Project Description

  • Start date: 01/06/2019

  • End date: 01/12/2021

  • Duration (months): 30

  • Total budget: € 4.035.000

  • Lab Budget: € 200.000

  • Number of partners: 14

  • Partners: Università del Salento, Instruments s.r.l., Leanfa s.r.l., Licofarma s.r.l., Nanoshare società a responsabilità limitata, Dia. società a responsabilità limitata (in breve Phy.Dia. s.r.l.), Spagro s.r.l., Studio Effemme Chimica Applicata s.r.l., Università del Salento, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui cambiamenti climatici (Fondazione CMCC), Centro di ricerca, sperimentazione e formazione in Agricoltura “Basile Caramia” (CRSFA), Istituto Agronomico di Bari (IAMB), Federazione provinciale Coldiretti di Lecce.

NEMESI aims at the realization of new products and processes within the Green Chemistry Specialization Area for the application of a new modus operandi in the management of agricultural crop diseases. NEMESI foresees the development and validation of biobased products deriving from the reuse of forest and / or agricultural waste. The proposed biomaterial is Nanocellulose as a vector for encapsulation and controlled release of agrochemicals. For the extraction and transformation of cellulose, appropriate green processes will be studied, able to promote an eco-sustainable and safe industrial approach. In vitro and planta tests will be applied to evaluate the produced nano-cellulose, the natural extracts and nano-formulated phytosanitary products deriving from encapsulation. The products obtained will be validated in field tests. NEMESI envisages the development and validation of a method of early diagnosis of phyto-pathologies, using the innovative metabolomic approach. Monitoring of the therapies being tested will take place thanks to the contribution of an advanced sensor system. ICT technologies will be applied for effective data management. The research activities of NEMESI are aimed at the final realization of services and products that foresee the increase of environmental and economic sustainability levels. The application of nanotechnologies ensures a highly innovative and competitive approach in a national and international context.

Analysis of “big data” interpretation results derived from targeted / untargeted metabolomics analyzes (IR)

The CORE-Lab with Prof. Angelo Corallo will manage the part relating to the analytical data. The output will consist in building a database containing the metabolomic profiles of samples extracted from both infected and non-infected plants.

With the CMCC of Lecce it will be possible to define the disease status in the plant as well as the level of disease.

The multidisciplinary strategy proposed in NEMESI is based on the use of chemical nanotechnologies.

NEMESI foresees the production and characterization of safe and effective agro-nano-formulated nano-formulas thanks to a strong Green Chemistry approach. Micro / nano-carriers composed of nanocellulose, biocompatible and biodegradable will be synthesized and characterized. Nano-cellulose will be produced from agro / forest waste materials through different extraction and transformation routes. Safe and eco-sustainable pre-treatment protocols will be studied. This process will be further implemented with the help of microwave technologies, ensuring industrial transferability. The goal is to obtain phyto-drugs, fertilizers and insecticides with high bioavailability, controlled release over time, maximum effectiveness and low environmental impact.

NEMESI also provides for the development of a system of sensors, specific for each plant, for the monitoring in situ, in continuum and in almost real time of parameters related to plant physiology, to the structural characteristics of the crops and to microclimatic variability.

The sensors connected via IoT (Internet of Things) to the project’s data platform. The data collected will be analyzed to find a correlation with pathogen infection, phytosanitary treatment and the outcome of the treatment itself. ICT technologies will be used for data analysis and management.

The use of advanced Green Chemistry methodologies for the production of Nanocellulose and phytosanitary products will allow considerable advantages in optimizing the energy necessary for the implementation of industrial processes, and will be the first of a series of experiments in the production of biobased materials.

The development of the new services and products described amplifies the industrial repercussions in terms of reduction of environmental impact, reduction of economic waste, greater stability of agro-drugs, and advanced analytical methods transportable to other products of the sector or to products of different productive sectors. As part of the Green chemistry, there will be a reduction in the use of organic additives in the synthetic processes and in the transformation of the product, an increase in the production of raw materials of natural origin (for the synthesis of nanocellulose), energy savings (eg processes at microwave), cost reduction related to refined products and / or raw materials (eg chemical fertilizers or natural origin).

Developable patents:

  • Synthesis with green nanocellulose solvents by microwave reactor pre-treatment;
  • Extraction of active ingredients of plant origin from residues / waste from agro-forestry chains with sub or supercritical CO2.

Developable property rights:

  • Phyto-drugs / fertilizers and insecticides encapsulated in nanocellulose-based micro / nano-particles;
  • Metabolomic method for the early diagnosis of plant diseases of the olive tree

For more information please contact: Maria Elena Latino (