COlture MEditerranee e loro valorizzazione con Tecnologie Avanzate di chimica verde
// COMETA //

June 2018 - December 2021

Project Summary


COMETA aims to study and validate an integrated development model that can drive the economic recovery of the South of Italy through innovation and the alliance between agriculture and industry.


  1. Study and development of crops (Cardoon, Safflower and Brassicacae) with low impact (application of compost, bio-herbicides, integrated pest management strategy) that can grow in extreme conditions in marginal and polluted areas in Southern Italy;
  2. Study of a programme for the genetic improvement of the cardoon to increase the content of oleic acid (>70%);
  3. Development and prototyping of an innovative system for the mechanisation of the collection of underground biomass;
  4. Development and prototyping of a seed crushing system + solvent extraction to maximise the oil yield and at the same time obtain oilcake and active molecules for use in different sectors (from nutraceuticals for animals to health and to the production of bio-insecticides);
  5. Study of innovative processes for oilcake hydrolysis to obtain biostimulants for agriculture;
  6. Study of an innovative process for the extraction of inulin from roots, followed by fructose hydrolysis and chemical conversion into building blocks (FDCA) of interest for the production of new generation biodegradable bioplastics;
  7. Developing an optimal reactor configuration for the pyrogasification of lignocellulosic waste for the production of syngas for bio-energy;
  8. Developing innovative biotech processes for the production of biochemical from syngas purified by pyrogasification of the tested biomasses;
  9. Testing and validating new low-impact catalytic conversion systems for the conversion of vegetable oils extracted from seeds into dicarboxylic acids and esters for application in the bioplastics and biolubricants sector and to make use of the by-products of the conversion (glycerol) in new syntheses for the formulation of cosmetics;
  10. Testing the waste from processes and crop cultivation for the production of quality compost with a view to a circular economy;
  11. Validating the use of lignocellulosic biomass for growing edible mushrooms and insects;
  12. Defining new mathematical models to predict crop production on the basis of climatic variability;
  13. Studying the replicability of the industries in the various Southern regions and disseminating the project results.


CIHEAM Bari in the frame of COMETA will participate in the activities of WP5 (OR5 - Sostenibilità e replicabilità del modello). WP5 focuses on assessing the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the supply chains, the model repeatability study and the dissemination, exploitation and protection of results.

This WP is coordinated by Novamont in view of its proven track record in environmental sustainability assessments, business and institutional communication and IPR management.

  • In WP5a (SS), Novamont will use LCA and social economic analysis methodology to assess the environmental and economic performance of innovative products obtained from agroindustrial supply chains developed in the project.
  • In WP5b (RI), UNISS (Department of Agriculture) will study and apply models to quantify effects associated with cropping systems, climate change mitigation, improvement of soil fertility.
  • In WP5c (RI), UNISS (Department of Agriculture) will investigate and apply mathematical models to perform a quantitative analysis of the response to the intra-annual climatic variability of crop production based on climate and soil aspects.
  • In WP5d (SS), methods, processes and innovative products aimed at utilising fractions potentially attainable from native non-irrigated crops from the regions in the South will be assessed by CIHEAM Bari to check the repeatability of supply chains in other different regional contexts in the Mezzogiorno.
  • In WP5e (SS), Novamont and CIHEAM Bari will cooperate to develop a plan to communicate and disseminate project results to all possible stakeholders’ categories (farmers, SMEs operating as industrial processes and technology providers, regional, national and European institutions, category associations, students and younger generations) by raising awareness and delivering training.

Source of funding : PNR 2015/2020
Total budget : 9 826 528,00 €
Partners :
  • NOVAMONT S.p.A. - Italia
  • Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l’energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile (ENEA) - Italia
  • ANIMAL NEW TECH S.r.l. - Italia
  • CIHEAM Bari - Italia
  • Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA) - Italia
  • Università degli Studi di SASSARI - Italia