Italy will have its own strategy on bioeconomy by next summer. This was announced by Mario Calderini, representative of the Ministry of Education, University and Research, yesterday in Metaponto, Basilicata, during the launch event of the regional bioeconomy cluster. Good news, then, for the bioeconomy in Italy, where it seems that the issue is increasingly on the agenda of the institutions.
Yesterday Raffaele Liberali, regional minister for Productive Activities of the Region of Basilicata, has put together the various national and regional players in the bioeconomy to announce the first cluster entirely devoted to the bioeconomy (combines the agro-food and green chemistry cluster) and the first dedicated regional strategy.
Basilicata is the smallest Italian region. It is embedded between Calabria and Apulia, in the south of Italy. Agriculture plays a major role, despite the fact that dry weather and scarce underground water supplies make farming difficult. Olives, plums, and cereals are grown, and sheep and goats are raised. Fishing is also a relatively common activity. Industry centers around chemicals and natural gas. About 55% of the population is employed in the tertiary sector (though many of these positions could also be considered agricultural), about 32% is employed in industry, and about 13% of the work force is employed in agriculture.
According to the BP Statistical Review, the region holds the bulk of Italy’s 1.4-billion barrels of oil proven reserves, the third largest on the continent, after Norway and Britain, which share the North Sea’s (declining) reserves. Italy’s reserves make them Europe’s biggest on-shore store of oil.
The launch of the regional cluster on bioeconomy is an important step forward. The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil. Waiting for the announced national strategy and its resources. Because – as U.S. Pentagon strategists use to say – a vision without resources is a hallucination.