New book: The man who invented the bioeconomy


The Eni of Enrico Mattei, the great vision of Adriano Olivetti: in the industrial history of Italy we too often find ourselves, in retrospect, regretting the enormous opportunities lost due to the resistance to change by the “country system”. The intertwining of interests between politics, economics and finance has often played a key role in marginalizing and failing the most innovative industrial projects, those that could redesign the face of the Italian economy and society. Today we sadly pay the price and for this very reason it is important to rewrite the history of another great innovator, perhaps the only one who has not been hypocritically “beatified” after his death, and after the destruction of his project: Raul Gardini.

Mario Bonaccorso has written a book (The man who invented the bioeconomy. Raul Gardini and the birth of green chemistry in Italy) that traces, in an extremely documented way, the birth and development of the integration project between chemistry and agriculture that was at the center of the strategies of what became one of the major European industrial groups: Enimont. A project that foreshadowed with thirty years in advance what are today set as mandatory guidelines for the survival of the European economy: bioeconomy and circular economy, green chemistry, biodegradable materials, the use of renewable raw materials from waste and by-products of agroindustry.

Bonaccorso did not write a book of denunciation, but the scenarios of that time are outlined with great clarity and wealth of detail. And everything is constantly paralleled with current developments, proving how concrete and far-sighted the ideas of the Ravenna-based entrepreneur were.

The great legacy of Raul Gardini is Novamont, la Nuova Montedison (the New Montedison). Catia Bastioli, who is the CEO of Novamont, has written the Preface of the Book, which is available only in Italian. 

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