Bioeconomy looks far into the future: an opportunity for development

Green Chemistry: Let’s learn to look far”. This is the eloquent title of a convention held in Ravenna on May 23, 2019 under the patronage of the Municipality of Ravenna and the Emilia-Romagna Region. The idea was to take stock of the transition towards a ‘green’ chemistry (capable, that is, of replacing hydrocarbons as much as possible, and therefore able to become sustainable), and to do so right now as the reopening of the Ravenna Environmental Research Center approaches. The Center was very strongly wanted by Raul Gardini in 1992, but after four changes of ownership has progressively declined.

The conference, opened by the mayor of Ravenna Michele de Pascale and concluded by the regional councilor for production activities Palma Costi, aimed to examine new technologies (such as microalgae and biopolymers), the ongoing initiatives to promote sustainability (such as the project Darsena in Blue of the Darsena Institute of Ravenna, presented by the children of the school themselves and by the entrepreneur Gunter Pauli), and in general the local strategies of bioeconomic development. Indeed, the province of Ravenna which can count on access to the sea, on a long tradition in chemistry as well as on the legacy of the ideas of Gardini who was the first to explore and promote the roads of green chemistry, has all the necessary credentials to create growth opportunities in emergent sustainable industrial enterprises.

To prove it, there is the Fraunhofer Institute – a German giant with 24 thousand researchers and 72 applied research centers – which is now participating in the re-launching of the Center of Environmental Research. “Without the teamwork between the Municipality of Ravenna, the University of Bologna and the Fraunhofer Institute, “ – said Fabio Fava, professor of industrial biotechnology in an interview to Sole 24 Ore – “the impossible mission of bringing back to Ravenna an international center of research on sustainable energy, intelligent waste management and circular economy would not have been realized.”