R&D BIOREFINERY PROJECT is a pathway to knowledge in the field of biotechnology and the bioeconomy, a driver of sustainable territorial development through integrated and inclusive actions. Conceived by Isabella Pisano and Antonino Biundo, R&D BIOREFINERY PROJECT was one of the leading projects at Maker Faire Rome 2021, where you could find it in the LIFE sector. We spoke to Isabella and Alfredo to find out what the project is all about. Isabella Pisano is a researcher at the University of Bari with more than 10 years’ experience in the field of industrial biotechnology, with particular reference to microbial biotechnology. She is a mentor and member of the scientific committee of several companies and start-ups in the biotech sector. Antonino Biundo, post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bari and co-founder and CEO of the startup REWOW srl, deals with the valorisation of used vegetable oil in a circular economy. He is also an expert in chemo-enzymatic transformations to obtain bio-based products.
What is your project about?
«R&D BIOREFINERY PROJECT wants to tell as wide an audience as possible about biorefineries. Children, teenagers and adults stopped by the stand with curiosity, attracted by very simple coloured balloons, more or less inflated, which reproduced the bio-refining of sugars by the well-known brewer’s yeast. So it was a series of marvels, especially in the eyes of the children, but not only, to discover that alternatives to oil refining are being studied and that even waste such as pruning or food waste can be refined into bio-based products that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels».
A project revolving around the role of biotechnology
«Biotechnology uses living organisms or parts of them to produce products and services that are useful to people and the environment. For the Maker Faire, more than 100 copies of postcards were printed as gadgets to be distributed to visitors, illustrating graphic works created by biotechnology students who have taken part in the national Biotechjob competition in recent years, with the aim of telling the story of the biotechnology profession».
You also presented another project
«We also presented Biotecnologi Italiani’s project in collaboration with the creative studio FAI31 to produce a book explaining biotechnology to children in the 9-13 age group. In particular, this project met with the interest of many secondary school teachers who highlighted the lack of biotechnological content in the current school curriculum. Biotechnology thus represented a concrete example of innovation and value creation at Maker Faire, and we are full of ideas for the 2022 edition».
Cover photo: makerfairerome.eu
Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition has been committed since nine editions to make innovation accessible and usable to all, with the aim of not leaving anyone behind. Its blog is always updated and full of opportunities and inspiration for makers, makers, startups, SMEs and all the curious ones who wish to enrich their knowledge and expand their business, in Italy and abroad.