You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

The Innopaq project: Creating excellent food production in Abruzzo through innovation in agriculture

The ambitious project promoted by Valagro with Newlat Food SpA, Azienda Agricola Aureli, Pescaradolc, AGIRE scarl and the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, financed by the Abruzzo Region as part of the Abruzzo ROP ERDF 2014–2020, to promote the quality and sustainability of Abruzzo's agri-food system, has been successfully concluded.

Atessa (CH), April 27th,  2021 – It's called INNOPAQ Innovazione Sostenibile per le Produzioni Agroalimentari di Qualità (Sustainable Innovation for Quality Agri-food Production) – the project promoted and implemented by a number of well-established players in the Abruzzo (Italy) agri-food sector. These include Valagro, project leader, a leading company in the production and marketing of biostimulants and and specialty nutrients for crops, Newlat Food SpA, a multinational company that owns Delverde pasta among others, Azienda Agricola Aureli, a leading company in the production of ingredients and vegetables for the industry, Pescaradolc, owner of Dolciaria Falcone, and the AGIRE consortium company (Agroindustry, Research, Eco-sustainability), which manages the Agri-food Innovation Hub for the Abruzzo region. Last but not least, the project saw the collaboration of a leading scientific partner at the national level and beyond, i.e. the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa.

Three years after its launch, the project – which was financed by the Abruzzo region as part of the ROP ERDF 2014–2020 – has come to an end with results in line with its objectives, in particular, that of testing a model of collaboration between companies operating in the agri-food sector in Abruzzo and complementary to each other, focusing on innovation and sustainability to increase the quality of the products in the supply chain, to the advantage of the competitiveness of the regional agri-food sector. 

With this aim, the Innopaq project aimed at enhancing Valagro's know-how in the development and production of biostimulants (solutions for sustainable crop nutrition), in order to increase yields and improve the nutritional characteristics of vegetable and cereal crops typical of the region, such as those supplied by the Aureli farm: the aim was to obtain vegetables and derivatives with a high health value in a sustainable way, thanks to a more efficient use of water. Characteristics evaluated by the Aureli company in collaboration with the Sapienza University of Rome. These excellent raw materials were then used in the research and development process of innovative products in the sector of pasta and confectionery products, respectively by Newlat Food SpA and Pescaradolc, in order to expand their respective market segments. These activities were carried out in close collaboration with the PlantLab of the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, which has been engaged in characterisation analyses of Valagro biostimulants using cutting-edge research approaches, and with the AGIRE innovation hub, which facilitated the transfer of the Innopaq project model, facilitating the placement of researchers in regional companies operating in the wine, horticulture, oil and poultry sectors, with the aim of carrying out research and development activities.


Valagro is a leader in the production and commercialization of biostimulants and specialty nutrients. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Atessa (Italy), Valagro is committed to providing innovative and effective solutions for plant nutrition and care. Its mission is to increase the quantity and quality of plants and harvested crops while enhancing productivity and reducing the environmental impact of cultivations. 
Valagro uses science in the service of mankind to improve nutrition and quality of life while respecting the environment.

Newlat Food SpA
The Newlat Group is a leading multinational, multi-brand, multi-product and multi-channel player in the Italian and European agri-food sector, with a broad portfolio of proprietary products and brands, well-known nationally and internationally. The Group has a well-established position in the domestic market and a significant presence in the German market, as well as in 60 other countries, and is mainly active in the pasta, dairy, bakery and speciality products sectors, in particular health & wellness, gluten-free and baby food.

AGIRE – AGroIndustria Ricerca Ecosostenibilità
AGIRE – AGROIndustria Ricerca Ecosostenibilità (AGROIndustry Research Eco-sustainability) – is the managing entity of the Polo di Innovazione Agroalimentare (Agri-food Innovation Cluster) for the Abruzzo region. The consortium company was founded in 2010 in response to the Abruzzo region's desire to create a centre of innovation in the agri-food sector and other strategic sectors. AGIRE's members include agricultural and agri-food companies, manufacturers of goods and ancillary services, universities, research centres and employers' associations. Agire mainly deals with carrying out technology transfer and innovation projects for its members

Aureli Mario S.S. Agricola dei F.lli Aureli is a leading company for the cultivation and processing of horticultural products in the Fucino Plain. From the cultivation of its own land to the cultivation techniques, the company covers all production ranges, the quality of which is testified to by its prominent customers in more than 70 countries around the world. Distinguished by a strong spirit of innovation since its foundation by Mr Mario Aureli in 1968, investments in research and development, carried out by its own staff (R&D) and with the collaboration of leading research institutes such as the Sapienza University of Rome, represent a significant and consolidated component of the company's balance sheet. A pioneer in the concept of the circular economy, it has managed to use all products without producing "waste", using the by-products to produce electro-thermal energy from the biogas plant.

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa
The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies is a public university institute with a special status, operating in the field of applied sciences: Economic and Management Sciences, Legal Sciences, Political Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Plant Biotechnology, Medical Sciences and Industrial and Information Engineering. The School pursues excellence and promotes the internationalisation of teaching and research, with the aim of testing innovative paths in the fields of university education, scientific research and advanced training. The high level of research at the Sant'Anna School is recognised by the results of the Research Quality Assessment (VQR) 2004-2010, conducted by ANVUR. Internationally, the Times Higher Education magazine ranked the School 7th in the world out of 250 young universities under 50 years old (2019 ranking).

Pescaradolc srl
Founded in 1997 by the Falcone family, it is active in the sector of industrial confectionery production of excellence (snacks and biscuits, single and multi-portion) with strong connections to the Abruzzo region and its traditions. The productions are present in the vending, HORECA (hospitality industry) and large-scale retail trade channels, both in Italy and abroad, both under their own brand and for third parties. The focus on raw materials and their authenticity, as well as the attention paid to the health aspects of the products, are core values.