There is an “Italian way” towards Green Economy that’s establishing in global markets. Ecomondo, the event organised by Rimini Fiera, that reaced the 19th edition, is a model able to take advantage form Italian small/medium size green companies flexibility and from ability to interweave the moment of high level technic and scientific conventions with the commercial one. 

This is confirmed by recent acquisition by Rimini Fiera of Fimai, the famous exhibition event dedicated to environment leader in South American market with about 500 exhibitors and 15,000 professional visitors. This is certified by next edition of Fimai Ecomondo Brasil that will happen from November 11th to 13th 2015.

In fact the operation successfully concluded by Rimini Fiera in partnership with Gruppo Tecniche Nuove sets a breakthrough for Italian Green Economy. Starting from reinforcement of Ecomondo brand, yet the reference chain for Southern Europe and Mediterranean basin dedicated to environmental sustainability and particularly to sustainable development technologies. A leadership therefore destined to spread to Latina America too. But not forgetting this is also a very good opportunity for companies in this sector who want to reach South American markets.

The landing at Expo Center Norte in Sao Paulo, says Alessandra Astolfi, Ecomondo project manager, crowns an internationalisation strategy firmly pursued. It’s not accidentally, indeed, that Ecomondo itself organized the Waste & Recycling section of Indutec exhibit in Joannesburg.”The purpose”, Astolfi says, “was to put in contact a country like South Africa, rich in raw materials, with our recovery and reuse oriented model”. But this is not all. Johannesburg meeting, indeed, is part of an international program of 53 conventions in 4 continents in order to favour Italian green companies business and their growth abroad.


Alessandra Astolfi


As the same Astolfi explains, road show has a double purpose. The first is to show international buyers the distinctive features of Italian know-how in circular economy sector. Starting from traditional Ecomondo strong suits, i.e., waste valorisation, biobased industry and green chemistry. Without underrating the importance of integrated water cycle, from drainage systems to technologies to reduce losses and increase efficiency. The aim: favour the participation of buyers themselves to next edition of Ecomondo, the nineteenth, planned for November 3rd to 6th 2015. A commitment also involving Ice (Istituto per il commercio con l’estero), Italian Environment and Economic Development Ministries which, gathering their forces, will bring to Rimini 70 Chinese companies. The second aim is to create useful contacts for companies participating to the meeting.

“We don’t have to forget”, Astolfi clarifies, “that the average dimension of Italian green companies is small: 65 per cent of players has less than 10 employees. This limits the possibility to tap business opportunities on international markets. That’s why we created an IT platform that favours focused meetings with foreign buyers carefully selecting aims of both parties”. Outcome: in the last edition of Ecomondo 1,800 one to one meetings occurred. And the aim for 2015 is to do more and better.

There are high expectations for Ecomondo 2015, empowered by the presence of 1,200 companies in 16 exhibition pavilions. And organisers don’t deny they want to overtake the goal of 100,000 presences reached in last edition. This is, indeed, an exhibition with plenty of new additions: it is confirmed by Global Water Expo, the new Ecomondo proposal dedicated to water cycle, increasing the number of companies interested in participation. Within two or three years it wants to become, also in this sector, the reference exhibition for Southern Europe and Mediterranean basin.

Among new proposals, arranged in the boundaries of La Città Sostenibile, there is a focus on local public transportation named Ibe Green and an area concerning urban requalification.

Global Water Expo adds to thematic areas that have always been the core of Rimini exhibition: the three Waste areas (respectively dedicated to waste treatment machineries, recycling and services, collection and transportation), Reclaim Expo (technologies for recovery and management of polluted sites), and Air (monitoring and treatment for air pollution) and the last area, added some years ago, dedicated to emerging sector of economy, the BioBased Industry (integrated biorefineries).






Interview with Professor Fabio Fava, edited by Marco Moro


What will be discussed in Ecomondo


In last years Rimini exhibition has been able to grab and document the most interesting and concrete trends that are transforming the relationship between economy, environment and society. Since 2012 the Scientific Committee orienting the cultural program of this event has been leaded by Professor Fabio Fava, teaching industrial and environmental biotechnology at Alma Mater university in Bologna and Italian delegate for bioeconomy in program committees Horizon 2020 by European Commission. 

We ask him, first and foremost, which main topics have been chosen by the scientific committee while planning the event program. What are the major novelties compared to last edition?

Beyond traditional conventions dedicated to presenting and discussing the new national and European legislations and policies in different sectors of Green and Circular Economy, Ecomondo 2015 will host many events dedicated to research and innovation in the same sectors, start-ups and companies internationalisation.

The Waste topic will be analysed from different perspectives: from waste categorization according to recent European legislations, to new ministerial strategies for waste prevention, to research and innovation in waste valorisation sector with the presentation of case studies including the ones related to recovering heavy metals from life-ending hi-tech products and wasted electric and electronic devices.

Regarding Air topic, there will be an area dedicated to cutting bad smelling emissions coming from waste and sewage treatment plants, recently being subjected to new specific legislations about atmospheric emissions. On the Raclaim Expo side, after the first day dedicated to case studies about sustainable de-pollution and sites conversion with national and European operators, there will be a session about sustainable management of harbour sediments, a topic with specific connotations in Mediterranean area affecting harbour structures functioning and development. European classification of this issue will be furtherly valorised by a special session of European research project FP7 Killspill, dedicated to prevention and de-pollution of sea oil spills. On the Water side, a new expository area will be launched, Global Water Expo, that will bring to Ecomondo the main international networks actors. Like Water 2020, in order to demonstrate how “ready-to-market” innovation is applied in real plants, allowing reaching very high energy, economic and environmental efficiency levels. Innovators will interact with companies, which are filling infrastructural gaps in Italy and abroad through operations costing hundreds millions euros. The discussion topics will include energy efficiency referring to water-energy-carbon nexus and application of recent European legislations presenting national and international experiences, including the projects in Horizon 2020, standardizing water treatment plants methods and energy certifications tools.

Moreover, data will be presented concerning financing by Horizon 2020 and Public Private Partnership (Ppp) Biobased Industry to support innovation and industrial renaissance within green economy. Topics also include Joint Programming Initiatives (Jpis) and regional Smart Specialization Strategies and how to favour participation of small and medium size companies to European joint financing opportunities. Finally, we will present industrial priorities whose implementation has been planned in the new Key Innovation Community on Raw Materials that is raw materials supply.


Ecomondo established as a reference event concerning circular economy in our country, its stage. Within this vision, bioeconomy sector has been reinforced too. What will the debate focus on about these two big economy transformation spheres?

An important Conai initiative is dedicated to criticalities and opportunities related to circular economy and strategies for its effective implementation (plus the international convention promoted by Consiglio Nazionale della Green Economy, Comitato Tecnico Scientifico di Ecomondo Fiera and “Renewable Matter” magazine about the role of collective waste management in valorisation of materials flow, ed.).

Mostly relevant, on biobased industry side, will be the international event co-organized by Cluster SPRING and OECD focused on criticalities and opportunities of multi-product biorefineries fed with organic waste and by-products. And the event dedicated to Key Enabling Technologies use in food industry to make it more efficient – and thus more sustainable – and allow the valorisation of its by-products and waste in a circular economy perspective.

Again the green chemistry cluster offers the event about Public Private Partnership Biobased Industry, a European initiative supporting research and innovation in this sector with 3.7 billion euros in 2014-2020 period with the participation of Italian Regions, to advocate an alignment of regional, national and European financing to research and innovation reducing fragmentation and duplication.

The bio-waste topic will also be discussed in a big event concerning biogas production from agricultural leftovers biomasses and organic waste organized by Consorzio nazionale biogas and Consorzio italiano compostatori.