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Three-year plan 2018-2020

Three-year plan 2018-2020

The CREA mission presents tasks related to the promotion of sustainable development in the agricultural and food sector. Sustainability is perceived in its three main dimensions: environmental (protection and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity of agricultural, forestry and fisheries ecosystems), economic (profitability and competitiveness of agricultural, agri-food and forestry activities) and social (in particular healthiness of products and consumer protection). CREA carries out these tasks through research activities aimed at advancing scientific knowledge and developing new methodologies and solutions to current and foreseeable problems.

CREA is also entrusted with the performance of “institutional research" activities requested by MIPAAFT and other public administrations to support knowledge for the planning of sectoral policies. In particular, this involves the collection and analysis of statistical data and certification activities, as well as real scientific advice whenever it is necessary in the implementation of national and international legislation.

Another pillar of the mission of the Body is the support to technological innovation to ensure that the advancement of knowledge can be converted into solutions actually adopted in the various production sectors and generate value for businesses and society. To this end, in compliance with current legislation, CREA may provide services to public and private entities, including under private law.

Finally, CREA, like other academic and research institutions, must maintain an active and lively dialogue with society through direct dissemination to the general public and the creation of opportunities for open and scientifically informed debate on sensitive issues, often characterised by strong public polarisation.

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Objectives of the three-year research plan 2018-2020

Objectives of the three-year research plan 2018-2020

Climate and protection of the environment and productions

The Mediterranean basin is expected to be one of the areas in which the environmental changes induced by climate change will be most marked. This requires both actions to mitigate the changes underway with long-term effects (also in relation to international commitments), and adaptation actions, necessary in the medium term to maintain effective production systems in more hostile environmental conditions than the current and especially with less predictability of weather trends. The two main axes on which to operate are water resources (collection, conservation, saving, distribution, reuse) and soil; this last one both as a carbon reservoir through the increase of organic matter, and as a fundamental element of fertility (conservation of nutrients, ecosystem functionality, protection and enhancement of biodiversity).

Digital growth

Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as in many other areas of social and economic activity, is also an opportunity for agriculture to be seized. The remote or close observation of the earth with multispectral sensors, the possibility to geo-reference any data thanks to satellite positioning technologies, to use this same technology to drive operating machines, to quickly store and analyse huge amounts of data, to use computer platforms to share information and data, will bring a revolution whose boundaries are still unknown. The spread of digital technologies in agriculture will favour greater efficiency in the use of resources with positive economic and environmental implications, widespread access to enabling information, the development of new business models with an opening of local production systems to the world market.

Plant, animal and microbial genetic resources of agri-food interest

Italy is characterized by a great biological wealth that must be known, protected and enhanced. Dynamic conservation must be implemented, skilfully integrated with new biotechnologies, which can even increase it, providing varieties adapted to changing cultural needs (reduced soil tillage, less or no use of chemicals), environmental needs (reduced water requirements, tolerance of high temperatures) and nutritional needs (fortified foods). Up to the point of involving farmers in the enhancement of the national genetic heritage of agri-food interest.

Quality of agri-food production

Without prejudice to the concept of food safety linked to the intensification of production, quality must be perceived in its broadest sense: the first dimension is that of the healthiness of products from agriculture and the agri-food industry, both for the absence of harmful substances (residues, toxins, pathogenic microorganisms) and for the presence of essential nutrients in a healthy diet (vitamins, antioxidants, trace elements). The second dimension is the hedonistic one that is the most associated to the image of gastronomic Italy in the world; the third dimension is the consumer assurance offered by traceability at all stages, from farm to table. This objective requires innovations in the genetic field, in production, processing, conservation and marketing technologies, and in diagnostic guarantee techniques.

Page update Piano Triennale

Ultimo aggiornamento: 28 Feb 2019

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