Since its origins in 1088, Alma Mater has been student-centred hosting prominent figures from science and the arts. Based in five campuses (Bologna, Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna, Rimini), with a branch in Buenos Aires. It offers over 200 degree programmes to over 81,000 students, of which 5,000 graduates are enrolled in PhDs and 3rd cycle programmes. As a comprehensive research university Alma Mater invests in the multidisciplinary cross-cultural approach and in the inseparable connection between research and teaching. One of the most active universities leading and participating in European research and academic cooperation projects, Bologna has formed knowledge alliances with industry and public/private organizations. Research and Innovation are a priority of the University mission. UNIBO is very active both at National and European level in all the research areas. Activities related to competitive funding programs are supported by the Research Division, with more than 10 years of experience and about 50 people assisting the research groups in the whole project lifecycle. Thanks to its scientific excellence and a central Project Management support working closely, UNIBO has gained a considerable experience in International and European research projects, successfully participated in FP7: with 274 projects funded in 2007-2013; (58 of them as coordinator) and 87,8ML Euros of funding. In Horizon 2020, UNIBO is so far involved in 177 funded projects (45 as coordinator) with more than 68ML Euros of funding. At National level UNIBO ranks second for competitive research funding from the Italian Government and is part the of board of directors of the CLAN National Technological Cluster on Agrifood, of the SPRING National Technological Cluster on Green Chemistry and of the BIG National Technological Cluster on Blue Growth. UNIBO has established two experimental economics laboratories (BLESS in Bologna and LES in Forlì) equipped for economic experiments.

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Maurizio Canavari (male), PhD in in Appraisal and Land Economics (University of Padua, 1997), is associate professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences with 20 years of working experience in the agricultural economics and appraisal discipline. He authored more than 70 papers published in international peer-reviewed journals (ORCID: Current research interests include agri-food marketing and marketing research, with specific topics regarding the analysis of consumer behaviour, quality food specialties, organic food, e-commerce and the wine business. He has been Director in two editions of the Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna International Summer School “Discrete Choice Models: theory and applications to environment, landscape, transportation, and marketing” (2008 and 2009) and he has been Director in seven editions of the University of Bologna International Summer School “Experimental Auctions: Theory and Applications in Food Marketing and Consumer Preferences Analysis” (started in 2011, the last one in 2018). He has a wide experience in coordinating and leading responsibilities in EU projects (H2020: SMARTCHAIN, ICT-AGRI: PAMCoBA, VAROS, ROBOFARM, FP7: ECROPOLIS, FP6: e-Trust, Asia-Link: BEAN-QUORUM) and participating in many other EU-funded projects. He has a wide network of collaborations with prominent colleagues all over the world and he invited and hosted many guest researchers, organizing visits, lectures, seminars, symposia, and conferences. He is a member of several scholarly and professional associations. He is also well embedded in the agri-food industry, being President of the Association of Agricultural Sciences Graduates of the Province of Bologna (2016 – present), member of the National Academy of Agriculture (2017 – present) and Counselor of the Institution of Chartered Agronomists and Foresters, Province of Bologna (2010 – present).

Alessandra Castellini (female), PhD, since 2012 is Associate Professor and currently she works at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (Alma Mater Stufiorum – University of Bologna). She holds the degree in Agricultural Sciences and the Doctoral Degree in Agricultural Economics and Policy at the University of Bologna. She teaches in courses about Economics and Strategy (i.e. International economics of agrifood markets, Farm strategy) and is member of the Internship Training Commission of the Department. Her research interests mainly deal with the study of the market of agrifood products (technical-economic surveys, value chain analysis) but she is also approaching the topic of the circular economy. She is involved in marketing surveys on the behaviour of food consumers. Alessandra Castellini has participated to national and international research projects and she is currently involved in H2020-SFS 34 2017 SMARTCHAIN Project about Innovation in short food chains. She has taken part in many national and international workshops and congresses. She co-authored more than 100 published works. She is in charge of the industrial relationships and traineeships for the Bachelor’s degree program “Economics and marketing in the agro-industrial system” and she manages a network of contacts with agribusiness companies in Italy. In this project, she will lead WP3 and she will coordinate the networking activities.

Tullia Gallina Toschi (female), PhD in Food Biotechnology, Full Professor in Food Technology. She is an expert of food analysis and technology in particular of oils, fats and related substances. Her main research interests are authentication, instrumental and sensory analytical approaches for the quality control of food and for the characterization of by-products, to foster innovation, with an attention at the consumer’s safety and preferences. She has been organizing many courses of olive oil sensory analysis (2004-2018). She is a founding member and coordinator (panel-leader enabled) of the OLIVE OIL SENSORY PANEL, recognized by Italian Ministry of Agriculture, of the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL). She is Coordinator of the research group of Chemistry, Instrumental and Sensory Analysis of Food at DISTAL. She is currently the Coordinator of  the H2020 project OLEUM “Advanced solutions for assuring authenticity and quality of OO at global scale” ( while the PLOTINA project “Promoting gender balance and inclusion in research, innovation and training” ( was concluded in 2020 such as the Italian National Project PRIN 2015 “Individual differences in the acceptability of healthy foods: focus on phenol and fat content”. She was also involved as coordinator of her research group in an the H2020 project AUTHENT-NET, “(Food Authenticity Research Network”, and a 7th FP European project (ECROPOLIS). She was Coordinator of the FARB Project “Sensory and fast instrumental analyses of meat and meat products: an integrated approach for quality control and communication – MEATing project”; she is member of the MEATing sensory panel ( She is board member of the Italian Society of Sensory Science (SISS), member nominated by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and  member of the groups of experts on chemistry of olive oil and standards of the International Olive Council (IOC) and the DG-AGRI. She is co-author of more than 153 peer-reviewed publications (h-index=32, Scopus).

Maria Teresa Rodriguez Estrada (female), PhD in Food Biotechnology, Associate Professor in Food Technology with expertise on food chemistry, analysis and technology, as related to quality, safety, traceability, authentication and stability during processing and preservation. She is currently involved in a PRIMA 2-2020 project GourMed (“Governance of food supply chain to equilibrate price and profits of high quality and safe Mediterranean food”) and in a Spanish project STEROLBIOFOOD (“Biological activity of sterols from foods and food supplements in cardiovascular and intestinal therapeutic targets”, Plan nacional I+D+i, 2019). She was UNIBO unit coordinator of a 6th FP European project (UE-STREP FOODCT-2004-007020) and of a PRIN 2015 project (20152LFKAT). She has also participated to two H2020 projects (ECOPROLIVE, PLOTINA), a UE SMT4-CT97-2144 (DG 12-EGAA) project and several JRC-IRMM certification and validation studies. She is also involved in a sensory panel on meat products (i.e. sausages). She is co-author of more than 120 peer-reviewed publications (h-index=32, Scopus).

Luisella Sistu (female), AgriFoodBoost Project Manager. She obtained her MD in Agricultural Sciences and the PhD in Animal Sciences. She has 10 years’ experience as project consultant and project manager.

Vilma Xhakollari (female), is a research fellow at the University of Bologna, Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences. She got her PhD at the same department in 2019 and since has been engaged in several european projects. Her research interests include marketing research with specific focus regarding functional foods, sustainable diets and short food-supply chains.

Marco Medici, (male), is currently a post-doc researcher at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences – DISTAL, at University of Bologna, leading a research and extension precision agriculture program. He gained an M.S. in Management Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering. Since 2010 he has been interested in sustainability issues. In his early career he performed research on optimization problems in the field of engineering physics and renewable energy systems. His present research interests include the adoption and cost-benefit analysis of ICT in agriculture, business model innovation in food supply chains, and data traceability methods.

Matilde Tura (female), PhD student in Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology (XXXIV cycle), research topic Food Science and Biotechnology at the University of Bologna. His PhD project deals with the development of harmonized procedures for the chemical and sensory analyses of hemp food products, in particular hemp seed oils. She is involved in FOODLAND EU Horizon 2020 research project.

Dario Mercatante (male), PhD student in Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology (XXXIV cycle), research topic Water-Food-Energy-Sustainable Agriculture Nexus, at the University of Bologna. His PhD project deals with the re-use and enhancement of by-products deriving from the agro-food industry and their inclusion in innovative food products. He was involved in an Italian National Project PRIN 2015 (Prot. 20152LFKAT, “Olive phenols as multifunctional bioactives for healthier foods: evaluation of simplified formulation to obtain safe meat products and new foods with higher functionality”) and he is currently participating in a Spanish project “Biological activity of sterols from foods and food supplements in cardiovascular and intestinal therapeutic targets” (STEROLBIOFOOD-Plan nacional I+D+i, 2019), coordinated by Universidad de Valencia and in an European projects “GOvernance of food supply chain to eqUilibrate pRice and profits of high quality and safe MEDiterranean foods” (GOURMED, 2020) coordinated by Centre for Research and Technology Hellas – Hellenic Institute of Transport (CERTH/HIT) (Greece).

Francesca Gori (female), is a PhD student in Food and Agricultural Economics and Policy at the University of Bologna. Before starting her PhD, she carried on a traineeship at the Institute for Regional Development “EURAC Research“, where she researched on the topics of social farming and economic-environmental aspects of rural areas. She graduated in Environment and Development Economics at the University of “Roma Tre”. Her research interests focus mainly on agricultural economics and international agricultural trade. She is currently investigating on Alternative Food Networks and the study of food consumer behaviour.