Research group


Alternative crops investigations carried out by CRA-ING, date back to the early 90s, after Dr. Pari (CRA-ING researcher) concluded his PhD in Agricultural Engineering on sweet sorghum mechanization for ethanol production at the Bologna University. He won the competition as researcher and began to work on the above mentioned experimental activity, at that time funded by European Union through the research project “Sweet Sorghum Network”. Then, CRA-ING has been involved into several research projects funded by EU aimed at identifying alternative crops (miscanthus network, arundo donax network, cynara cardunculus network, Models for economic evaluation of the selected biomass cultivations as on alternative land use in the European Community, Robinia to Energy, Biomass in the Mediterranean, Global Process to improve Cynara cardunculus exploitation for energy applications.) especially on logistics.
In 1995 ENEL funded CRA-ING’s research activity in order to find out the best harvesting machineries of different energy crops enable to feed a 12 MW IGCC biomass power plant, which could has been developed by Enel funded by EU.
In 2000, CRA-ING, jointly with the ex ISNP and ISCI (public partners) and with Agriconsulting and Itabia (private), formed a public-private consortium, named AGREEN, with the aim of promoting the achievements transfer from Research Organizations to production.
Lastly, in 2006, CRA-ING was asked, by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, to provide technical and scientific support to Firms, (agro-industrial company) thus to become, in the last years, a great and functional “Scientific and Technical Centre” that joins production, logistics and first processing for the agro-energy chains.



The Panacea research group is formed by researchers and technicians divided into Senior and Junior.
The first are responsible of the Junior training and, with them, plan the research action in order to define the methodologies that will be used. Moreover, they carry on the research action of projects already funded and publish results in scientific papers.
The second, gaining the necessary knowledge to become, in future, good researchers, support the Senior in the research activity. In the Panacea group is also planned the involvement of experts consultants in order to improve the quality of the research activity; a great precedence is given, in fact, to the scientific education of the group’s members as well as to the relationships with the firms that could offer trained recruitments. Senior and Junior training is promoted by stages over the world, meeting with foreign expert of high profile, ongoing contacts and exchange information with European researchers in order to be able to carry on research projects funded by EU. Moreover, once the locals of the CRA-ING will be completely equipped and well-functioning, it could be easier to foster the exchange with foreign research organizations with the aim to realize a research centre characterized by a great exchange of foreign experts and where the only language used is the English one (also important to the group for accessing to the European funds).
In addition, as many research activities are carried out in collaboration with (agro-industrial) contractors which are more and more interested in this field, it could be a good employment opportunity.
The staff consists of researchers, post-doctoral researcher, research associate and term contract workers.


Dr. Luigi Pari

Luigi Pari coordinates the research activity of the Panacea group. He graduated from Agricultural Science with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Mechanics. He has been the scientific responsible of about thirty research projects funded principally by EU, and then by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, ENEL and Region Lazio. He performed several stages over the world and established a lot of international relationships that allowing him to develop a good knowledge of the English language.
He designed and developed (or he charged the construction to farms) prototypes for biomass crop harvesting.
He invented the following patents:
1. “Short Rotation Forestry cutting and laying in piles (windrowing) through two prototypes: cutting and machine windrowing” N. Patent DP 2002A0008;
2. “Helical blade cutting system for reducing in small pieces vegetal crops and others material”. N. Patent DP 2006A0008;
3. “Equipment for harvesting, chipping, loading on wagon or for tree/herbaceous residues baling” N. Patent DP2006A0008.
He published more than 200 scientific papers on national and international journals.
He was often asked by EU to assess European research projects, as well as to evaluate projects for the Italian Ministry of Agricultural and Region Toscana.
Reviewer of scientific papers submitted to the international journal “Biomass&Bioenergy” and to the World Conferences and Technology Exhibition on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate.
Chairman at international conferences, member of scientific committee of international meeting, author of numerous scientific papers and communications in International meetings.
Advisor of the European Union as well as private organizations for technological innovations and supplying of biomass power plants.
He has also been teacher of several training courses, updating trading, Ph. D. and Masters.
Member of Scientific Technical Committee of the Italian Association of Producers and biomass Transformers, member of several Committees, working groups, study groups and so on.
Member of the Scientific Committee for drawing up the Italia-Usa Collaboration Agreement on bioenergy.


Dr. Alberto Assirelli

Dr. Alberto Assirelli is one member of the Panacea’s group; he is agricultural scientist and he has a research doctorate of agricultural mechanics performed at University of Bologna (1997). He has a wide professional experience in mechanics field due to his research on oil plants, fiber, biomass mechanization previously conducted at Department of Economic and Agriculture Engineering at the University of Bologna and other studies based on calculation of exercise costs and energy consumption of haymaking machineries as well as on preservation and quality of forage carried out at Agriculture Engineering of Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali – CRPA.
He collaborated to the realization and development of a useful database of Agrimach agricultural and forestry machines managed by CRPA for Italy; he carried out several surveys and statistical data processing of mechanization in agriculture. His experience consists also on harvesting (tests), data collection of machines and publishing for giving information (guides ….). Since 2005, he has been working on test protocol serving to verify machines at work; the tests results are published in specialized reviews (L’informatore Agrario). He entered in the register of experts and advisor of the court of Ravenna (1999). As his expertise, he can give an important contribution to the Panacea’s group in terms of developing harvesting prototypes for energy purposes.


Dr. Vincenzo Civitarese

Vincenzo Civitarese graduated from Forestry Sciences at the Faculty of Agriculture of Viterbo (2002) and his main knowledge concerns studies on GIS and SRF carried out at Agricultural Engineering Research Unit CRA-ING.
His main studies on the GIS consist of two-dimensional and tridimensional territory and forest analysis, developing of a Analysis system enable to choose the best method to the extraction, the mapping of some forestry species in order to find out planting material. Within the developing Suscace Project, he works on a GIS system enable to manage 7000 ha of Short Rotation Forestry poplar located in area of 15.000 km2 in order to anticipate production and support models for planning of harvesting actions.
In 2009, he got the following certificates at Esri organization in Rome: Introduction to ARCGIS part 1 and part 2 Course, Building the GeoDataBases Course, 3D Analyst Course, Advanced Analysis Course, Spatial Analyst Course.
His main experiences on renewable energy consist of the economic assessment of (trees and herbaceous) biomass crops, the developing in several regions, of robinia, eucalipto, poplar (two and five years) and commune cane planting and moreover the developing of innovative systems and prototypes for harvesting “no-food” crops in Italy and abroad. Within the Bioenergy Project, he has been worked on the realization of a GPS system enable to survey the working times of agriculture machines as well an automatic mapping of plants.


Ing. Francesco Gallucci

Francesco Gallucci, has a degree in Mechanics Engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and he worked as designer at the Viet Firm, where he achieved a great expertise in the CAD systems use (Autocad, Unigraphics R14, R15,R16, R17, R 18, NX1-NX). Since 2002, he collaborates with Enama of Rome for the testing, certification and agricultural machineries safety. From 2002 to now, he has been working at Agricultural Engineering Research Unit of Monterotondo, gaining a knowledge in the safety and hygiene of the public administration, how to prevent workers health on the working site, and on the quality of the laboratory test and measurement of industrial vibrations. Nowadays he is one of the CRA-ING researcher and he is going to complete the research doctoral programme. For the Panacea’s group, he’s working on developing of prototypes for projects in progress, acquisition of equipments for the research activity planned by projects and on production of biomass electric power.


Dr. Giovanna Ciriello

Giovanna Ciriello graduated from Languages and Oriental Cultures at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (2003). She supported the work activity of the President of the Council of research and Experimentation in Agriculture as well as the administrative activity and secretary of the Office for the planning of research projects at CRA. In 2009, she began her working activity at CRA-ING, where besides to coordinate the secretary of the Panacea’s group, she contributes to the English translation of the group research results that researchers submit at international meeting; she supports the researcher activity also for preparing of projects proposals to UE and keeps in touch with European partners.


Ing. Massimo Pepe

Massimo Pepe has a degree in Electric Engineering attained at the University of Naples “Federico II”. He obtained the DBA administrator certificate at Oracle in Rome and the following certificates at Esri:

- Course Introduction to ARCGIS part 1 and part 2;
- Course of Building the GeoDataBases;
- Course of Introduction to programming ArcObjects with VB;
- Course of Introduction to multiuser Geodatabase;
- Course of ArcGis server Oracle;

From Genuary 2001 to June 2004, he worked as consultant for the ITA Consortium within ARGIT Project. From March 2007 to now, he provides support to the developing of the Research Project funded by UE (6°FP) BIOCARD - Global Process to Improve Cynara cardunculus Exploitation for Energy Applications. From July 2004 to now, he is also consultant for Telespazio S.p.A. within Agrit and Risk-Eos projects. He is also Gis manager for Telespazio S.p.A. within MGCP-Multinational Geospatial Co-production Program.

Dr. Angelo del Giudice

Angelo Del Giudice graduated, in 2004, from Forestry Sciences at the University of Tuscia in Viterbo. Since 2002, he works on forest measurements, both of individual trees and of overall forest mass, and the study of tree growth and processing data. He is experienced in spatial planning with GIS computerized applications. Since March 2008, he has begun his research activity with CRA-ING assessing the qualitative characteristics of forestry crops grown as SRF, as well carrying on statistical survey on field and experimental harvesting tests with specified prototypes. He works also in laboratory in order to deepen the biomass study in terms of physical and qualitative features.





Dr. Alessandro Suardi

Alessandro Suardi graduated from Agricultural Science and Technology at University of Marche (Department of Sciences applied to Complex Systems of Agricultural Engineering) submitting a thesis on the sunflower chain for energy purposes. He becomes an expert as Control and Environmental Protection Technician, Consultant and EMAS Auditor at the School EMAS at the Chamber of Commerce of Ancona. After working for several years as a technical expert in Agronomy and Olive oil extraction at the Consortium "Marche Extravergine", he gets a II degree Master in Analysis, Management and Conservation of Biodiversity at the University of Marche. In 2008 he worked, a short term, as Ecologist Agro-food officer for the Marche Region. In 2008, he attended the Training course for production and promoting renewable energy held at the Training Centre of Villa Montesca of Città di Castello. In the same year, he begins his collaboration with CRA-ING and the Panacea’s group. In 2009, he wins a research associate within the Suscace Project. In 2010, he obtains a study grant by OCSE for a fellowship in the United States at the University of Missouri with the aim to study the LCA - Life Cycle Assessment of the agro-energy chains. Nowadays, besides LCA studies, he works, also, on the herbaceous energy crops used for the bio-fuels production.



Ing. Stefania Donati

Stefania Donati received the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Roma Tre (2002). The thesis on which she worked consisted of a project proposal of an hydraulic braking system developed for a proof-cart equipped with agricultural tyres, carried out in collaboration with CRA-ING, (then developed by it). She entered in the register of Rieti engineers. For two years period, she works with the Committee for checking the safety of the CRA-ING agricultural machines, and in the meanwhile, she is involved in the results dissemination through publications of data sheet and guidelines on safety of agriculture as well organic farming mechanization. Her activity at CRA-ING date back to 2005, in a first time as research associate (carrying out the research on “The safety on small agricultural machines”) and, then, as grant holder (“Developing methodologies and equipments to test agricultural machines according to national and international regulations” and “Realization of automatic control systems needed by a mobile agricultural tyres laboratory.” Environmental effects reduction and set law”). Then, as research associate and within the European “Biocard” Project, she begins to work with the Panacea’s group where she works on developing of prototypes for Cynara cardunculus harvesting. Nowadays she is involved in the Suscace Project.

Dr. Andrea Acampora

Andrea Acampora has a degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Tuscia (October 2002), where he, also, performed the research doctorate in Plant Genetics submitting a thesis/dissertation named “DNA sequencing characterization stimulated by ozone in hard wheat”. In 2007 (December), he begins to collaborate for the National Organization of Agricultural Economics -INEA where he works on economic-statistical analysis and collection of agriculture, hydrology, meteorology and irrigation data of the North-Central Italy regions. In 2009 (November), he works for CRA-ING, in the Panacea’s group, within the Faesi Project, whose research activity consists of studying energy crops for biofuels production in the south of Italy.


Dr. Sara Croce

Sara Croce graduated from Science and Environmental Forestry at the University of Tuscia (February 2005) with a thesis in biomass production and carbon presence in the Tharandt forest (Germany). Moreover, at the same University, she is going to complete the research doctorate in forest ecology, in collaboration with Enea of Casaccia. She will discuss a thesis/dissertation on the determination of biomass from the forest gap for energy purposes in the Park of Bracciano-Martignano. From December 2009 to now, she has begun a research activity in the Panacea’s group of CRA-ING.