Fondazione Invernizzi Boosts Research into Agricultural Economics
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Fondazione Invernizzi Boosts Research into Agricultural Economics

SDA BOCCONI'S AGRI LAB WAS LAUNCHED TODAY, THANKS TO A 1M EURO DONATION FROM THE ROMEO AND ENRICA INVERNIZZI FOUNDATION. IT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRIMARY SECTOR IN ITALY

No one knows exactly the economic and financial performance of Italian agricultural enterprises. Systematic information exists only on the 3% of the total, while we have only sample data on the remaining 97%. The most authoritative survey, the Istat Census of Agriculture, is conducted every tenth year and is not able to provide dynamic information on the sector. Many of the enterprises, small and micro, are able to monitor their production performance, but not their financial performance.
 
To fill this gap and investigate other issues related to the management of agriculture and related sectors, the AGRI Lab Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi - Agribusiness Research Initiative, directed by Vitaliano Fiorillo, has been launched today at the SDA Bocconi School of Management, thanks to a donation of about €1mln from the Fondazione Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi.
 
«The first activity of AGRI Lab will be the construction of a data hub that maps all the databases on agriculture and related sectors and combines them, reclassifying the data», said Professor Fiorillo today at the presentation of the laboratory.
 
The second step will be to make available to farmers, online, an accounting system that is simple to use and capable of returning information on the financial performance of the enterprise. «We are working with the regional and provincial offices of Confagricoltura and the National Association of Young Farmers so that the tool can be disseminated to the widest possible number of farmers», clarified Prof. Fiorillo, «over time, a widespread adoption of the tool will allow us to have a more precise idea and a dynamic image of the overall performance of the sector».
 
Finally, the laboratory is responsible for educational activities that in the last three years, through the Agribusiness Management Development Program, have already contributed to the professionalization of about fifty agricultural entrepreneurs.
 
Among the research topics of the AGRI Lab there is the impact of big data and disruptive technologies on agriculture (an initial research on the effect of the use of satellites has already produced interesting results) and the construction of possible scenarios for the future of the sector. During the launch meeting, thanks to the use of interactive tools, some possible scenarios were outlined with the collaboration of the professionals present in the room.
 
The Fondazione Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi, active since 1991, has provided over the last five years more than €33mln to Milanese universities and research centres active in the fields of economics, medicine, agricultural sciences and food. Support for the AGRI Lab is only the latest in a series of collaborations with Bocconi, which include a Chair in development economics (Fondazione Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi Chair in Development Economics, held by Eliana La Ferrara) and the largest management research center in Europe (Icrios, Invernizzi Center for Research on Innovation, Organization, Strategy and Entrepreneurship), as well as support for Leap, Laboratory for Effective Anti-poverty Policies) and for the University's PhD School, without forgetting the continuous and widespread support to many young Italian and international researchers. During the presentation meeting at SDA Bocconi, Gianantonio Bissaro, Managing Director of the Fondazione Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi, stressed that «the topics of agricultural policy and its development in Italy have always been in the heart of our Founder. This new initiative aims to give substance to this interest for the benefit of those who work in this sector in our country».
 
«The collaboration of the Fondazione Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi in the development of knowledge at Bocconi», said the Rector, Gianmario Verona, «is characterized by continuity and systematism, thus proving to be the most effective form of contribution to the advancement of science».

by Fabio Todesco

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