The General Commissioner for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai and the Italian Secretariat of PRIMA signed a memorandum of understanding to promote research and innovation in the agrifood sector.
‘The contribution of the Italian Secretariat of PRIMA to our participation at Expo Dubai’, declared the General Commissioner for Expo 2020, Paolo Glisenti, ‘will be essential to showcase innovation in the agrifood sector and, in particular, the opportunities offered by precision agriculture to a truly sustainable development process. As a result, Italy will be able to play a leading role at Expo Dubai besides coordinating the Euro-Mediterranean region, which is of strategic importance’.
This shared commitment will confirm Italy’s leadership in research and innovation in key sectors, including efficient management of water resources, sustainable agriculture and the agrifood production chain, in an area of pre-eminent interest such as the Mediterranean.
The PRIMA programme (www.prima-med.org) is supported by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research with 50 million Euro of co-funding for 7 years.
Prof. Giuseppe Valditara, Head of the Department for Higher Education and Research of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, highlights that ‘Italian projects in the agrifood sector which – thanks to the memorandum – will be showcased at Dubai 2020, reflect the high standard of Italian research and the Ministry’s commitment in terms of diplomacy in research’.
By participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, the PRIMA Programme and Italian excellence in the agrifood sector will benefit from a new development platform, besides the support of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and of the other partners that accompanied the launch in 2017 from a scientific and institutional perspective. Among these, the National Research Council (CNR), the Ministry of Agricultural, Food, Forestry and Tourism Policies through CREA, the Ministry of the Environment through ISPRA, the Ministry of Economic Development through ENEA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Health through the Italian National Institute of Health, the university system through CRUI and representatives of businesses and farmers.
The University of Siena plays the key role in accompanying the initiative’s implementation at a national level, also thanks to the constitution of the Italian Secretariat housed at the Santa Chiara Lab.
‘The signing of the memorandum’, commented Prof. Angelo Riccaboni, the former Rector of the University of Siena and Chairman of the PRIMA Foundation, ‘will allow for participating in an important initiative in a highly dynamic economic area, where agrifood issues and the fundamental principle of PRIMA, namely equal dignity among all 19 Euro-Mediterranean countries involved, will have new opportunities for being developed and applied’.