On the fringes of the G7 Environment meeting, and in the presence of the Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti, a three-year, €5 million research and development agreement in the field of energy was signed in Bologna, ENI said on June 12.
ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi, and the Rector of the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Francesco Ubertini signed the agreement on June.
ENI’s long-standing cooperation relationship with the University of Bologna has now been reinforced with the signing of a 3-year framework agreement and the commitment of €5 million, the Italian company said.
Galletti said this agreement is extremely important as it is a concrete example of the joint efforts between companies and universities that the G7 Environment Ministers have promoted at their meeting.
“Businesses that are looking to the future need excellence in the field of science and research for a sustainable technological development. Consequently, I am particularly proud that a great company like ENI has chosen to cooperate with the university of my home city, which is Europe’s oldest university,” Galletti concluded.
The agreement will focus on the university’s areas of excellence that can support ENI’s technological development: safety, energy transition, renewables, support for operational excellence and industrial systems.
“The agreement consolidates the position of the University of Bologna,” Ubertini, said. “The agreement consolidates the position of the University of Bologna as a centre of excellence in the field of technological and economic-social innovation, that aims to develop synergies with domestic and foreign businesses to strengthen research, development and technology transfer initiatives, both nationally and internationally,” he added.
For ENI, Descalzi said, this Framework Agreement with the University of Bologna is further confirmation of ENI’s strategy for building partnerships with examples of excellence in the Italian university sector. “The three-year agreement we have just signed will give ENI access to an extraordinary pool of expertise in an area that is very important area for us and enable us to direct our collaboration towards the development of technologies to support the energy transition, environmental protection and the reuse of our industrial sites,” he said.
ENI also said that the agreement confirms, “ENI’s commitment to scientific and technological research, as well as its strategy of developing strong links Italian academic excellence, with a view to establishing strategic partnerships able to better align the skills, competences and knowledge of the academic world with Eni’s business objectives”.
The agreement extends and establishes a multi-year collaboration between the university and ENI on energy-related research and development issues.
Over the years, ENI has consolidated collaboration with teachers and researchers from various departments of the University of Bologna that have contributed to a range of research projects, studies and training courses in fields such as safety and environmental sustainability, sustainable technologies, alternative energy sources as well as the monitoring of the regional coastal system, the Italian company said.
The forms of such collaboration have been varied: the funding of research grants, participation in joint projects on competitive tenders at the European level, national research projects, the organisation and implementation of Masters’ courses and the training of highly specialised figures able to operate in the fields of planning, safety and environmental management, according to ENI.
Recent collaboration activities between ENI and the University of Bologna have included studies on innovative materials for the production, from natural gas, of methanol, and those on the integration of wind power, energy storage and the production of natural gas at offshore assets, ENI said.