A systemic approach for industrial symbiosis at regional level allowing to capture more value from resources and to reduce waste deriving from food industry.
The main goal of the project, financed by regional ERDF , is to develop and test solutions for the reuse and valorisation of food waste, focusing on the tomato and wheat supply chains, which are particularly strong in Emilia-Romagna, by generating opportunities for new market products.

Thanks to cooperation between companies and research, the development of new technological solutions and platforms will allow to reach project objectives.

For the tomato supply chain, waste skins and seeds, by innovative and low environmental impact technologies, will be used to naturally enrich olive oil in lycopene and to obtain a new oil from the co-crumbling of olives and tomato by-products, intended for the food market.

From waste products of the wheat supply chain, with the use of low impact energy- environmental technologies, wheat germ oil and defatted oil are produced for the food market but also for other markets. In parallel to the valorisation of these by-products, the project wants to create a network of industrial symbiosis through the development of operating manuals and software that will enable a dynamic map of the circular economies of two supply chains.

Key actors involved are: two regional Laboratories of Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network (CIRI AGRO, project leader, and ENEA-LEA) and two large companies representing the supply chains addressed: Barilla S.p.A. and Consorzio Casalasco.

Resources needed

0.8 Meur from ERDF for a total project value of 1.2 Meur covering the R&D activities, and the development of the industrial symbiosis platform

Evidence of success

The project represents a successful case of cooperation between research and the business sector for a more efficient resource use in a key sector for the regional and national economy: the agrofood industry.

Difficulties encountered


Potential for learning or transfer

The developed technologies and platforms can be adapted to other regions or countries in Europe. This project may have a large impact at national and European level if transferred to other players: in Europe, 55% of tomato processing occurs in Italy, which generates about 2M tons of waste; for wheat, about the 20% of processed wheat is wasted (source: http://www.foodcrossingdistrict.it)

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
University of Bologna
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
June 2015
End Date


Sara Picone Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by



Derrick Taylor

Birmingham City Council