.

  5. The University of Basilicata which is important for research and regional advanced training. As far as biotechnology is concerned it has activated a specialized degree course in vegetable biotechnologies. The academic staff can count on 30 University Teachers while the students are about one hundred every year. The Potenza University is equipped with laboratories for lectures and research.

Some of the active programmes for research, financed by European and National funds, are:

    • The creation of a regional meeting-point for the Technological Bio-system Competence centre, the Biosistema consortium, and the Bionetwork Project.

    • The development of technologies for new varieties of vegetables which can resist stress plus a better nutritional quality.

    • The development of highly effective technologies for the identity, quality and safety certification of agro-alimentary products and typical products as well.

    • The development of technological groundwork for the production of medicines extracted from plants.

    • The use of microorganisms for the bio-cleansing of Art, Architectural and Archeological Property and Possessions.

    • The production of special vegetable oils for the industrial production of bio-diesel oils, biopolymers and lubricants.

    • The production of enzymes for the reutilization of agricultural wastes in order to make cellulose fibres and increase the biogas and bio-ethanol production.


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